Photo of Doris Willoughby
Doris Willoughby

A Special Memorial

by Doris M. Willoughby

From the Editor: Doris Willoughby is one of the finest teachers of blind children in the country today. She is also a longtime member of the National Federation of the Blind whose teaching philosophy has been shaped by her experience as a Federationist. In the following little article she pays tribute to Dr. Jernigan and makes an announcement of interest to everyone committed to effective instruction for blind children. This is what she says:

Dr. Jernigan loved language. He taught grammar and made it interesting. He enjoyed puns and other wordplay. His hundreds of speeches and articles made him a truly great author and speaker.

I have been privileged to write a few articles and books (often together with Sharon Monthei), but we did not compose them alone. The National Federation of the Blind, with Dr. Jernigan's leadership, was always behind us. Dr. Jernigan arranged the publication of the Handbook for Itinerant and Resource Teachers of Blind and Visually Impaired Students. People constantly tell us how helpful this book has been in a particular child's education.

For several years Sharon and I have been working—under Dr.Jernigan's guidance—on another book that will fill a great need. Modular Instruction for Independent Travel for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired: Preschool Through High School is designed as a flexible, practical guide for teaching cane travel to students of preschool age through high school.

Why have we called it modular instruction? Curriculum guides for various subjects often return to topics again and again. These may be called cycles, threads, or strings. Each teacher selects activities for instruction, as appropriate for various circumstances. Modular Instruction is organized by topics such as "Compass Directions," "Back Yard Boundaries," and "Alternate Routes Within a Building." It offers specific suggestions for activities and assumes that the teacher or parent will select activities according to individual needs. Modular Instruction went to press in late 1998. We hope that, by the time you read this article, it will be available from the Materials Center, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230. It will have a dedication page at the front reading, "In loving memory of Dr. Kenneth Jernigan, who inspired this book and arranged its publication."