8/9/10

I got an EAR full...

I have been contemplating over in my head whether to publish this post....THEN I came across a few other blogs about blindness and

 you know what?

If you want to hear how crappy it is to be blind and how it makes like SO DIFFICULT  and learn how to clean up after you spill a drink, there are blogs out there for you, but it's not here!

Anyway, on that note,  let me begin...

Can I just say how much I love, love, love that I know the blind people I know!?!

Because I have been lucky!

I had quite the month of July and haven't blogged yet because I haven't known where to even start, lame excuse I realize, but it's the truth.

I started off my month a the National Federation of the Blind Convention in Dallas, Texas! It was fun, educational, empowering, rejuvenating...all of the above!

I love to go to this convention every year because it's like a family reunion for me. Plus it's the shot in the arm I need to remind myself that I need to be a good example and leader for blind people. It was fabulous because, guess what, the NFB believes in blind people and that rocks in my opinion!

STARK CONTRAST AHEAD!

Two weeks later I got to attend another conference for work. Now I have this internal debate to mention this organization or not, so I won't but it was in Little Rock, Arkansas in July and involved a group of "Blindness Professionals." For my sake, and becuase it's flippin' funny, we will call it the EAR Conference.

I know that I'm throwing this all out there, on the world wide web, and my head isn't that big to think people actually read this blog on a regular basis or that what I say anyone really cares about so with that in mind, here I go....

I left Little Rock, after spending a day and a half at the EAR Convention, feeling angry. Now if I didn't already have the confidence I do, and the role models I do, I would have left feeling like my life was going to be pathetic, at best and that I should just learn to deal with it.

Let me share with you what I learned:

1. The safest way for a blind person, like myself,  to cross a street is to carry a large orange flag across the street with me so cars are VERY aware of my existance. I personally don't wanna carry a flag around with me everywhere, plus orange just doesn't go with most outfits. As a colleague of mine said, "I know, if we all go out naked, I'm certain cars would stop for me!" (DISCLAMER: I am not encouraging streaking...unless it's for your safety!)

So if you don't wanna go naked, here's a couple of options for you:

Wear this metallic silver, patrioticlicious, sparkle of wonder fanny pack...

Or this stunningly ginormous orange hat...

Or just have your city gov. put these signs everywhere....

"Blind Persons Cross Here", First, how do I know that signs there, Second, how do they know the street blind people cross? and Third, WHAT THE???

2. The second safest way for a blind person to cross streets is to use a cane. BREAKING NEWS! BLIND PEOPLE SHOULD USE CANES!
"We just finished a research project in which we saught the best method for blind people to cross streets and learned a cane decreases your chances by 50 percent of getting hit by a car!"
REALLY???
Thank you EAR Convention for doing all of your totally awesome and oh-so-valuable research!  OMG, FOR REAL!?!

3. (Taking Deep Breathe Now) "If you have work experience while you are in high school, you are more likely to get employed." Ok, this is true! "And if you have a blind client and they want to work and go to high school and it takes them an extra 2 or 3 years to graduate from high school, that's great!" ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!
Imagine: Hi, I'm here for the job interview. Yes, I spent 7 years in high school, is that a problem?

 UHHHHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMM!!! Anyone see a problem?

Again, sighted high school students go to school and work, or internship, all the time, WHY CAN A BLIND PERSON NOT DO THE SAME THING?

4. At a fall prevention seminar: "Older blind persons don't leave there homes anyway, they don't come out in winter cause it's too cold and they don't come out in summer cause it's too hot, so there really isn't any need to teach them any sort of O& M skills." 

Well, there are some tough old men and old chicks out there that would kick your EAR butt for saying that!

Plus, this is going to be me in 50 years....
COME ON EAR! Stretch your thinking here!

In closing...(finally, right!?!) I know that no one goes into a field of teaching to ruin people's lives, we all do it because we want to help people and make a difference. The conference and their presenters are out to make a difference too.

If I could just talk EAR for  a sec, this is what I would say...
Please start believing in us, and stop pretending that you do. Start teaching us more confidence and not as much cautiousness, start teaching us to live and stop fearing for our lives, teach us to be empowered, not devowered by the world.

PLEASE!!!

5 comments:

Alana said...

AMEN!

Preach it Sista!

Alana

Anonymous said...

Deja - you are soooo awesome. Keep blogging away, girl!

Anonymous said...

i wish everyone was as driven and passionate about helping others as you are. keep up the great work!

Erin J said...

Love this post! You could be describing our state commission... why oh why do people set such low standards??? More people like you and lees of those guys, please.

Becky said...

Oh my goodness! What some confusing messages to get! Love your last paragraph - very empowering.