[nabs-l] Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree

Jewel S. herekittykat2 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 15 02:39:12 UTC 2010

No one keeps up their forearm all the time, I hope. But I do have a
suggestion that is a much better way to avoid hitting things with your
head. Wear a cap with a stiff bill. I do this sometimes. It shields my
face from the sun and it has saved me from getting slapped in the face
by a low-hanging branch or getting rained on by branches after it
rains several times. It also has prevented from hitting my face on a
partially-closed door a few times, as well.

Just an idea,

On 8/14/10, David Andrews <dandrews at visi.com> wrote:
> Actually, "universal design" is for all people
> disabled and non-disabled alike, not just all blind persons.
> Dave
> At 08:34 PM 8/14/2010, you wrote:
>>Jedi, I appreciate your attempt at
>>clarification, but I believe there still exists
>>a problem. Jedi said, > The way to create a
>>universal design honoring all blind people is to
>>not > only look at the varying capacities of
>>bdifferent blind people, but to > also consider
>>the systems into which these capacities are
>>imbedded and > from which they are born. Marc
>>says, Sure, that's why I included institutions
>>in my list, institutions, products, processes,
>>services and so on.  No disagreement there. Jedi
>>said, In so doing, we are more able to piece out
>>the difference between a real need versus a
>>perceived need. Marc says, The problem is that
>>there is no single set of needs that are either
>>real or perceived for all blind people.  What is
>>not a need for me may be a real need for someone
>>else.  It is not possible to piece out
>>differences between real and perceived needs for
>>heterogenious groups of people.  You may be able
>>to do this for an individual, but unless you
>>assume that blind people all have the same
>>needs, then you are going to have real needs,
>>regardless of discourse, that are possessed by
>>some, but not all, of the members of the group.
>>Jedi said, > Universal design doesn't
>>necessarily mean that every piece of (for >
>>example) visual information be conveyed
>>non-visually. Marc says, Agreed, it's a good
>>thing I didn't say that that's what universal
>>design meant. Jedi said, What it does mean is
>>that blind people, no matter how it's done, have
>>access to whatever a sighted person has access
>>to in such a way that the access is convenient,
>>cost-effective, built in, and meets the needs of
>>most people. Marc says, Again, this sounds like
>>you're taking the universal out of universal
>>design. If instead of limiting it to most
>>people, you said meeting the needs of as many
>>people as possible, then I think I almost might
>>agree with this definition.  I also would
>>suggest a very high threshhold on convenience
>>and cost effectiveness to ensure that these are
>>not just excuses not to meet obligations. Jedi
>>said, Universal design doesn't have to be
>>restricted to how products and services are
>>created and maintained. Marc says, I refer you
>>to my original illustrative list which included
>>institutions and processes. Jedi said,
>>Sometimes, it's about changing the surrounding
>>systems  such that there are no ideologies
>>placing beings into some kind of higherarchy. As
>>it stands, sighted people still are considered
>>more able than us. In order to create a
>>universal design system debunking that
>>assumption, we have to question why and how
>>we've come to believe the inherent inability of
>>blind people in comparison to the sighted in the
>>first place, as well as how we (the blind and
>>the sighted) perpetuate it. Marc says, While I
>>agree with the thrust of this statement, I don't
>>exactly see how it's relevant.  We should be
>>looking at institutions and challenging dominant
>>discourses, but how does this relate to the
>>discussion? Do you believe that if we
>>successfully challenge the system, it will turn
>>out that all blind people have the same needs?
