On a Jet Plane...

I created this blog, a lot for myself, with a smidgen of hope that it might help someone too. So in saying this, I reserve the right to express how I truly feel about issues related to blindness, if you don't like it, don't read it.

Just had to get this off my chest.

So...here I go again.

I have been reading about a certain incident in the news media recently that really bothers me, bums me out frankly!

A blind woman on a United Airlines flight was left on the place after everyone else got off and was 'stuck' on the place for about 10 minutes because she had asked the flight attendants to help her off, and they didn't. She was discovered a few minutes later by a maitanence crew and was guided to her connecting flight with no delay (read the full article here).

Public comment on this story have been rather one sided, and rather interesting to me. Of course, you know me, I'm in complete disagreeance with the majority of public thought on this story. Shocking, I know!

So here I go with my thoughts on this...

I wonder to myself when, society in general, will start taking responsibility for ourselves. I mean, think how different things would be if we stepped up and actually took our lives into our own hand, owned up to something once in a while, found the means to take care of ourselves.

Now I DO understand we are not all in the same place. Don't get me wrong, there are indeed certain situations where we need help and there are certain situations when someone DOES need help getting off of a plane. So I say that and then add this.

I think it's rather sad and rather unfortunate that this woman, who's only disability is blindness, did not have enough of a skill set to walk off of an aircraft on her one. The fact she could not get herself off the plane, without assistance, makes me outraged, and not at her. It makes me outraged that someone (or a whole lot of someone's) let her slip through the cracks, did not teach her very basic independence skills, did not ever encourage her to try something on her own.

In turn, her inability to get off the plane and the outrage of the public towards United Airlines, just takes blind people one GIANT step backwards in an effort to change misconceptions about our capabilities.

No matter what people may say. I believe that we, as blind people, represent the general blind population. Like it or not, fair or not, it's absolutely true!

I am thankful for the skills I have. I am thankful for the people who pushed me. I am thankful I can walk myself off of the plane I'm about to jump on in a couple of hours. I realize I am lucky, to know the strength of my abilities. I DO indeed realize many blind people don't have this.

But it's time we step up our game. Never in the history of our country have blind people faced such a high unemployment rate. We have to step up and expect more of ourselves or society, in general, will continue to expect nothing from us.


Erin J said...

I agree with you totally. When I was on the Amtrak train a few weeks ago there was a blind guy who was being led around by the staff. What it made me think was that if I whipped out a white cane and wanted to walk around the train (I don't usually use one as my vision problems are intermittent), the staff would likely freak out and not allow me to do it because they were used to guys like him. Or like this lady on the plane.

I guess they both get kudos for traveling at all rather than sitting at home on their sofas, right? *gag*

Daisy said...

This makes me nervous - in many ways. My son loves to travel. He's 18, blind, and high functioning on the autism spectrum. He has a great O&M teacher, and I still wonder: will he travel independently some day? He can handle the bus routes independently with no problem.