These were the words that were a springboard call to action that would lead to a life-changing career teaching, advocating, speaking out for inclusive design and accessibility, and supporting others going into the fields of blindness and deafblindness. From the gut-wrenching realization that her son was blind to the transformation of her own heart toward blindness, Dr. Biggs has truly made a difference in the lives of those she has worked with. Sonja’s eldest son is 29 now and co-founder, CFO, of Sonja Biggs Educational Services, Inc. He is blind from Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA-CRB1) and thriving in two successful careers. He is also an Engineer for Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and pursuing his Ph.D. in Computer Science/Sonification at Georgia Tech University.
Sonja was already an elementary teacher when she discovered her son was blind. Going through the gamut of emotions associated with having a child with a visual impairment provides her with special insight into the needs of children and parents. Her son, Brandon, has been the wind beneath her wings since his birth, inspiring her to dream big and take the steps needed to make those dreams come true. She holds a Ph.D. in Advanced K-12 Teaching through Capella University and a Masters degree in School Counseling and Guidance.
Sonja has been married for 35 years to her wonderful husband, Atom, who is an R.N. and professional photographer. Besides her 29-year-old son, Sonja has an incredible 25-year-old son gifted in graphic art, programming, and science. He owns his own game company. He is also working on a MS degree in software engineering. Both boys bring incredible insight and joy into the world of parenting.
On May 31, 2012, Sonja was honored as the 2012 Educator of the Year by the Northern California Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (NCAER). She also received a special recognition award on June 7, 2012, from the San Benito County Office of Education Board of Directors for her dedication and service to the students of San Benito County.
On September 29, 2015, Sonja Biggs Educational Services became Sonja Biggs Educational Services, Inc. (SBES, Inc.) At this point, SBES, Inc. grew to include another teacher and an administrative assistant. In 2016, they grew to include a total of three teachers, an administrative assistant, an Intervener, and an Independence Specialist that were contracted out to local school districts and offices of education. In 2020 SBES, Inc. grew to 23+ employees. In 2021, they grew to include three levels of administration and 31+ employees. SBES, Inc. provides tuition for those interested in becoming TVI’s, COMS, or Interveners to help fill the shortage of teachers in the field. SBES, Inc. is continuing to grow and partner with more educational agencies offering a wide range of services including braille and large print production.