>>If not, then my point still stands: promoting
>>universal design will always result in some
>>adaptations being made which aren't necessary
>>for everyone involved.  And even though some
>>people will assume that every blind person needs
>>the adaptation, when in fact it is only a small
>>proportion of blind people that need the
>>adaptation, we should still fight for the
>>inclusion of everyone and not pay so much
>>attention to whether or not the public will
>>generalize. Jedi said, I can tell you now that
>>universal design is not as simple as creating
>>and sustaining certain kinds of accessibility. I
>>think the NFB understands that, and that's why
>>our philosophy sometimes seems to contradict
>>universal design in the first place. Marc says,
>>I just don't think this is right.  How often do
>>NFB leaders talk about making things as
>>accessible as possible, accessible even to the
>>blind person with little training and not too
>>much intelligence? Based on the comments I've
>>read on a dozen NFB lists, and based on the
>>press releases, presidential reports, and
>>banquet addresses, it seems to me that this
>>position isn't taken up all that often.  If I'm
>>wrong about this, please tell me where to look
>>to find promotion of universal design
>>principles. Regards, Marc ----- Original Message
>>----- From: "Jedi" <loneblindjedi at samobile.net>
>>To: <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> Sent: Saturday, August
>>14, 2010 6:10 PM Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Blind man
>>sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with tree >
>>Marc, > > The way to create a universal design
>>honoring all blind people is to not > only look
>>at the varying capacities of bdifferent blind
>>people, but to > also consider the systems into
>>which these capacities are imbedded and > from
>>which they are born. In so doing, we are more
>>able to piece out the > difference between a
>>real need versus a perceived need. Universal
>>design > doesn't necessarily mean that every
>>piece of (for example) visual > information be
>>conveyed non-visually. What it does mean is that
>>blind > people, no matter how it's done, have
>>access to whatever a sighted person > has access
>>to in such a way that the access is convenient,
>>cost-effective, > built in, and meets the needs
>>of most people.  Universal design doesn't > have
>>to be restricted to how products and services
>>are created and > maintained. Sometimes, it's
>>about changing the surrounding systems  such >
>>that there are no ideologies placing beings into
>>some kind of higherarchy. > As it stands,
>>sighted people still are considered more able
>>than us. In > order to create a universal design
>>system debunking that assumption, we > have to
>>question why and how we've come to believe the
>>inherent inability > of blind people in
>>comparison to the sighted in the first place, as
>>well > as how we (the blind and the sighted)
>>perpetuate it. > > This is really tough stuff to
>>communicate via e-mail, but I can tell you > now
>>that universal design is not as simple as
>>creating and sustaining > certain kinds of
>>accessibility. I think the NFB understands that,
>>and > that's why our philosophy sometimes seems
>>to contradict universal design > in the first
>>place. Am i making any sense at all? Probably
>>not, but it was > worth a try. > >
>>Respectfully, > Jedi > > -Original Message- >>
>>Jedi, > >> I prefaced my comment by saying that
>>it was not directed at you.  I >> wasn't >>
>>objecting to what you said so much as the idea
>>contained in the couple of >> sentences I quoted
>>from you, and idea that was contained within
>>the >> comments >> of many others. > >>
>>Regarding what you say about universal design,
>>that the NFB is "about >> creating a universal
>>design that honors the capacities of blind
>>people >> while >> meeting our accessibility
>>needs rather than creating a design that >>
>>assumes >> that we have more needs than we
>>really do", this strikes me as a >>
>>problematic >> way of understanding universal
>>design.  The question I would ask is: >>
