Robert Theodore Branco is a life-long resident of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Legally blind since birth, Robert attended "sight-saving classes" in the public school system until his parents learned of the Perkins School for the Blind.
This book tells of Robert's experiences during his eight years at the Perkins School and will provide you with an understanding of some of what life was like for a young man growing up without total vision in a sighted world.
After graduating from Perkins, Robert went on to attend Bristol Community College and then the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He studied Business Administration at Bristol College, earning an Associate's degree, and Finance at UMass, earning a Bachelor's degree.
Robert's working experience has been quite varied. He has been a health benefits counselor, a customer service representative, the manager of an automotive parts department, and the receptionist at a construction company.
Currently, Robert is the publisher of The Consumer Vision Magazine, commissioner of an adult slow pitch softball league, and the president of a bowling league for disabled persons.
Robert T. Branco
359 Coggeshall St.
New Bedford, MA 02746
What was it like growing up blind? How did it feel going away to a special school at the age of 12? What was it like living in the "cottages" at Perkins School for the Blind? These are just some of the questions that Robert Branco answers in My Home Away from Home.
His life experiences have convinced him that there are many people who simply do not feel comfortable asking these kinds of questions, but who really are interested in knowing the answers to them.
Here, Robert takes you along on his eight-year journey through Perkins. He shares his perceptions of how significant changes in legislation and policies like "mainstreaming" affected his school experience. He also shares his daily experiences — such as cottage life, academics, extracurricular activities, and the inevitable high jinks that all adolescents experience.
Along the way, you will also learn how Robert feels about the question of how well he and his fellow students were prepared for their lives in the sighted world.
If you, as a sighted person, have ever wondered what a blind person is capable of doing, Robert has this answer for you: "We're not different from the sighted. What we don't know, we're taught."
In often remarkable detail, My Home Away from Home tells the story of just how good and how diverse the teaching was in the 1970s at one of the country's best-known schools for the blind.
In this book, I talk about our academic classes, the many kids who became my friends and others who made friendship impossible, the several sports we pursued, all the rules we were supposed to follow and how radically they were sometimes broken, some of the new technology we explored, the ways in which Perkins tried to prepare us for independent living, and much more.
I hope that my story puts a unique perspective on what it's like for any teenager, blind or sighted, to live away from home for eight years. I certainly hope that the sighted, as well as the blind, will enjoy and appreciate my story.
In this book, Robert discusses numerous issues pertaining to blindness, including legislation, discrimination, employment, myths about blindness, and adaptive technology. This second edition includes two dozen new essays on website accessibility, relationships, Beep Baseball, personal care issues, and much more.
This is Bob Branco's fourth published book. It includes 30 essays on issues pertaining to blindness and the blind, then another 73 short essays having to do with bureaucracy, holidays, legislation, politics, sports, scams, technology, and social issues. Numerous editor's notes and links to articles add more information and occasionally a different point of view.
A cookbook featuring recipes which were all contributed by blind individuals
Available in large-print format and on audio CD
A limited number of Braille copies are also available.
To order a copy of the cookbook in any format, please make out a check to Robert Branco for $14 (includes $4 for shipping) and mail it to the author at the above address.
All sales benefit Bob's publication, The Consumer Vision Magazine:
To read Robert's résumé, please click here.
On March 5, 2017, Robert was interviewed by Barry Eva on his podcast, A Book and a Chat. You can listen to the interview at the following link:
On October 14, 2016, Robert was interviewed by Frederic Byé. You can listen to the interview by using the embedded audio player below.
If the audio player doesn't work for you, you can read about the interview and listen to it by clickin on this link: http://www.fredericbye.com/bobbranco/.
The following is some information about a very enterprising man named Jens Naumann.
Emigrating from W. Germany in 1967, Jens Naumann settled as a young boy in British Columbia, Canada along with his parents and two siblings. Growing up to appreciate the outdoors, motor biking and flying small airplanes, Jens turned to the career of land surveyor following his first eye loss while working on the railway. Married young his luck for saving his other eye ran out at age 20; forcing an abrupt change in lifestyle as seemingly insurmountable challenges continued to bombard him through the process of raising nine children. In 2002, American medical devices engineer Dr. William H. Dobelle accepted Jens as his first patient to be implanted with an experimental artificial vision system promising to restore a form of vision through the use of a computer and video camera connected to electrodes implanted on Jen's brain. Having been given the post of Patient Representative under the instruction of Dobelle, Jens worked with 15 patients also implanted during this initiative, while demonstrating the viability of the vision system through driving a car before the cameras of CNN and other news media companies. Near the end of 2004, the vision restoration experiment ended, leaving Jens with only memories of his new found vision, having to quickly readjust to a life of blindness he was only too eager to leave behind. Jens has played an important role in many daunting endeavors, including delivering 6 of his children, running a farm, serving in Mozambique as Teacher-Training college instructor, and operating his own solar energy systems installation company. Jens presently resides with his family in Napanee, Ontario, is an avid pianist and recently graduated as a registered social services worker from Loyalist College.
His book, Search for Paradise: A Patient's Account of the Artificial Vision Experiment, is available on Amazon.
His Web site is http://www.jensnaumann.net.
Jens is on Speaker File at http://www.expertfile.com/experts/jens.naumann,
Twitter at https://twitter.com/JensNaumann3,
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jens-Naumann/471175489581510,
and LinkedIn at http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/jens-naumann-rssw/43/863/b03
You can listen to audio files online describing Jens and his book at the following links: