Rose’s Story: Teaching by Example


Rose’s students learn a lot at HKSB’s Assistive Technology Center, but perhaps their greatest lesson comes from seeing their teacher in action. During her 51-year career, Rose has never let her vision loss stand in her way.




Video opens with images of the first annual picnic held for Helen Keller Services employees. A board is shown outlining activities being held that day, including Meet New People, Eat, and Get Physical.

Someone reaches out to Rose and asks Which side would you like it on, right or left?
They are referring to a name tag.

They proceed to put it on her right side.

How about here?

Rose Romano is voicing over the video.

Rose: My name is Rosemarie Romano.

She is offered food at the picnic and responds.

Rose: Not yet Mike. I don't really know if I want to eat yet. I thought I would but I don't know.

Back to voice over

Rose: And I have been visually impaired since birth.

Rose is presented a baby and the parent says,

This is Amy.

Rose:Am I allowed to kiss you, Amy?

and holds the baby.

Parent of baby: Oh, she's smiling at you.

Rose laughs.

Another picnic attendee asks,

So Rose, tell Phil how long you've worked at Helen Keller.

Rose:51 years.

Picnic attendee says

51 years?

Rose: Yeah.

Picnic attendee responds,


Image now of Rose at work dialing her phone, telling someone I'm going to come and get Paul in a couple of minutes.

She then rises from her desk with a graphic over the image saying

Meet Rose.

A narrator says

Meet Rose. She is the Typing and Assistive Technology Center Instructor at Helen Keller Services.

Rose is seen typing and says Understand this: being visually impaired doesn't make you any different.

As Rose gets up to get a file, she says So that's why I'm going to do what I'm going to do.

Rose walks down a hallway and asks


A man answers


Rose says

Good Morning. Please take my arm so I can take you to the room

and Paul says


Rose then walks him back to the instruction room.

Rose voices over as they walk:

I'm going to work with my students and teach them to type.

Next image is Rose reading Braille out loud

Illinois was the twenty hyphen first state.

Paul is sitting at computer and says

What's that, hyphen?

Rose responds,

Hypen. That's to the right of the zero. Use your pinky.

Image of Paul typing and he says

I didn't capitalize it, though. Should I?

Rose responds,

I don't care, no. Doesn't make any difference.

As image pans back of the two in the instruction room, Rose continues with instruction:

About 85 percent..percent is the shift on the five.

Next is a shot of Rose climbing stays as she voices over:

I'm going to visit my friend Tessa in the Accounting Department.

She walks into the room and says

I came uninvited. I can't even ask you for petty cash.

Tessa, seen on the right of the video, laughs. Rose leaves and says,

You know, this is accounting. They're strict!

Rose is seen getting a coffee pot and making coffee. Rose says:

If I need a life, I'm going to make myself a cup of coffee.

Rose is seen in her office fixing files. Rose says

I like things neat, so in my office everything has a place.

The next image is of Rose's apartment building with her saying

And it's the same thing in my home.

In the elevator, Rose says:

My Super used to swear I knew the building better than he did.

Rose enters her living room and says Welcome to my home. Everything neat. In its place. Where I want it.

And as she opens a kitchen cabinet she adds: The way I like it.

Rose continues

I probably would be this organized if I could see because that's my personality.

As she brushes her hair Rose says, And I take care of myself too. See, you're still an individual. It has nothing to do with being blind.

As she continues into the bedroom Rose says,

You know, Deborah reminded me that when I first met her, I told her that I was not Blind Rosemarie, I was Rosemarie Romano who happens to be blind. That's really the truth. We're still people first.

Next image is a sign in Brooklyn Bridge Park as Rose voices over

This is fun for me. I hope it is fun for you.

You then see Rose walking with someone who responds


As they walk near Brooklyn Bridge, Rose voices over:

You know what I do in my life? I accent the positives and try to overcome the negatives. I get out, I go places. I do things.

More images of the park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden with Rose voicing over:

And one of the few things that I feel like I'm bringing to the table is they see me functioning. You don't know the number of consumers that have told me, you made me believe I could have a life again.

Image of Rose back in her office, hanging up phone, saying


Graphic over Rose in her office with narrator saying:

Live like Rose. Safely and independently. In spite of Vision Loss.

Word graphic narrator reads:

The Adaptive Living Program at Helen Keller Services for the Blind can show you how. If you or a loved one would like more information, go to

Word graphic that says that music credit goes to Clap Your Hands by Jahzzar.

Image of Rose back at picnic saying

I don't think I'm famous.

Someone asks Rose:

You want your cane back?

Rose says:

Oh, I didn't even realize I gave it away. You know I'm famous for leaving my cane some place, so...

Then Rose laughs