>>capacities and needs of which blind people? > >>
>>The problem is that blind people, like all
>>people, have a tremendous >> amount >> of
>>variation in the capacities they possess.  A
>>blind person that is >> otherwise able-bodied,
>>who has been blind for a long period of time,
>>who >> has >> received a lot of training, who is
>>intelligent, confident, and so on is >> going to
>>have a different set of capacities than the
>>person who is newly >> blind, has had little
>>training, has mobility difficulties, and is hard
>>of >> hearing on top of it, and considering how
>>many lose their vision in old >> age, >> don't
>>think this picture is that out of the
>>ordinary. > >> So, who do we look at when we are
>>fighting for universal design that >> honours >>
>>the capacities of blind people without
>>exaggerating their needs? Do we >> look >> at
>>the capacities of the members of this list, or
>>do we look at the >> capacities of blind
>>seniors? > >> The problem I see with your
>>understanding of universal design is that it >>
>>isn't really universal.  For it to be universal,
>>you can't limit its >> application to a group of
>>people that possess a certain set of
>>capacities >> and needs. > >> Responding to Joe
>>who asked for more specifics on universal
>>design, I >> understand it as a guiding
>>principle, and ideal towards which we
>>struggle >> without actually attaining it,
>>something like equality, freedom, or >>
>>justice. >> Basically, as I stated, you design
>>institutions, products, processes, >> services
>>and so on so that they are as accessible as
>>possible to the >> greatest number of people
>>with the greatest variation in
>>abilities.  One >> slightly more concrete way of
>>thinking about this is that it involves >>
>>providing access to information in multiple
>>ways.  So at a controlled >> intersection, the
>>changing of the light is information that is
>>only >> presented visually.  Universal design
>>would promote the inclusion of an >> audible and
>>even a tactile signal that conveys the visual
>>information in >> alternative ways.  We
>>obviously will never make everything
>>completely >> accessible to everyone, but that
>>is what makes it an ideal.  It's >> something >>
>>towards which we ought to strive. > >> When
>>things are universally designed, they include
>>features that many >> many >> people will not
>>actually make use of.  A large number of blind
>>people may >> not need an audible signal, but
>>some of course will, at the very least, >>
>>find >> one very useful.  And the concern seems
>>to be that people will assume >> that >> because
>>some blind people have difficulty getting around
>>without adapting >> the environment somewhat,
>>then all blind people must need these >>
>>adaptations, >> and then this leads to negative
>>attitudes, discrimination, unemployment >>
>>and >> so on.  For my objections to this line of
>>argument, see my last post. > >> In closing, I
>>want to leave you with a quote from Jacobus
>>tenBroek, a >> fellow >> Albertan I might
>>add.  It suggests to me that tenBroek would
>>support the >> fight against unnecessary
>>obsticles that prevent us from travelling in >>
>>the >> manner in which we choose, including the
>>issue that sparked this debate. >> I >> also
>>think it's a nod towards universal design, the
>>kind that's actually >> universal. > >> tenBroek
>>writes: “No courts have held or even darkly
>>hinted that a blind >> man >> may rise in the
>>morning, help get the children off to school,
>>bid his >> wife >> goodbye,and proceed along the
>>streets and bus lines to his daily work, >>
>>without dog, cane, or guide, if such is his
>>habit or preference, now and >> then brushing a
>>tree or kicking a curb,but, notwithstanding,
>>proceeding >> with >> firm step and sure air,
>>knowing that he is part of the public for
>>whom >> the >> streets are built and maintained
>>in reasonable safety, by the help of his >>
>>taxes, and that he shares with others this part
>>of the world in which he, >> too,has a right to
>>live† (1966, 867­68). > >> tenBroek, Jacobus.
