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Psychologist Emerita Katherine Schneider Announces Publication of Memoir

RELEASED: April 12, 2006

Katherine Schneider and her former guide dog, Garlyn
Katherine Schneider and her former guide dog, Garlyn. (contributed photo)

EAU CLAIRE — Katherine Schneider, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire senior psychologist emerita, has announced the recent publication of her memoir, "To the Left of Inspiration: Adventures in Living with Disabilities."

In her book, Schneider, who has been blind since birth and a Seeing Eye dog user for the past 30 years, takes the reader through the activities of her daily life — talking to children about disabilities, traveling, going to church, working and more.

Schneider will give a reading from her book at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 26, in The Cabin of Davies Center on the UW-Eau Claire campus. The event is part of Honors Week activities and is sponsored by the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Her book will be for sale during this time.

Schneider also will sign books at the Eau Claire Borders store at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13. The book is available at the Eau Claire Borders store, as well as from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers. It is available in accessible format from Bookshare.org.

According to Schneider, 54 million Americans have chronic illnesses or disabilities requiring them to make accommodations in the ways they live their lives.

"I hope the book will help people who are adjusting to a new illness or disability as well as those who have students, customers, or clients with disabilities," Schneider said, adding that she believes understanding what life is really like for people with disabilities helps people relate with more sensitivity.

Schneider has been writing, editing and working toward publication of this book for the past 10 years, continuing a lifelong pattern of inspiring achievement. Three years after becoming the first blind student to graduate from a Kalamazoo, Michigan, public high school, Schneider received her bachelor of science degree in psychology with honors from Michigan State University. Since earning her doctorate in clinical psychology from Purdue University, she has worked at four universities, spending her last 14 years in Counseling Services at UW-Eau Claire. She taught psychology courses from the freshman to the graduate level and has counseled, supervised, and administered university counseling services. She has presented papers at national professional meetings and authored articles and book chapters on such topics as religion and visual impairment, and counseling people with disabilities. Her professional work has been recognized with awards from the Courage Center, UW-Eau Claire, and the University of Wisconsin System Regents, among others.

Schneider recently retired and said she is enjoying serving on seven state and local boards, reading novels, and trying to live the Red Hat Society philosophy of greeting middle age with humor and spunk, embracing silliness as the comic relief of life, and welcoming life's changes with enthusiasm.

For more information, contact Schneider at schneiks@uwec.edu.

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