[nabs-l] Future of the NFB

Joshua Lester jlester8462 at students.pccua.edu
Tue Mar 8 16:09:39 UTC 2011

It would be ridiculous to eliminate the divisions! What about the
Communities of Faith? Do you not think that faith is important? We go
to convention, (many of us miss church,) so the devotions will be the
only church we get while at convention. There are some divisions that
may need to be fixed, (or eliminated,) but some need to stay. The
performance division, the musicians division, and others are a great
means to connect blind performers, and musicians, and people in
general. The friendships made during those meetings last a lifetime. I
hate calling people out, but Sarah, and Julie have been constant
friends, since we met in Dallas. I know that if I have a question, I
can go to one of them, and they will help me. That's the same with
this student division. I was having problems with a certain thing, but
I was able to obtain help from this list. I appreciate what certain
divisions do, so it's a ludicris thing to say, that we need to
eliminate these divisions, they just make us stronger.
My 100 dollars worth,
Joshua Lester.

On 3/8/11, Joe Orozco <jsorozco at gmail.com> wrote:
> Brice,
> You are the future of the NFB.  What do you think the organization should do
> about its operations if you think blindness might not be the only disability
> affecting the membership?  Don't speculate about what may happen.  Instead,
> tell us what you think should happen.
> I don't know that I agree with this notion that people are made to feel
> inferior because they have secondary disabilities.  There have always been
> similar observations made about guide dog users in the NFB, but the people
> who disliked and looked down on me before I went and got my guide dog were
> going to dislike me and look down on me regardless of my choice of travel
> tools.  I think part of me went and got Gator to show these people where
> they could stick their condescending views.  Anyway, I guess Eleanor
> Roosevelt was more polished when she said "no one can make you feel inferior
> without your consent."
> But, seriously, what's this nonsense about the deaf-blind division not being
> as promoted as the student or parent division?  They all get equal access to
> the convention program, and if you hear about it more, it might simply be
> owed to the size comparison between the groups.  If divisions that focus on
> conditions other than blindness feel as though they're being left out, it
> might be owed to the fact that the division is not doing anything worth
> promoting?
> Mind you, I think the whole concept of divisions in the NFB is bogus.
> First, a vast majority of them do absolutely nothing between national
> conventions.  Second, they create rifts in the membership when power-hungry
> members view elections in these divisions as a badge of importance.  Third,
> they distract us from the more important task of chipping away at the
> fundamental challenges facing the blindness community.  If I were president
> of the NFB for a day, my first order of business would be to eliminate
> divisions in the way they exist today.  There are so many professional
> organizations out there that we shouldn't create mirror groups within our
> ranks to create little havens for blind people.
> My point is this:  The NFB cannot exist without members like you.  You are
> the current youth and will be the future leader.  NFB members spend so much
> time accepting and not enough time questioning and even less time acting,
> and that is why several months ago I advanced the controversial idea that if
> the NFB keeps going down its current path, it will virtually cease to exist
> in 50 years.  More on that point in a future post, but to answer your
> question:  The way you accommodate people with secondary disabilities is to
> encourage them to get involved.  Get on the boards and make the organization
> recognize and react to what may be a change in demographics.  A few years
> ago when a group of people proposed the idea of establishing a GLBT
> division, they were told that with enough support, the division would be
> established.  I think we're still waiting on this group to get their act
> together about drumming up support.  It's not enough to complain about what
> you, you in the general sense, think the NFB leadership is or is not doing
> to accommodate certain members.  Just like the NFB as a whole has to make a
> good case to the general public that certain issues need to be addressed,
> blind people with secondary disabilities need to come together and make a
> case for why we as a whole need to be more conscious of their unique needs.
> Just my twenty dollar's worth,
> Joe
> "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,
> some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."--Sam Ewing
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