>>1966.. The right to live in the world: The
>>disabled in >> the >> law of torts.California
>>Law Review 54: 841­919. > >>> Best, > >> Marc >>
>>----- Original Message ----- >> From: "Jedi"
>><loneblindjedi at samobile.net> >> To:
>><nabs-l at nfbnet.org> >> Sent: Saturday, August
>>14, 2010 4:04 PM >> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Blind
>>man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in with >>
>>tree > > >>> Marc, > >>> I feel that my comments
>>were taken out of context somewhat. I was
>>trying >>> to give both sides of the issue a
>>fair hearing. It's true that bringing >>>
>>attention to the incident in the way it's being
>>done might in fact >>> solidify negative
>>perceptions of blindness; anyone who has been
>>blind a >>> while shouldn't miss that
>>possibility unless they've been hiding under
>>a >>> rock a while. Whether we like it or not,
>>the public tends to view us >>> through their
>>own speculations of what their lives might be
>>like if they >>> were blinded immediately
>>without realizing that they have
>>considerable >>> gaps in knowledge regarding
>>blindness. What I also said is that the tree >>>
>>could have served as a legitimate obstacle for
>>this particular blind >>> man. >>> Though I
>>didn't say it directly, what I meant is that
>>perhaps he does >>> have >>> a cause to seek
>>remedy even if a lawsuit may not be the best way
>>to >>> handle >>> things. In my opinion, this
>>incident is much like the woman who spilled >>>
>>hot coffee in her lap and sued
>>McDonnald's. > >>> Maybe I'm wrong, but what I
>>hear you saying is that NFB philosophy (or >>>
>>at >>> least your understanding of it) seems to
>>be out of sync with universal >>> design
>>principles for the reason of not wanting blind
>>people to look >>> incompetent. I don't think
>>this is the case. I think the NFB does >>>
>>support >>> (and fights for) universal design,
>>but we're also about creating a >>> universal
>>design that honors the capacities of blind
>>people while >>> meeting >>> our accessibility
>>needs rather than creating a design that assumes
>>that >>> we >>> have more needs than we really
>>do. Does that make sense? > >>>
>>Respectfully, >>> Jedi > > >>> Original
>>message: >>>> I'm not very surprised, but
>>nevertheless still disturbed, by a majority >>>>
>>of >>>> the responses to this article.  Based on
>>one reporters account of this >>>> story, we
>>have rediculous proposals insisting that blind
>>people ought >>>> to >>>> walk around holding
>>one arm in the air, we have unjustified
>>claims >>>> about >>>> how >>>> fast the person
>>must have been walking, we have unfounded
>>assumptions >>>> about >>>> what this person may
>>have tried to do before escalating to a law
>>suit, >>>> and >>>> we have highly speculative
>>claims about how this one incident is going >>>>
>>to >>>> set every confident, independent blind
>>person back 20 years. > >>>> Jedi wrote the
>>following, and this is not directed at Jedi; she
>>only >>>> said >>>> first, and with brevity and
>>clarity, what many others said
>>afterwards. > >>>> However, suing could set a
>>bad precedent as it > would reaify the >>>>
>>notion >>>> that obstacles of any kind are
>>hazardous to > blind people because we >>>>
>>are >>>> blind; the public may take this
>>incident > and generalize it to all >>>>
>>obstacles whether they're really an >
>>inconvenience to one/all of us or >>>>
>>not. > >>>> I would raise three objections to
>>this line of thinking.  None of them >>>>
>>are >>>> devastating, but, taken together, I
>>think there is good reason to not >>>> be >>>>
>>completely convinced that people who fight these
>>sorts of battles are >>>> doing >>>> us all
>>harm. > >>>> 1. We shouldn't be so quick to
>>think that we can predict how any one >>>>
>>individual, let alone the so called public, is
>>going to react to these >>>> sorts >>>> of
>>stories.  Someone reading the story might
>>respond more to the fact >>>> that >>>> the
>>person was travelling in the community
>>independently, she might >>>> focus >>>> on >>>>
>>the person's willingness to stand up for what he
>>believes, she might >>>> begin >>>> to think
>>about her own front yard tree with its low
>>hanging branches, >>>> or >>>> most likely in my
>>opinion, she won't think twice about it,
>>assuming she >>>> reads it at all.  The point is
>>that there is a lot of speculation >>>>
>>involved >>>> here, and we should be cautious in
>>the face of so much speculation. > >>>> 2. Let's
>>say, for the sake of argument, that there is
