[nabs-l] Research Paper Help

V Nork ginisd at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jun 18 21:13:25 UTC 2009

Whew!  Are you out of breath, Jim, from some of the hasty conclusions you 
jumped to after reading my post? (friendly grin)
 Where to start?  First of all, my research paper will be an informal survey 
of what other colleges are doing in the case of students who may not have 
funding for even minimal orientation and mobility trainng.  I amtrying to 
get perspective on this since it is a real life struggle I am facing.  I 
have some funding from the California Department of Rehabilitation for 
mobility lessons, but it is limited.  In my case, as a returning student who 
is recently totally blind, I have some back problems that make me walk 
slowly, in an unsteady way, and I take a long time to get anywhere.  I am 
not sure a volunteer would hang with me as I teeter tottered along to get a 
little help to get to my classes by planning a route.  And I really need 
only a bit of help since I have most of the basic white cane skills down 
pat.  I want to save any professional training I am funded for to deal with 
busy intersections, since this is my weak point right now.   So my 
questions, as kind of a brainstorming thing, are am I the only one facing 
this painful situation?  What happens on other campuses?  Is it a reasonable 
accomodation to expect a staff memnber at a college to have as his or her 
job description being a sometime mobility aide?  And so on.  I agree 
research must be approached carefully, but let us not define research too 
narrowly.  I have done studies in experimental psychology, as well as open 
ended journalistic articles for publication, so I feel grounded in this. 
And I hope to find on this list the same kind of support and understanding I 
would extend to someone else.  Respectfully, Ginniee----- Original 
Message ----- 
From: "Jim Reed" <jim275_2 at yahoo.com>
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Research Paper Help

I am going to stop you right there. You can not do "research" on things that 
have not happened. Im soryy, but researching a hypothetical situation is not 
research; you are guessing at best, and telling a fiction story at worst. If 
you want to research what happens to a low vision person without funding, 
then you need to find an actual low vision person who doesnt have funding. 
Of course, at that point, is it ethical to study this person for your own 
benifit without trying to get them funding (or somehow get them O/M 

Do yourself a favor, pick a topic that is real (one that has or does 
haoppen). This way emperical observations can lead you to cause/effect 
relationships. Even if you choose to go with a longitudinal, case-study type 
research model, you still need to work with real people experiencing real 
events. I would talk to your proffessor, and I would also talk to you 
schools research compliance (research ethics) board. If you get out and 
start doing research on actual people, you need their approval, and 
honestly, their approval is a good idea anyway, because you, the researcher, 
are liable for your screw-ups.

"From compromise and things half done,
Keep me with stern and stubborn pride,
And when at last the fight is won,
... Keep me still unsatisfied." --Louis Untermeyer

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, V Nork <ginisd at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

From: V Nork <ginisd at sbcglobal.net>
Subject: [nabs-l] Research Paper Help
To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list" 
<nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2009, 2:47 AM

Hi all, Hope any of you can help me with some information for a research 
topic on mobility. It involves a hypothetical question. What would happen to 
a visually impaired student on your campus if he or she needed help with 
orientation and mobility but had no funding from government or social 
agencies? Let us say in this example the student already had basic white 
cane skills, but just needed to have someone walk with them until they had a 
route planned? Would the college or university offer direct help? On my 
campus, such help is seen as the individual responsibility of the blind 
student. It is simply sink or swim if one does not have help or money to pay 
for it.It was suggested to me that someone who needed help should post a 
flyer on college bulletin boards. It just seems to me that is reasonable to 
think that some member of the college or university could be designated to 
offer some assistance as a kind of mobility aideto do an
 initial run through so a student could get to classes each semester. I have 
tried to lobby for this in a low key way, but so far my suggestions have 
fallen on unreceptive ears. My request for tactile maps has also been 
seemingly ignored. Is this similar or not to the situation on your campus? 
Thanks for any thoughts, Ginnie
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