[Nfb-seniors] Great Call

Judy Jones jtj1 at cableone.net
Fri Feb 27 00:21:40 UTC 2015

Yep, that's what Chris and I are coming away with, too.

We have a great senior division in the state, which is a good thing, and 
will continue to work with them.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Mike Freeman via Nfb-seniors
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 3:52 PM
To: 'Judy Mayo' ; 'NFB Senior Division list'
Subject: Re: [Nfb-seniors] Great Call


I am a senior citizen (sixty-six years young) though seldom take any senior
discounts, believing that society has absolutely no reason to compensate me
for "moldering away" -- tongue in cheek, of course.

But I concur (sadly) in your observations. I have had more than one senior
citizen tell me outright that they don't want to learn alternative
techniques or learn to use adaptive devices. All they want is the one thing
they can't have and that we cannot give them -- their sight back. This seems
to me extremely short-sighted (no pun intended). It shows how deeply
ingrained in all of us are societies negative and limiting attitudes about
blindness and, to some extent, how easy it is to have one's own pity party
rather than taking the bull by the horns and saying: OK; now what?

I'm in the same boat as Judy Jones, having had little sight almost all my
sentient life. This discounts me I suppose in the eyes of most seniors. What
I don't get is how often this then is interpreted as being that I have
nothing to help them cope. One would think that we who have been blind a
long time would have *more* to teach, or, at any rate, quite a bit to teach.
But I suppose the main rub is that we are not taking part in the pity party.

All we can do is keep at it, help those whom we can and find more seniors
who "get" it and who can confront the pity-partiers and say: NONSENSE!

Mike Freeman

-----Original Message-----
From: Nfb-seniors [mailto:nfb-seniors-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Judy
Mayo via Nfb-seniors
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:05 AM
To: Judy Jones; NFB Senior Division list
Subject: Re: [Nfb-seniors] Great Call

Hi Judy Jones,
My name is Judy also from Pennsylvania. I want to wish you good luck on
getting seniors to want to learn anything about being visually impaired or
blind or learning how to use things made for the vlind and visually
impaired. I used to go to the Center for Vision Loss in Allentown, PA. I am
a senior and for 2 years tried so hard to get other seniors to want to learn
about Braille, using the white cane, using a computer and even how to use a
can opener. I even told one senior lady that I would get to her apartment to
teach her how to use a can opener. She does not talk to me anymore. Most of
the seniors in the group I was in want to do is complain about how they do
not know how to do something, but do not want to learn how to do it. MOst of
the middle age people who used to go stopped going because of the
complaining seniors. It is a shame. I stopped going also.  Another lady who
is totally blind wants to learn how to cook and I offered to go to her home
to teach her basic things. Because the Center staff has her convinced that
because I am not qualified to teach her, she will not call me to set up at
time for me to go to her home. I tried so hard to talk to the people at this
center to get them to want to learn, but kept getting the "rug pulled out
from under me" so to speak. I gave up. I haven't given up on myself though.
I am 62 years old and still learning.
I could go on and on, but there is no need to. Good luck goes to you though.
Judy H Mayo

On 2/25/15, Judy Jones via Nfb-seniors <nfb-seniors at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hello again.
> My husband, Chris, is president of our local chapter, and I am
> secretary., mainly made up of seniors.  The gentleman that started the
> affiliate was president for a couple years before we joined, and ran
> it like a senior support group, with really no training of any kind in
> NFB philosophy or any
> attempt at educating in philosophy and encouragement of trying new things.
> The people who joined have been friends of his for a long time, are
> also losing their sight.  All have macular degeneration.
> Once we joined we  are attempting to gently introduce concepts, and
> are trying to help build a foundation.  I believe this may take
> patient and consistent repetition.
> They do not relate to us, as both my husband and I have Retinopathy Of
> Prematurity.  They believe we don't miss or can never understand what
> we have never had.  Sight.
> We presented all the information on this month's call at our February
> 9 meeting.  Both my husband and I had occasion to check with various
> ones, reminding them of the call.  No reaction.  When I asked one
> lady's assistance about helping spread the word about the call, she
> couldn't understand why seniors would even be interested in anything
> like cane travel
> or braille.  Why should seniors be on a call like this?  I explained
> again that the call is sponsored by the national senior division, and
> that the calls are tailored for seniors and their needs.  We will
> continue to give reminders of the upcoming calls.
> My big question is how to excite our seniors to join the call, and
> more than
> that, help them to realize there is learning and tools to be had.  I
> have made sure they are all receiving the Braille Monitor in the
> format they requested.  None are reading, nor is there any interest.
> Any audio they do
> not like as it is not visual, but anything visual we can try to bring
> in they do not like as they cannot see it.
> They really are a nice group of people, and will participate in our
> annual state Senior Division picnic.  However, there is no interest in
> state or national convention, no interest in what is going on in the
> state or nationally
> There are many who are sure they can't learn anything else, some who
> are very nice about it but flat don't want to know anything else,
> although they
> are great people to relate to in other areas..  They are not excited
> about any possibilities available to them.  They are interested in how
> much they can still see, the latest medical breakthrough or home remedy.
> We did have a great Christmas party everyone thoroughly enjoyed, but
> there is no interest in anything blindness-related or the the
> possibility of different thought processes.
> One idea Chris and I have had we want to implement is conducting phone
> interviews during the meeting of persons who have lost their sight
> later in
> life and overcome barriers to live an active life.  We are looking for
> volunteers to do this, in hopes that someone's story will help someone
> in our group turn that mental corner from just coping, to embracing
> what is available for them.
> I apologize for rambling on and hope II have not come across as a whiner.
> (smiles), but joined this list for support, ideas, and in hopes of helping
> someone else.   We truly do want to reach these precious people.
> BTW, my husband, Chris, also just joined the list, so you may also see
> his posts.  Thanks in advance to all who will be reading this post.
> Judy


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