>>this thing called >>>> the >>>> public, and the
>>public generalizes from the experience of one
>>person >>>> and >>>> applies it to all of us
>>blind people.  The public believes that we
>>all >>>> need >>>> help getting around all these
>>obsticles, and eventually this leads to >>>>
>>discrimination and unemployment.  Should we base
>>our positions on what >>>> we >>>> judge to be
>>right, or should we base them on how the public
>>will react >>>> to >>>> them? Probably the
>>response will be to say that we should base
>>our >>>> positions >>>> on both what we think is
>>right and how the public will react.  Fine, >>>>
>>I'm >>>> not >>>> saying we should ignore public
>>reaction, but in the face of so much >>>>
>>speculation, see objection 1, where public
>>reaction is highly >>>> unpredictable, >>>> it
>>should play only a very minor role in deciding
>>what sort of >>>> activities >>>> we >>>> should
>>engage in. > >>>> 3. Even if the public does
>>develop negative misconceptions based on >>>>
>>these >>>> sorts of stories, this doesn't mean
>>that people can't be educated.  Why >>>>
>>couldn't it be the case that by fighting to
>>remove these barriers, we >>>> suffer >>>> a
>>short-term increase in negative conceptions for
>>a decrease of such >>>> conceptions in the long
>>term? Get blind people out in the
>>community, >>>> and >>>> that's how you will
>>change attitudes.  The more people that feel
>>they >>>> can >>>> comfortably and independently
>>travel throughout the community, without >>>>
>>having first spent 8 months intensively studying
>>the latest >>>> hand-in-front-of-face technique
>>for detecting over-hanging obsticles, >>>>
>>the >>>> more people you will have out in the
>>community, the more relationships >>>> will >>>>
>>be developed, and the more likely you are to
>>change attitudes. > >>>> Many of the comments
>>thus far in this thread illustrate two of the
>>most >>>> fundamental ways in which I think NFB
>>policies are misguided.  First, >>>> the >>>>
>>failure to promote universal design.  Universal
>>design means creating >>>> institutions,
>>products, processes, services, and so on that
>>are as >>>> accessible as possible to the widest
>>number of people, without the user >>>> having
>>to possess special equipment or training.  If
>>environment A is >>>> only >>>> navigable by
>>some blind person who has been blind for ten
>>years, who >>>> has >>>> had >>>> training at an
>>NFB Center, and who has no other disabling
>>physical >>>> variations, and environment B is
>>navigable by someone recently blind, >>>>
>>with >>>> little training, and with a bad hip,
>>then we should adopt stances >>>> towards >>>>
>>design that bring us closer to environment
>>B.  It might be true that, >>>> at >>>> first,
>>taking these positions causes that foolish
>>public to believe >>>> that >>>> blindness
>>equals incompetence, but this leads me to my
>>second concern >>>> with >>>> NFB policy: there
>>is far too much concern with the variety of ways
>>that >>>> the >>>> public might think less of
>>us.  Of course public perceptions matter, >>>>
>>but >>>> they are highly unpredictable,
>>changeable over time, and should not >>>>
>>make >>>> us >>>> afraid to fight for what is
>>right. > >>>> I've been preaching this sort of
>>attitude for a while now, and I don't >>>>
>>really expect to change anyone's mind, but there
>>is another perspective >>>> to >>>> this story
>>that hasn't been aired fully. > >>>>
>>Best, > >>>> Marc > >>>> ----- Original Message
>>----- >>>> From: "Jedi"
>><loneblindjedi at samobile.net> >>>> To:
>><nabs-l at nfbnet.org> >>>> Sent: Friday, August
>>13, 2010 7:30 PM >>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l]
>>Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel over run-in
>>with >>>> tree > > >>>>> The tree could be an
>>annoying obstacle for anyone, particularly
>>tall >>>>> people. And yes, it is true that tall
>>blind people who don't use guide >>>>> dogs or
>>some sort of hand guide device/echolocation are
>>going to miss >>>>> those overhead branches.
>>However, suing could set a bad precedent
>>as >>>>> it >>>>> would reaify the notion that
>>obstacles of any kind are hazardous to >>>>>
>>blind >>>>> people because we are blind; the
>>public may take this incident and >>>>>
>>generalize it to all obstacles whether they're
>>really an inconvenience >>>>> to >>>>> one/all
>>of us or not. > >>>>> Respectfully, >>>>>
>>Jedi > >>>>> Original message: >>>>>> I thought
>>this story was interesting. What do you think?
