Exceeding Expectations, One Family at a Time
By Patti Anne Chastain, Admissions Assistant, Health and Clinical Services Department
A five-year journey brought the Kirksey family to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), and with the help of AIDB’s Health and Clinical Services Department, they are now equipped to be limitless! In early 2018, La'Myrtis "Monae" Kirksey requested information about the Alabama School for the Blind (ASB). Her two oldest children, Jania and Jacoby, have Marfan syndrome, which can lead to multiple vision impairments. Kirksey was familiar with AIDB, having attended programs herself since losing her vision at the age of 23. But she was unsure about her children moving several hours away from their home in south Alabama to attend school. However, in the summer of 2022, Kirksey hesitantly called the Health and Clinical Services’ Admissions Department and said, "I'm ready to complete applications for Jania and Jacoby to see if they can come to school at ASB."
Kirksey had repeatedly said that she would like to move near Talladega to be close to her children if they went to ASB. Through the Admissions Department, Monae met Shenequia Cole, a Family and Community Engagement Specialist within Health and Clinical Services, who could assist in helping her move to Talladega. Shenequia was able to help with financial planning, relocation services and even assisted with finding new furniture. By December 2022, Kirksey had moved into her new residence in Talladega where Jania and Jacoby could come home to her every day after school at ASB. Shortly after moving, Kirksey started her own vocational training at AIDB’s E. H. Gentry Facility.
This school year, Kirksey’s youngest son, Princeton Kirksey, started kindergarten at ASB. Princeton also has Marfan syndrome and, like his family, he will continue to receive vision services through AIDB's Health and Clinical Services Department. "I am very grateful AIDB exists,” said Kirksey. “AIDB has improved my family's lives tremendously. Everything AIDB has done has been above my expectations.”
Through Health and Clinical Services, we are delighted to provide another family with limitless possibilities and a limitless future.