[nabs-l] A moral question
dlawless86 at gmail.com
Sun May 10 03:46:47 UTC 2009
Jim and listers,
If you are a cane user and choose not to bring your cane to a job
interview then you are deceiving your potential employer and not
giving him or her the opportunity to make an informed decision as to
whether or not they want to hire you. As blind people we are
automatically at a disadvantage when it comes to employment
opportunities because the majority of people buy into the stereotypes
of blindness and are unaware of the alternative techniques that we use
to accomplish everyday tasks. If you as a blind person choose not to
bring your cane to a job interview you are not only deceiving your
future employer, you are also sending the message that you are ashamed
of your blindness.
Also, it has been pointed out to me by some of my sighted friends and
family that people with residual vision walk differently with a cane
then they do without. Using a cane and proper cane technique gives a
blind traveler more confidence when walking and also improves their
posture whereas traveling without a cane and use of good cane skills
negatively affects a blind person’s posture and ability to travel
safely. With this example I at least would choose to go to a job
interview with my cane so that I could present myself as a competent
blind person with the ability to safely and confidently travel.
One last point that I will leave you with is that as Federationists
it is our duty to help educate the general public on the subject of
blindness. How can we help educate people if we are too afraid to put
ourselves out there with our canes and our guide dogs? Also, even if
we as blind people don’t get the job we applied for we can at least
take pride in the fact that we helped dispel the myths about blindness
for someone and that they will in turn understand that blind people
can be confident, competent and successful members of society.
Board member, National Association of Blind Students
President, Tennessee Association of Blind Students
Dlawless86 at gmail.com
On 5/9/09, rachel Jacobs <oceanrls at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I would say that it is important to do what feels right. I think that it is
> important to feel comfortable when going to a job interview. Yes if you have
> a cane in the interview the employer may know the disability. They will
> obviously know that you are blind. This may or may not effect the chance of
> getting that job. I feel that I want to work for someone who treats the
> blind equally and does not judge them because they are blind. Unfortunately
> there are those employers who find ways to not hire someone if they know you
> are blind. So, I think that if you feel comfortable going without your cane
> than do that. At some point I imagine being blind will come up. Just do what
> feels most comfortable for you. Hope this helps!
> Rachel Jacobs
> President of the Manasota Chapter
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
> To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Saturday, May 09, 2009 7:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] A moral question
>> I would guess that, in part, it would depend on your intentions. First
>> let me say that I think there are two reasons that we carry a cane.
>> First, it helps us get around. If you need it, you need it. Secondly, it
>> identifies us as blind persons.
>> So, if you don't normally carry one, even though you are visually impaired
>> I guess that is ok. However, if you normally carry one, but don't t0o an
>> interview, then you are trying to "pass" as a sighted person and will
>> eventually be found out. In that case the employer might feel you
>> deceived him or her, and the back lash might be worse then identifying
>> yourself as a blind person initially by carrying a cane. It is hard to
>> know in advance.
>> Further, I suspect that some people who try to "pass" give them selves
>> away, and are only deluding themselves that no one knows. At least people
>> might think they were odd and not quite know why.
>> At 01:20 AM 5/9/2009, you wrote:
>>>A hypothetical "what if" for you all to ponder,
>>>What if a blind person uses a cane regularly, but has enough vision to
>>>suffice without it. Would it be moral for that person to not take his/her
>>>cane into a job interview for the purposes of hidiinf a disability until
>>>after a job offer is made?
>>>Think discrimination laws vs lying vs. Dr. Jernigan's "The Nature of
>>>Independence" (By having the blindness training, you retain the option to
>>>choose between methodologies).
>>>I'd be particularly curious to hear how our leadership would answer this
>>>"Ignorance killed the cat; curiosity was framed."
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