[nabs-l] The diversity in a movement.

Darian dsmithnfb at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 18:58:06 UTC 2015


As a part of that diversity, there are people who go about using accommodations that they believe work for them, and there are people who go about using accommodations that might be perceived as a little unnecessary or unfair.
To be fair, are there not people who are cited that abuse the system?  Are there members of the Federation that, for example use large print instead of braille as a reading medium for whatever reason? Other individuals that choose to work with dogs as opposed to using cane? People who don't use either a dog or a cane?  Are those people considered anymore or less members of the Federation than those who read and write in braille, use a cane?  
We believe in the federation that it is important to learn the basic tools and techniques of blindness in order to  achieve independence no matter the situation or environment, however we also believe that it is important to "meet people where they are" or two not push or turn people away based upon what their personal philosophy on blindness may or may not be.  The people that have made the most impact on me and my understanding of the organization and what we believe in, are  people who have modeled how to live the life one once as opposed to attempt to make me feel inadequate because I didn't know something that they knew. 
 It is always important to remember (or at least I think it is) that we are not a finished product.  As we go through life learning, gaining, evolving; so Dooley with our blindness.  
The truth is, no matter how much we believe we know about blindness, is always good to think about how we can learn more and get better  

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jan 30, 2015, at 9:34 AM, Karl Martin Adam via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> 
> I think Kaiti can determine that some things are unnecessary, as can we all.  Yes there are grey areas, and yes sometimes people judge too quickly and assume that something isn't necessary when it really is, but there are clear cases.  For instance, when people with disabilities game the system that allows us to take tests in DSS offices instead of class to take tests a week after everyone else so they can have extra time to study.  Or when people with disabilities have their family members write their papers because "we poor blind people can't do that for ourselves."  Or when people use their blindness as an excuse to use their computer or notetaker to take exams and check their book or notes for the answers.  Or when blind people get out of math an science classes because "those classes are just too hard for us."  Or when blind people get their teachers to accept papers without using the proper citation format because "we can't possibly be expected to correctly use APA."
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Carly Mihalakis via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
> To: Kaiti Shelton <crazy4clarinet104 at gmail.com>,National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>,Julie McGinnity <kaybaycar at gmail.com>,National Association of Blind Students mailing list <nabs-l at nfbnet.org
> Date sent: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 09:15:13 -0800
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] The diversity in a movement.
> 
> Good morning, Kaiti,
> 
>        I guess your position attop your high horse endows you with
> the authority of determining for everyone, exactly what is a
> "necessary" hand-out? Eh?
> for today, Car of At 07:26 PM 1/29/2015, Kaiti Shelton via nabs-l wrote:
> I think that if there were only one type of federationist there would
> be new problems that would arise.  Even if this one type would be a
> perfectly self-sufficient person, braille-literate, a good traveler,
> employed, etc, there would be other problems created.  We're about
> building an entire population of people up, not just one subset.  That
> is why people have some difficulty understanding that blind people are
> diverse in their own right, but if we were more homogenius there would
> be even more problems with this, I think.
> 
> Think of it this way; is it more damaging to have a situation where
> everyone is more or less the same, or different.  I know others as
> well as myself have been in situations where we were annoyed that a
> blind person who seemed less capable than we were was compared to us,
> or received unnecessary handouts.  On the other hand, we need to think
> of the people who are struggling to learn some skills and view the
> high expectations we have for blind people as something to work up to.
> It goes both ways.
> 
> On 1/29/15, Julie McGinnity via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Darian and all,
> 
> I think our members are definitely diverse.  And I agree that there is
> no one way to be a federationist.  I think our common goals bind us
> together.  We all feel that we as blind people must seek equality for
> all of uus so that we can pursue all the opportunities we wish.  As
> federationists, we have a common agenda.  It's about more than being
> blind, our preferences as blind people, or even our personal
> philosophies.  It's about moving beyond those things to connect with
> others as we work to reshape preconceived ideas of the blind and
> change laws that affect us.
> 
> So, I don't think there is an image of the example federationist...
> Mostly I don't think this because our movement is about more than just
> one example blind person.  It's about all of us working together.  As
> I understand, that's kind of what our new logo represents.
> 
> On 1/29/15, jonathan franks via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello Darian and all,
> I completely agree. The members of the National Federation of the
> Blind and the blind population are full of numerous dynamics of
> personalities and characteristics. No organization can be perfect, but
> the reason I chose the NFB was the overall mission and philosophy this
> organization believes in. Washington Seminar is a perfect example of
> how I feel about what the NFB does best, we all are different people
> with different personalities, but the grander mission of equality for
> blind individuals holds true as to why I joined this organization.
> Also the dynamic types of projects this organization takes on does
> such a wonderful job in forming our future leaders and instilling
> confidence and the realization of knowing that we can live the life we
> want as blind people.
> 
> Best
> 
> Jonathan Franks
> Board Member
> National Federation of the Blind of Texas
> 1st Vice President
> National Federation of the Blind of Texas- Austin Chapter
> Treasurer
> Texas Association of Blind Students
> Board Member
> National Division of the NFB Diabetes Action Network
> 
> On 1/29/15, Darian Smith via nabs-l <nabs-l at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
>  Recent  conversation on the list has started me thinking about whether
> or
> not there is a particular type of person who fits the ideal of what a
> federationist  is or is not?
> I have personally come to believe that there isn't such a thing as an
> ideal
> Federationist.   I think there are most certainly things that the
> Federation
> believes in,  and  practices/models such as the proficient use of
> alternative techniques (Braille, cane travel, daily living skills,
> technology), the expectation of    equal treatment in society  and equal
> responsibility   on the part of the blind person to  achieve that
> equality,
> but I don't think only certain people can achieve those things.
> I tend to believe that while the Federation has it's flaws (as does any
> organization/group of people) it/we are an  organization full of people
> who
> come from different backgrounds with a diverse set  of skills,
> interests,
> beliefs, etc.  I think  many of the members of this  movement/our
> movement
> are vital because of the types of leaders they are, the types of
> supporters
> they are and the types of believers (in the type of future  the blind
> can
> have and abilities the blind possess).
>  I think we are truly equal parts geniuses and Jerks, we can be as
> sweet
> or
> cynical as anyone and as humble or arrogant  as any other human being.
>  Basically,  I believe we come in different shapes and sizes, with
> varying
> skills and styles.
>  What do others think?
>  Darian
> 
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> 
> --
> Julie McGinnity
> National Federation of the Blind performing arts division secretary,
> Missouri Association of Guide dog Users President, National Federation
> of the Blind of Missouri recording secretary,
> graduate Guiding Eyes for the Blind 2008, 2014
> "For we walk by faith, not by sight"
> 2 Cor. 7
> 
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> 
> --
> Kaiti
> 
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