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Success Stories: JJ Flores

JJ spinning on a merry-go-round.

At JJ’s last school, being blind meant being different. JJ was removed from class with his peers to learn braille by himself. He was escorted through school by a sighted guide. Even his assignments were different. JJ stood out from other students. All he wanted was to fit in.

Then, Mom found the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB). A school with kids just like JJ.

In 2018, JJ transferred to FSDB.

Mom immediately saw an improvement. She shares,

“Before, JJ didn’t want to read braille. But after his first week at FSDB, he came home and read a full sentence to me. I sobbed. I knew I’d made the right decision.”
JJ's anthology of Mrs. Duck on the the library shelf.

Four years later, JJ loves reading and writing. He recently won the 3rd-grade Braille Challenge, a national competition in braille literacy, spelling, and speed.

Better yet, he published an anthology! It tells the tales of Mrs. Duck, including her time on the moon and at the beach. The school library contains copies in print, braille, and audio (narrated by JJ!).

The librarian says, “JJ’s friends are super supportive – someone checks his books out once a week!”

JJ has grown so much – and Mom is so grateful.

“FSDB is not just a school. It’s hope. It’s acceptance. It’s a place of opportunity for students and families. I can’t imagine our lives without FSDB.”


About FSDB

The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school in historic St. Augustine, available to eligible pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing, blind/visually impaired or deafblind. The FSDB experience gives students the edge to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. Early intervention and outreach services are also available throughout the state of Florida. Private donations help to support programs that directly benefit students which are not covered by state funds. To inquire about enrollment, contact Parent Services at 904-827-2212 or 904-201-4527 VP. To schedule a campus tour, contact Outreach Services at For more information, visit


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