Eyes of Me, a free screening event at WXXI's Studios

Eyes of Me, a free screening event at WXXI's Studios

Tue, 02/16/2010 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm

WXXI held our first Community Cinema event Tuesday February 16 featuring a screening of the film "Eyes of Me." Community Cinema is a free monthly screening series featuring films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens.

On Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. WXXI presented the first of four Community Cinema screenings, The Eyes of Me, a film by Keith Maitland. The documentary follows four blind teens learning how to fit in and live independently. At the Texas School for the Blind students juggle all the usual pressures of high school along with the added struggles of growing up blind. Spend a dynamic year with these four young people who are forced to confront the world without sight and share their inner visions of the outer world. Ultimately, you cannot understand their perceptions without challenging your own.

The screening, held at WXXI's Studios (280 State Street, Rochester, NY), was followed by a panel discussion.  You can listen to that panel discussion by clicking on the player below. Panelists are:

Erin Meehan-Fairben, Superintendent, New York State School for the Blind, Batavia, NY

Ms. Meehan-Fairben completed the Educational Leadership Program from the University of Rochester, NY. She received her Master of Science in Special Education and Bachelor of Science in Special Education from SUNY Geneseo.  From 1994-2001 she taught special education within various public schools throughout New York State. In 2001 she worked as a Coordinating Administrator of Special Education with the Rochester City School District and then was promoted to Assistant Principal of the 7th grade at Dr. Freddie Thomas Learning Center. In 2005 she served as the Director Of Pupil Personnel Services and Special Programs within the Geneva City School District. On September 1, 2009 she was appointed as the Superintendent of the New York State School for the Blind and the Ex Officio Trustee of the New York State Resource Center.

Linda Voigt, Vision Rehabilitation Teacher, NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped

Ms. Voigt began working as a Vision Rehabilitation Teacher at the Rochester branch of CBVH in 1981. Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Blind Rehabilitation from Western Michigan University in 1980.  Following graduation, Ms. Voight moved to Rochester for the job opportunity. Present employment duties are: providing instruction and consultation to blind and visually impaired youth and adults in the areas of home management, financial management, daily living skills, and communication skills.

Cynthia Baker, Teacher of the Visually Impaired, TOSA and BUP Co-President

As a Vision Teacher and Orientation/Mobility Instructor for students up to the age of 21 years, Ms. Baker is responsible for providing instruction in specialized skills such as Braille and cane travel, contributing to individualized educational plans, training and support to educational teams and families, and acts as a liaison between school districts, families, and community agencies. Her 29 years of experience in the field have included positions at The Blind Association of Western New York, The Carroll Center, Oswego BOCES, and the for past 22 years at Monroe #1 BOCES in Fairport, NY. In addition to New York State certification as a Teacher of the Blind and Partially Sighted, Cynthia holds certification as a Braille Transcriber through the Library of Congress, Rehabilitation Teaching through the American Association of Workers for the Blind, and School Administration through New York State.

Nikki Llewellyn, Orientation & Mobility Specialist, ABVI-Goodwill

Ms. Llewellyn is a Certified Orientation & Mobility Specialist (COMS) employed by ABVI-Goodwill for over 18 years. As a COMS, she provides services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired across the age spectrum.  She teaches safe independent travel skills including orientation to various work or training locations including college campuses. She also provides vision stimulation and gross motor development services to infants and preschoolers. Ms.Llewellyn is one of twelve nationally certified audio describers, and has provided audio description at Geva Theatre and the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, as well as for videos and trainings.

The event was free and open to the public.  Listen to the audio recording of this event in the player below: 

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The television broadcast of The Eyes of Me airs Tuesday, March 2 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 1011 & 11).

Other Community Cinema screenings in this series include (click on the title to learn more about the film):

Dirt! The Movie - Tuesday, April 6, 7-9 p.m.

The Horse Boy - Tuesday, April 27, 7-9 p.m.

A Village Called Versailles - Tuesday, May 18, 7-9 p.m.