What was it like growing up blind? How did it feel going away to a special school at the age of 12? What was it like living in the “cottages” at Perkins School for the Blind? These are just some of the questions that Robert Branco answers in his book, My Home Away from Home . Legally blind since birth, Robert’s life experiences have convinced him that there are many people who simply do not feel comfortable asking these kinds of questions, but who really are interested in knowing the answers to them.
Robert Theodore Branco is a long time TIC listener and an advocate for the blind. Robert is also a prolific writer. So far, he has published 4 books, maintains a blog, contributes to magazines and regularly sends letters to the editor of other publications. My Home Away from Home tells of Robert’s experiences during his eight years at the Perkins School and provides an understanding of some of what life was like for a young man growing up without total vision in a sighted world.
Robert also has other interests, such as leading an active alumni group from his school, commissioner of an adult slowpitch softball league and the president of a bowling league for disabled persons. After graduating from Perkins, Robert went on to attend Bristol Community College and then the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He studied Business Administration at Bristol College, earning an Associate’s degree, and Finance at UMass, earning a Bachelor’s degree. Robert’s working experience has been quite varied. He has been a health benefits counselor, a customer service representative, the manager of an automotive parts department, and the receptionist at a construction company.
Currently, Robert is the publisher of The Consumer Vision Magazine , and working on another book. You can check out past issues of his magazine at this link: consumervisionmagazine . In addition to My Home Away from Home , Robert has published two collections of essays and a cookbook. In As I See It: From a Blind Man’s Perspective , Robert discusses numerous issues pertaining to blindness, including legislation, discrimination, employment, myths about blindness, and adaptive technology including two dozen new essays on website accessibility, relationships, Beep Baseball, personal care issues, and much more. You can read a sample at this link: AsISeeIt . Weighing Things Up: Essays on Trends, Technology, and Present–Day Society is Bob Branco’s fourth published book. It includes 30 essays on issues pertaining to blindness and the blind, then another 73 short essays having to do with bureaucracy, holidays, legislation, politics, sports, scams, technology, and social issues. What We Love to Eat , is a
cookbook featuring recipes which were all contributed by blind individuals. Conveniently, it is available in large-print format and on audio CD. A limited number of Braille copies are also available. To read about all these books, please click this link: RobertBrancoBooks .
Bob’s latest writing endeavor is his blog, accessible at Bob’sBlog . If you, as a sighted person, have ever wondered what a blind person is capable of doing, Robert has this answer for you: “We’re not different from the sighted. What we don’t know, we’re taught.”