High 5: Going Above And Beyond To Teach Braille
MILLVILLE, Utah – We’ve all made adjustments due to COVID-19, but imagine being a teacher trying to teach braille online.
Lisa Nebeker is an outreach teacher for the visually impaired for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Not only did she get creative, but she also got a special Utah Highway Patrol trooper involved.
At Millville Elementary School, 7-year-old Ezra Liechty is learning braille.
“We’re teaching him braille letters, the contractions, learning to get his fingers to get ready to feel the braille and read braille,” Lisa said.
She works with Ezra to prepare him for the future.
“He will eventually be completely blind,” she said.
Learning braille is hands-on, so imagine how difficult it was for the two of them earlier in the year when the pandemic moved school online.
Since Ezra was learning from home, he could get easily distracted, Lisa said.
Ezra loves garage doors, and his mom had an idea to help hold his attention during remote school.
“She was like, ‘Hey, Ezra, maybe if you sit and listen and we do our work, maybe Lisa can show you her garage,'” Lisa said. “And I’m like, ‘Sweet, that works!'”
She said she would pick up her laptop, take it to the garage, and open the door so Ezra could watch it going up and down.
But there was something special inside Lisa’s garage that Ezra really wanted to see: her husband’s Utah Highway Patrol vehicle.
“It was almost the last day of quarantine … and I’m like, ‘Ezra, guess what day it is?'” Lisa said. “And he zoomed through that lesson so fast so he could be able to go down and see that police car in the garage.”
“It was super fun to see his excitement on the computer,” she added.
Lisa took it a step further to reward Ezra for his hard work. She asked her husband, Sgt. Nebeker, to pay him a visit.
“He came running out of the house jumping up and down saying, ‘Lisa’s here with her husband!'” Lisa said. “My husband let him in and told him what buttons to push, and he would push it and come outside and look at the lights and then go back and push another.”
The KSL TV team got to see that same excitement during the visit to Millville Elementary when Sgt. Nebeker stopped by to pay him another a visit.
Wasting no time, Ezra jumped into the cruiser and went straight for the lights and siren.
“He’s inspiring to me,” Sgt. Nebeker said. “He can do things I can’t do. I see him come out with his cane and I know that he’s learning braille and learning to write braille and read braille. That’s something I can’t do.”
No doubt Ezra will do great things – especially when supported by great teachers who go above and beyond, like Lisa Nebeker.
“I really love and enjoy this job,” she said. “It’s the best.”
KSL TV’s friends at America First Credit Union loved hearing about Lisa and the passion she puts into her teaching, so they are sending her a $500 gift card to say thank you.
Do you know someone doing good in our community? A friend or family member building up neighbors or a coworker giving selflessly? Click here to nominate them for a KSL High 5.
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