A Conversation with Kids

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Transcript of A Conversation with Kids Video

Narrator 1: Photos of two boys and a girl.

Kayleigh Joiner, Age 15, Retinopathy of Prematurity

A photo of a girl with long brown hair, wearing glasses and holding a white cane.

Later, photos of Kayleigh alone and with friends doing everyday activities.

Kayleigh Joiner: Some people will say, “Oh, there’s that blind girl,” or “Watch out, there’s a blind girl,” and I’ll turn around say, “You know I actually can see a little bit.”

Interviewer: And how does that make you feel when people say that kind of stuff about you?

Kayleigh: Sometimes I feel kind of, kind of frustrated and annoyed because all they see is me and my cane; they don’t go and try to get to know me as a person before judging me.

Interviewer: And what do you want people to see about you?

Kayleigh: I want people to see the inside and see what I have to offer. I mean, I’m smart, I’m you know, fun, and nice.

Interviewer: What do your friends see in you?

Kayleigh: I think they see just a normal teen. They don’t really, you know, pay that much attention to my visual impairment.

Narrator 1: Paxton Franke, Age 9, Macular Degeneration (Recently Began Losing Vision)

A boy with light brown hair wearing glasses. Then, photos of Paxton playing baseball.

Interviewer: And so you went from seeing pretty well, to seeing a little bit blurrier. Was that really scary?

Paxton Franke: No, I just was mad.

Interviewer: Why were you mad?

Paxton: ‘Cause I couldn’t do a lot of the things I could before, because my parents, they said I was going to get hurt or something.

Interviewer: What couldn’t you do that you could do before?

Paxton: Play baseball, stuff like that. I’m trying to talk my mom into letting me play again.

Interviewer: What do you want to play?

Paxton: Baseball or football.

Interviewer: And why do you have to talk her into it?

Paxton: Because she thinks I won’t be able to see like the ball or something, or the other players.

Interviewer: What do you think?

Paxton: I think I can.

Interviewer: How do you think it’ll be like for you on the field?

Paxton: For instance, if I look at like the opposite team from like a far distance, I couldn’t maybe tell the shape of their body maybe, but I mean, I could tell what color shirt they’re wearing though, so I know who to pass it to and everything and who to avoid.

Interviewer: What would you tell other parents about kids with visual impairments?

Paxton: Let let them try it out like a day, and if they admit that they can’t see the ball, then just at least let them have the chance.

Narrator 1: A photo of Paxton climbing a rock wall.

Tyler Juranek, Age 11, Bilateral Detached Retinas/Glaucoma

A boy with a buzz cut, wearing a neon green shirt.

Interviewer: Let me ask you Tyler, do you have any idea what you want to be when you grow up?

Tyler Juranek: Yes, in fact I’m kind of practicing right now as we’re on camera. I’d like to be a news anchor.

Interviewer: That’s great. Well, this sure is good practice, huh?

Tyler: Yeah, and I, I do it all the time at home. My dad, my dad brought me a little tape recorder out of one of his estates since he’s an auctioneer, and so I’m going around the house and saying, you know, this is what Britney’s doing right now, and so I’m making progress.

Interviewer: What would you want the world to know about kids with visual impairments that maybe they don’t know?

Tyler: Well, I’d like to tell everybody in the whole wide world, United States, Canada, everywhere, and to blind people as well: never, ever make an excuse that you can’t do something because you can’t see. Because when you set your mind to it, you can do it. Like my dad and I, we’re growing a garden together. He got me roto-tilling the last two years and you know what? I had never thought that I could do it.

Narrator 1: A photo of Tyler walking through the garden.

Narrator 2: Here’s an update on what the kids have been doing since our interviews.

Kayleigh has qualified in Texas to compete statewide in choir, scoring the highest rankings in solo and ensemble. She’s also a new member of the Texas Association of Blind Students, and has mastered taking flights to conferences by herself. She also began her first job: babysitting. Her mom says the kids love her.

Paxton has been busy, too. He’s now active in Tae Kwan Do, horseback riding, swimming, and Boy Scouts. His mom says he thrives on new activities.

As for Tyler, he continues to excel at public speaking, scoring at the top of his class in a recent speech contest. He has also been elevated from Cub Scout to Boy Scout, and he’s working hard on his backyard garden, planting sweet corn, watermelon, and tomatoes.