In a little place called Le Monastier, in a pleasant highland valley fifteen miles from Le Puy, I spent about a month of fine days. Monastier is notable for the making of lace, for drunkenness, for freedom of language, and for unparalleled political dissension. There are adherents of each of the four French parties-Legitimists, Orleanists, Imperialists, and Republicans-in this little mountain-town; and they all hate, loathe, decry, and calumniate each other. Except for business purposes, or to give each other the lie in a tavern brawl, they have laid aside even the civility of speech. 'Tis a mere mountain Poland. In the midst of this Babylon I found myself a rallying-point; every one was anxious to be kind and helpful to the stranger. This was not merely from the natural hospitality of mountain people, nor even from the surprise with which I was regarded as a man living of his own free will in Le Monastier, when he might just as well have lived anywhere else in this big world; it arose a good deal from my projected excursion southward through the Cevennes. A traveller of my sort was a thing hitherto unheard of in that district. I was looked upon with contempt, like a man who should project a journey to the moon, but yet with a respectful interest, like one setting forth for the inclement Pole. All were ready to help in my preparations; a crowd of sympathisers supported me at the critical moment of a bargain; not a step was taken but was heralded by glasses round and celebrated by a dinner or a breakfast.
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the understanding of Developmental O and M, independent movement and travel in blind children. The goals of this book are: To increase knowledge of a developmental perspective for the young blind child with positive, useful information, gained from many years of experience working with blind children as an O and M professional To increase confidence both in thinking about the blind child's O and M needs and in interactions with the blind child To promote in blind children a positive thinking about their own movement and travel and to view themselves as travelers To facilitate the setting of age -and stage- appropriate movement and travel expectations for blind children. To offer an alternative "developmental approach" to conventional practices which derive from an "adult-centered model" To be a provocative catalyst for positive change in the field of O and M Unlike many books and articles on orientation and mobility (O&M) for blind children, this one is not about the effect of blindness on movement.Such an inquiry is self defeating from the start, as it often begins with misconceptions and deficit-thinking about blindness and the blind child's early motor development. Instead, this book is about the effect of movement on development and the importance of movement experiences for the development of independent movement and travel in blind children. It has a clear premise: blind children must become "active movers" if they are to become independent " travelers."
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