Adam Shines On Stage
Adam Blank has been my student since he was three years old. I am a Teacher of Visually Impaired and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. We have become a solid team in the fifteen and a half years we have worked together
Adam entered public school at age six and as he progressed through the grades so did his responsibility in communicating with his teachers about his vision and needs. In the early years, he participated with me as we talked to his class about albinism and his vision. In middle school, he did not hesitate to explain to teachers what he could see and what he could not. He wrote letters to his teachers and began to connect with them via email. In high school, Adam created PowerPoint presentation to educate teachers and staff.
In Pennsylvania, school districts may contract with Intermediate Units to serve students as Adam’s district has done. I am an Intermediate Unit One (IU#1) employee and when the executive director came to visit Adam at his high school, he turned a thirty minute scheduled visit into a two hour session. The administrator and the student clearly clicked. Much was accomplished including an invitation for Adam to speak at the IU#1 convention which was held in March, 2013. Representatives from the twenty five school districts including superintendents, board members and staff were very impressed with his presentation. Adam’s father wrote about it in the Spring, 2013 edition of NOAH. Adam’s speech was so well received that his services were again sought. Adam became the youngest keynote speaker for the IU#1 in-service held on August 16, 2013.
In preparing for this speech, Adam turned to his team which included me, his speech therapist, social worker and family. The result was spectacular.
The speech was beyond exceptional and his message empowering. To an audience of approximately seven hundred people, Adam expressed with humor and heart his appreciation for the services he receives. He explained how these services have impacted his life and conveyed to teachers, social workers and therapists how they change lives.
The response was unbelievable. The audience was mesmerized throughout the forty minutes that Adam captivated them. Adam energized the crowd and brought them to their feet for a very long standing ovation.
A few of the many comments:
“Adam’s inspirational speech truly touched me. I laughed, cried and was reminded of how our jobs as special educators, touch and change the lives of the students we work with. I was also reminded that special education students can be a blessing to educators, as well. Adam has a gift of speaking in public and touching your heart!” Heather Berchin, Hearing Support Teacher
“My cheeks hurt after watching Adam’s speech. I literally smiled, laughed, and cried – all at the same time.”
Nicole Scott, Speech Therapist
“Adam’s presentation was truly inspirational. He helped me realize why we are here and what the students can accomplish. We don’t often get to see the results of our work.” Carol Shader, Early Intervention Teacher
“As educators, we pay hundreds – even thousands of dollars for dynamic speakers for in-service. I just sat through the best I’ve ever heard – from one of our very own students.” Adam Blank’s presentation
Donald W. Martin,
Assistant Executive Director/Director of Instructional Support Services
Intermediate Unit 1
“I am so very proud of Adam who has exceeded all expectations. He has many gifts and an extreme talent for the stage. Adam’s future is so bright”