Blind and other visually impaired students from Anaheim’s Clara Barton Elementary School will be touring Cal State Fullerton Tuesday, March 2, as part of their preparation for pursuing higher education. Their teacher, Keith Christian, a Class of ’95 CSUF graduate who is visually impaired, and his guide dog, Whitney, will be leading the group. Christian’s students range in age from 5-12 in grades K-6. “The skills we teach here are the same ones they use in college, and they need to see them applied,” said Christian, noting the students are looking forward to the visit, which is designed for them to “feel that college is a possibility.” Parents and staff from the school and from the Braille Institute of Orange County will accompany the group.
Tuesday, March 2 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd. Fullerton, 92831 University Hall Room 252 is the group’s first stop before visiting the Office of Disabled Student Services, touring the campus and eating lunch in the Titan Student Union.
“Keith is recognized in his field as an innovative leader and a great role model for the students he works with,” said Jeff Senge, coordinator of information and the computer access program in the university’s Office of Disabled Student Services. “He wants to show the youth with visual impairments, as well as their parents, the kind of opportunities our university provides.”
Christian was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at age 11 and received assistance from the Braille Institute before enrolling at Cal State Fullerton. As a young person, he recalled, “there was a constant battle against the idea that you can’t accomplish something because you’re blind. We did everything sighted kids were doing and some things they were too afraid to try,” he said, thinking back to his adventures on white-water rafting trips. “The most important lesson I learned was that my will to succeed had to be stronger and taller than any barrier I might face. I teach my students the same lesson. I know they’re going to need it one day.”