[nabs-l] Blindness versus minority groups

Rania Ismail CMT raniaismail04 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 19 02:51:46 UTC 2011

Ariel yes that memory of people standing in the high scholl hallway when I
was trying to get threw is a memory I still remember.!

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Arielle Silverman
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2011 11:34 AM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Blindness versus minority groups

Hi Tara,
Makes sense, although I don't think it is practical to get rid of
"weird" movements or expressions without replacing them with more
normal ones. I think that movements such as rocking appear when blind
people do not know what the culturally appropriate way of expressing
themselves is and they come up with their own movements (again,
happens unconsciously). If we tell them to stop rocking, making weird
faces etc. but don't tell them what to do instead, it will be
difficult to achieve the desired result because human beings (sighted
and blind alike) have a hard time being completely still or void of
facial expression.
And, while I understand your complaints about manners, there are
plenty of sighted people who  stand in the middle of hallways, etc.
High school memories anyone?

On 11/18/11, Tara Annis <TAnnis at afb.net> wrote:
> Arielle, I do think totally blind from birth can improve on nonverbal
> communication.  I'm not sure if all could get as good as sighted, but I
> would  say like any skill, each blind person would achieve their own level
> of progress.  I do agree with stiffness--a lot of nonverbal communication
> done very quickly and in a kind of lazy manner with the hands at a relaxed
> position.  I'm shocked at all that is communicated; I recently learned
> is a hand movement  for so-so or all right, as in how was your work day
> the person would use this gesture as they verbally say it was all right or
> okay or so-so.
> A blind person can still appear "normal" without knowing all of these
> movements.  It is more important for a blind person to get rid of strange
> movements than to learn "normal" body language.  It is absolutely
> to  get rid of rocking, inappropriate facial expression for the  situation
> being experienced (smiling at a funeral), etc. A blind person can have
> movements, but still  appear "normal"
> What is really needed   is a sighted person to evaluate each blind person
> an individual basis, and be honest enough to tell if there are any totally
> weird movements.  According to the comments on Youtube, Ken Jennings the
> blind guy on Jeopardy, had weird facial expressions, so  this seems to be
> common problem.
> I think some blind people need to learn more about manners, as in move to
> the side of the aisle in a grocery store when another person with a cart
> walks by,  do not stop at the top of stairs or escalators, and do not stop
> when entering  the doorway  of a business.  Also, some tend to cut people
> off in  crowds or push people  out of the way.  While I know it is  almost
> impossible not to fix this completely, I've met people who do not even try
> and get better at their O&M. I've been around blind people that will shove
> people  out of their way at the mall, or push a door open when there are
> people standing on the other side of it.  They told me, "it is sighted
> people's responsibility to watch out for me and I don't have to do
> on my part cause I'm blind."
> Another area that some blind people   need to improve upon is dress.  It
> better for blind to wear sunglasses if their eyes are  deformed--it will
> help  the general public be at ease when communicating.  Also, some blind
> wear clothes that are not in fashion.  I've seen parents give their
> "simple" haircuts, buzz cut or shaved head for their son and a really
> bob for girls, since they feel the  child cannot  learn to  take care of
> long hair.  (I hate when this  happens.)  I'd also like to see more blind
> kids dress for their peer group, such as emo or goth, hippie, skater,
> preppie, average person, etc.
> I'm not making fun of people with these traits, I just feel they need the
> truth.  While I think  people  should not be judged for their appearance,
> many people in the world do act this way, though sometimes it is
> subconscious.
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