Welcome to Ask Jenna!
Ask Jenna is a periodic advice column written by Jennifer Adair, a licensed social worker and therapist, specializing in clients with disabilities and chronic illness. Ask Jenna questions using the contact form below, and if she chooses your question, we will publish her advice on World Blind Herald. Whether you need some practical, problem-solving tips for breaking down barriers to clearer communication, or ideas to help you reach your personal or professional goals, Jenna will help you to get those life hacks handled.
My name is Jenna Adair, LMSW. I’ve worked as a therapist for the past year and am also legally blind. I have a condition known as Retinitis Pigmentosa and I also have a chronic illness. I’ve gone on my own mental health journey learning to understand my blindness, chronic illness, and where I fit in this world. I also saw how many of my friends who were either legally blind or completely blind struggled with their mental health. I noticed how both my friends and I found it difficult to find a therapist who could understand the blind community. This is what led me to becoming a therapist.
In my “Ask Jenna” column On World Blind Herald I hope to provide some advice for anyone who is part of my community, the blind or visually impaired community. I plan on answering questions that mainly deal with the implications of blindness or visual impairment. For example, I can answer questions about how to advocate for your independence among family or friends, how to communicate your needs in a job interview, or how to explore the dating world as someone who is blind or visually impaired.
What you should know:
While I am excited to join the WBH team, and eager to answer your questions, I am required to adhere to professional standards and protocols, as well as those of World Blind Herald. All questions are moderated, and I will respond to questions that comply with the above mentioned guidelines, as well as those that align with the World Blind Herald values and mission statements.
Please note that the “Ask Jenna” column is for entertainment purposes only and that I cannot diagnose or treat any medical or mental health conditions, nor can I recommend or refer you to a specialized therapist. What I can do is to answer your questions to the best of my ability and provide you with resources. If you need more help, I advise that you seek out your own therapist.
Need help right now?
Call the national 988 Lifeline, 24 hours a day, or go to:
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) offers 24/7 call, text and chat access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use, and/or mental health crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
If outside the US, here is a link to International crisis hotlines.
I look forward to hearing from you and answering any blindness-related questions you may have!
Jenna Adair graduated from the University of Oklahoma with her Master’s in Social Work and quickly obtained her LMSW license through the state of Oklahoma. Jenna has been working as a therapist for the past year and enjoys providing services to those with disabilities and those with chronic illness. During her practicum at the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma and at the Oklahoma Center for Community Justice, Jenna worked with their diversity boards to put a greater emphasis on disability. Jenna cares deeply about the disabled community and hopes to get her PhD in social work so she can study mental health, systemic injustice, and advocacy fatigue among the disabled community.