Sometimes difficult circumstances bring about new ideas, and when these new ideas collide with creative minds, collaborations can emerge. Consciouscafes.com is a space that celebrates creative and inclusive minds as well as highlights those who are often overlooked in today's society. This virtual "Mini Mag" is just one example of what arises when we look outside ourselves to find the "good news" and happen upon others doing amazing work in the community. I'm a strong believer in taking hold of opportunities to learn something new whenever possible. These spotlight articles and resource links are a way of spreading the good works of others while offering a shared knowledge surrounding diverse topics. Come read about people you may never have heard of. Learn something and get inspired by them. It's my way of showing appreciation for those who help me envision a more creative and inclusive world. Thanks for reading.
Below: Photo of Ch Your Lucky Stars and Gen Hess by Kaylyn Abbott.
Right: Unnamed by Kaylyn Abbott. All Rights reserved.
Photo of Call Me Mahvalous and Kaylyn Abbott by Paige Raven.
Equestrian Federation athlete with a heart of gold and an eye for photography. She balances her daytime career as an Intervener, with her passion for creating portraits involving horses and nature in her free time. Her Monday through Friday workdays are spent working one-on-one with an elementary school student living with deaf-blindness, but on her off-hours, she immerses herself into the worlds of both horses and photography, attempting to capture the essence of these majestic creatures within her images.
As someone who knows little about horses, and even less about the job of an intervener, I was intrigued to learn more about how these two worlds fit together. This December, during Universal Human Rights Month and National Horse Day (December 13th), I feature Kaylyn Abbott, who gives an interesting look into her personal life and her very specialized career involving students who are often overlooked in today's society.
Growing up around horses, both Kaylyn and her younger sister experienced many seasons of caring
for these amazing animals. She recalls having a special connection to horses when she was very young and was so thrilled when her parents decided to immerse her into horse life. She learned
aylyn Abbott, known as "cameras.eye_view" in the world of photography, is a decorated United States
valuable skills working on ranches and explains how teaching a horse to follow directions requires a keen sense of touch. As the rider is seated handling the reins, she points out, "Horses can hear commands, but you have to be able to show each command in a way that involves touch and movement."
As Kaylyn became more seasoned, she began teaching other young riders how to compete, but didn't dream that horses and children would prepare her for her future career. "I gained a lot of patience working with both kids and horses on the ranch and in competitions. Probably one of the most important skills needed in working as an intervener is patience, and horse life taught me that."
Kaylyn started using American Sign Language when she was twelve, and completed her BA degree from California State University Northridge in Deaf Studies with an emphasis on Deaf Community Services. As an Intervener, she not only utilizes the signing skills she learned, but she finds herself applying her transferrable skills from horse training to teaching students with disabilities.
As a first year Intervener, Kaylyn works in a profession not many know about. It's one that helps children living with deaf-blindness gain critical language skills and knowledge that is normally taught through vision and hearing.
Without full vision and hearing, receptive and expressive communication skills are difficult (continued on page 2).
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"Probably one of the most important skills needed in working as an intervener is patience, and horse life taught me that."
(continued from page 1) to attain and often require specialized learning through touch. Kaylyn's job also involves working closely with parents and teaching staff helping build student goals for the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
She finds the IEP process tedious, but admits the hardest thing about intervening is the repetition. However, when successes come along for a student, she says it's a huge celebration. "The wins are a big deal because it's so gratifying when they understand something being taught and we can build off of that recognition."
Teacher and paraprofessional shortages due to COVID continue to strain school districts, therefore Kaylyn is a rare find indeed. Education is a universal human right and therefore our hat's off to you, Kaylyn for all that you do to ensure that students of all abilities continue to learn and thrive!
Although it is widely recognized that horses offer calming therapies to children with disabilities, equestrian therapy remains to be a rare recommendation in an IEP. Until that becomes a reality, Kaylyn will most likely stick with creating photos of horses and the beauty that surrounds them.
Mostly known for her horse and nature photography, Kaylyn also shoots family portraits and offers special occasion photography utilizing her favored Cannon Rebel T6. Please check out Kaylyn's freelance photography profiles on both Instagram and Unsplash in the links above. Thanks again Kaylyn, for sharing your "good news" story and resources as both a horse-loving photographer, and an educator of special students!
Please check out consciouscafes.com's courtesy links connected to the coffee mugs on this page. Consciouscafes.com is a platform for education, inspiration, and advocacy. Please reach out if you know of an advocating or inspiring individual, business, nonprofit, author, artist, or children's book that should be featured in our complimentary "Mini Mags" section.
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Photographs by Kaylyn Abbott. All rights reserved. Please view Kaylyn's photos on unsplash.com or click her Instagram QR code above.
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