>>Is the >>>>>> lawsuit appropriate? > >>>>>>
>>Arielle >>>>>> Blind man sues Wienerschnitzel
>>over run-in with tree > >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> By bob mims > >>>>>> The Salt Lake
>>Tribune > >>>>>> Updated Aug 12, 2010
>>10:59PM >>>>>> All Nathan Reynolds wanted was a
>>hot dog. Instead, as the blind man >>>>>> walked
>>toward a Wienerschnitzel restaurant last year,
>>he got a face >>>>>> full of tree — and severe
>>neck injuries. > >>>>>> Now, the 36--year-old
>>Utah County man has filed a personal
>>injury >>>>>> lawsuit against the owners of the
>>Wienerschnitzel at the corner of >>>>>> North
>>Temple and 800 West in Salt Lake City. > >>>>>>
>>The complaint contends that on June 9, 2009,
>>Reynolds — who had been >>>>>> on his way to the
>>UUtah School for the Deaf and the Blind — got
>>off a >>>>>>> bus near the Wienerschnitzel to
>>get a meal. As the 6-foot-5 man >>>>>> navigated
>>toward the entrance with his cane swinging in
>>front of him, >>>>>> he hit the tree, which the
>>suit contends had encroached on the >>>>>>
>>sidewalk. > >>>>>> “The tree struck him
>>squarely in the face and knocked him to
>>the >>>>>> ground,† states the suit, filed
>>Tuesday. “The tree was allowed to >>>>>>
>>grow >>>>>> in such a way that it was impossible
>>for Mr. Reynolds to detect its >>>>>> presence
>>by use of his cane.† > >>>>>> The suit argues
>>that because the tree was “rooted in the
>>ground far >>>>>> to >>>>>> one side of the
>>sidewalk and [had grown] diagonally across
>>the >>>>>> sidewalk,† it had become a “clear
>>hazard.† > >>>>>> Reynolds seeks unspecified
>>reimbursement for past and future medical >>>>>>
>>expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering
>>stemming from alleged >>>>>> negligence in the
>>maintenance of the tree. > >>>>>> Along with
>>Grundmann Enterprises of South Jordan, the owner
>>of the >>>>>> eatery, Reynolds’ 3rd District
>>Court suit names Salt Lake City Corp. >>>>>> and
>>five John Does as defendants. Reynolds seeks a
>>jury trial; 3rd >>>>>> District Judge Sandra
>>Peuler has been assigned the case. > >>>>>>
>>Daniel J. Grundmann of Grundmann Enterprises
>>declined to comment >>>>>> Wednesday, noting he
>>had not yet been served with the suit. > >>>>>>
>>Tom Amberger, vice president of marketing for
>>Irvine, Calif.-based >>>>>> Galaradi Group Inc.,
>>which runs Wienerschnitzel, also declined
>>to >>>>>> discuss the case. “We are unaware of
>>this lawsuit and will look into >>>>>> it,† he
>>said. > >>>>>> Ed Rutan, city attorney for Salt
>>Lake City, would not comment, >>>>>>
>>either, >>>>>> citing the pending nature of the
>>litigation. > > >>>>>> __._,_.___ > > >>>>>>
>>-- >>>>>> Arielle Silverman >>>>>> President,
>>National Association of Blind Students >>>>>>
>>Phone:  602-502-2255 >>>>>> Email: >>>>>>
>>nabs.president at gmail.com >>>>>> Website: >>>>>>
>>www.nabslink.org > >>>>>>
>>_______________________________________________ >
>> >>>>> nabs-l mailing list >>>>>>
>>nabs-l at nfbnet.org >>>>>>
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>>or get your account info for >>>>>>
>>nabs-l: >>>>>>
>> > >>>>> -- >>>>> Email services provided by the
>>System Access Mobile Network.  Visit >>>>>
>>www.serotek.com to learn more about
>>accessibility anywhere. >>>>>
>>_______________________________________________ >
>> >>>> nabs-l mailing list >>>>>
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>                          David Andrews:  dandrews at visi.com
> Follow me on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/dandrews920
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