[nabs-l] Cars for the Blind

Antonio M. Guimaraes Jr. freethaught at gmail.com
Tue Aug 10 01:16:33 UTC 2010


I do not pretend to take a position just because it is the dream, especially 
if I think it is the wrong dream.

Priorities must be focused on advancing the lives of blind people, and this 
is best done by addressing the rate of unemployment the blind face.

To think that a prohibitively expensive car will be the way to that mean is 
ignoring the dilemma of who pays for your sixty thousand dollar car so you 
can have a job making $30 thousand a year.

Will we go down to Washington to convince the government that they should 
pay for these cars for any blind person who thinks they want or need one?

How about driver's ed? Will I need training at one of the top 3 training 
centers in the country so I can learn the philosophy that it is respectable 
to be a blind driver?

And how will I get to the job interview, if I don't have the money to 
purchase the car?

I would agree that autonomous driving would benefit all, including the 
blind. What's so hot about knowing you're controlling all the aspects of 
driving, except that this is the way we do it now?

Smart highways would likely eliminate accidents, as was pointed out, no 
matter who is inside the car.

I too want to be proven wrong, and be able to drive in my lifetime, but I 
would much rather know that blindness is not a factor in deciding if I am 
good enough to work in my chosen field.

this is the path we're headed in, but no, I don't have to take it in as if I 
agreed with the idea wholeheartedly.

Antonio M. Guimaraes Jr.

Student, Western Governors University
(617) 744-9716
Eastern time zone
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Peter Donahue" <pdonahue1 at sbcglobal.net>
To: <jsorozco at gmail.com>; "National Association of Blind Students mailing 
list" <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2010 12:37 PM
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Cars for the Blind

> Good morning everyone,
>    Let me say something right now before the nay-saying gets out-of-hand! 
> I
> for one dreamed of the possibility of being able to drive a car as far 
> back
> as 1968. I got very excited in 2000 when this initiative was announced 
> when
> construction of the NFB Jernigan Institute began. It is wonderful to see
> this dream finally becoming a reality. When full realization of that dream
> has been achieved is still up in the air but we've begun developing the
> technology to make it possible for us to drive a vehicle independently. 
> This
> is exciting and empowering!
>    It means the difference between being able to live where you wish or
> having your choice of local being determined by the availability or lack 
> of
> public transportation. It means being able to travel on your schedule and
> not those of transportation providers. It means not having to rely on 
> others
> for transportation particularly on a South Texas scortcher like today.
>    It also has the potential to open up job possibilities previously not
> thought possible for the blind. Some of us have all ready imagined this
> technology being married to that used by airplane pilots to permit a blind
> person to pilot their own aircraft. Hence the airplane analogy is valid as
> some of the technology being developed for the car interface for the blind
> is all ready used to pilot airplanes. Others have also invisioned blind
> persons working as taxi drivers, bus drivers, railroad engineers, etc. I
> call upon you to explore the possibilities rather than rehashing many of 
> the
> so-called reasons and excuses of why this will not work or why the blind
> shouldn't drive. We're supposed to be imaginators so let's act like it! We
> all have a right to disagree but when those disagreements cross the line 
> and
> result in the destruction of the dreams, desires, and aspirations of those
> who imagine a future full of possibilities someone is going to sound the
> alarm and say, "Enough!" Thanks for listening and contemplating.
> Peter Donahue
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