Practical Access Podcast

S3: E2: Dr. Sena

September 17, 2020 Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash Season 3 Episode 2
Practical Access Podcast
S3: E2: Dr. Sena
Chapters
Practical Access Podcast
S3: E2: Dr. Sena
Sep 17, 2020 Season 3 Episode 2
Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash

Join Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker along with their colleague Dr. Leslie Sena a faculty member at Bethune Cookman. Dr. Sena shares her expertise in the field and her personal experience about visual needs.  A must listen to Podcast to understand the power of self-advocacy and high expectations.  

Show Notes Transcript

Join Drs. Rebecca Hines and Lisa Dieker along with their colleague Dr. Leslie Sena a faculty member at Bethune Cookman. Dr. Sena shares her expertise in the field and her personal experience about visual needs.  A must listen to Podcast to understand the power of self-advocacy and high expectations.  

Lisa Dieker:

Welcome to practical access. I'm Lisa Dieker.

Rebecca Hines:

And I'm Rebecca Hines. And we're excited about our third season, Lisa, especially this morning's guests, a friend and colleague of ours,

Lisa Dieker:

if you'll do the introductions, yeah. So Becky, we're so excited to have Dr. Leslie Sena with us, who is Associate Professor of exceptional education and happens to be the department chair at Bethune cookman. University right down the road, which is a historical, black college and university in Daytona. And Les, you have a ton of accolades, so I'm not going to read them all. We'll

Rebecca Hines:

So we invited a doctor of this morning, to kick off this new season, which will feature experts in the field and in some cases, experts with lived experiences. So our our friend, Dr. Sena, actually, a long time colleague, and we've had a chance to collaborate over the years and certainly have lots of lunches. So I thought her insight, Lisa would be really interesting thing,

Leslie Sena:

Okay, great. Well, first of all, thank you so much for having me, as a guest, on this podcast, it's really exciting to have a forum to just share experiences like this for people who are interested. And as we go through, please call me Leslie. I think that'd be very comfortable with that. So technically, I do have what we call the visual impairment. It's due to Daya diabetic, it's plate really, I don't know how many times I've eaten a lemon or onion thinking it was a squash or something else. I don't necessarily see where I'm walking, I do have a cane. I use all kinds of technology that's been really valuable in how I navigate the world. But I think it is important that I'm an expert in exceptional student education, but I live with a visual impairment. And, you know,

Rebecca Hines:

How do you navigate that? How do you do? Do you just ask for support when you need it? Or do you presume people are going to support you? And then you're disappointed? What happens colleague wise, you know, you, you mentioned your cane, but but you don't always have that with you. And certainly when you're sitting, etc. So can you give us kind of the real world she feel

Leslie Sena:

Yes, it's, um, it's actually it's actually very interesting. Because I don't use my cane most of the time. And if you were to look at me, you would not know I have a visual impairment. And I think I think what's important for educators to know, and just for people in general, I use strategy is more than accommodations, like we always think, oh, you need to accommodate somebody. But

Lisa Dieker:

That's so interesting. It You know, I think it's interesting. Leslie, as you share all this, that, you know, I think one of the things I remember the most is, you know, you got your doctrine in an era when really universal design for learning and ADA were just kind of at its infancy and in discussion. And I still remember I believe you rode your bike to the job interview. Am I

Leslie Sena:

Well, it's, it's interesting that you that you phrase it like that, because I think when I was, when I spoke with Becky earlier, I'm like, why are you doing this? Like, I understand it's not, it's not that I have anything extraordinary going on. And, and so it's still kind of puzzles me, I think, I think I feel sometimes like my curiosity, but not the cause of my visual impairment, some are driven by God. And you have to know what drives you. Because it helps you identify your tendencies, which helps you navigate your world in a better way, whether you have visual impairment or not. And, you know, there's things that come up with my visual impairment, like, I don't see faces, right. And I have this, this wonderful opportunity at our university. I'm a, I'm a Faculty Marshal, chatting away. That was that was me, right? Glory. Cover. Yeah.

Lisa Dieker:

Yeah, that's my driver completely. I love it. I love it. Well, if you do you you one other question for me. And then and then I'll turn it back to you, Becky, but, you know, you've taught I was looking at 14 different classes. I just can't even you know, think about the prep for that, let alone that they're both face to face and distance learning to, I guess, a couple of things. One is an expert in special ed, what

Leslie Sena:

So those are really interesting questions. I think I think that for teachers, we need to honor the student and honor ourselves as professionals. it's important to teach strategies. But practicing that and having the student feels a success for that is what's important. We're so aimed on students mastering a skill, but we have to understand that people need to fail and, and learn from that as well. And that's, you know, I think I think that that's, that's really important. We have to trust that the student will, will master these skills need to move the computer back, which means I can't see the screen. So I just make it clear. It's like, Oh, I'm going to put up my picture. So I can actually see what's going on. And people don't mind that at all. Oh, that's not that's not a big deal. What I'm finding, what I found is that it's not really a big deal when you develop the relationships with people. And I think this is key. It's all

Rebecca Hines:

Let's say I especially appreciate you being willing to kind of share what you see. And it gives some insight into what your world literally looks like. Because that's that's kind of the point of our whole season is to give people a different perspective. And certainly we appreciate you share yours, I will ask you to kind of as we get ready to wrap up, what is one specific support a

Leslie Sena:

So there's two things one would definitely be the technology piece. And not all technology works. You can't make assumptions about the technology, it has to be something that the individual really, really will use. I don't know how many pieces of technology that I went through before I found something that really worked for me. And then the second piece would be mobility and feel comfortable in it. The other thing and this is, you know, this is more personal experience, recommend, but Don't make everything about being blind or visually impaired. And I know that's kind of weird, but, you know, my family, my family, still, when they introduce me to people, they'll sometimes say, Oh, you know, this is Dr. Sena, and then they tell my accolades, and then they whisper, and she's visually impaired. but but let them be who they need to be. Right?

Unknown:

I don't know if that

Lisa Dieker:

was beautifully said. And you know what I can only imagine the accolades your parents can give you with, you know, looking at your bio here, exemplary Teaching Award pie out of $1.25 million grant. And, and I think that's exactly how we'd want to end it today with your accolades, because that's what we know you for is as a colleague, and really making a difference in the field.

Rebecca Hines:

Well, I'm just gonna end by saying, I'll see you less. It was great to talk to you too. Thank you again.

Leslie Sena:

All right. Good luck with the third season.

Lisa Dieker:

Thank you and join us on twitter if you have questions for us, and we hope you will share some of these podcasts with your classes, Leslie, and thanks again for being our guests.

Leslie Sena:

Thank you.