[Nfbc-info] RE Dennis's courage, bullying and suggestions for our leadership

Lisa Irving peacefulwoman89 at cox.net
Sun Dec 28 06:33:12 UTC 2014


I admire your courage to share some of your experience about being bullied.
I would like to speak about having been bullied, how I coped and eventually
turned adversity into opportunity. I will conclude by appealing to our
national NFB leadership to go front-and-center to ameliorate the bullying
and abuse of our blind and visually impaired students.

I have many childhood memories about the verbal, emotional and, --yes,
physical abuse that I endured while at a residential school and during
junior and senior high. . Overall, adults discounted or ignored my
complaints. One adult told me to let it roll off my back like the water on a
duck's back. I was not shown how to stand up for myself and I certainly
didn't know to assert my rights. 
Instead, I knew how to harm myself, stuff the pain and write dark poetry.
Overall, I absolutely dreaded going to school. 

On the other hand, I always looked forward to my senior English class. Most
of all, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel; the day I would graduate
from Hell.  Eventually, I learned to use those painful experiences to foster
friendships between children with and without disabilities, I have worked as
a Project Coordinator for a pilot disability awareness education program;
developed week-long after school hands-on activities about disabilities, and
more recently I helped to revive a local NFB chapter... 
Finally, I ask that our national NFB leadership bring to the forefront the
long-standing social tolerance about blind and visually impaired children
being bullied and abused by students, teachers and administrators. Please
create a legislative initiative to address this issue. It is no more
acceptable to use a derogatory blind slur than it is to use a hateful racial
slur. Please also incorporate a massive public education media campaign.
Lastly, please orchestrate a training and advocacy program for our parents
and their blind students. I have dubbed this program for parents and blind
youth,   the Eye Matter Campaign. 

Here's a hug for all of us who can relate to Dennis's story and his courage.

Lisa Irving

of Nfbc-info [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of knitangelpm
via Nfbc-info
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2014 5:53 PM
To: Dennis Russak; nfbc-info at nfbnet.org; Dennis Russak via Nfbc-info
Subject: Re: [Nfbc-info] Nfbc-info Digest, Vol 115, Issue 16

that was horrible what you went through growing up.

 Portia, Pico Rivera California
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