[Nfbmo] USA Bobsled driver

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 1 14:01:26 UTC 2010

Fred and crew, the NFB doesn't look for members by wishing blindness on 
anyone. Neither are we opposed to cures or stabilization of vision. Our 
primary effort is to help people for whom blindness appears to be a 
life-long reality.

Nobody has ever said that the only problem of blindness is the public's 
perception, but that in many cases the primary problem of blindness is just 
that. When you can't determine the temperature of an oven, of course one 
problem is you can't see the display, but when that information could be 
provided audibly as well as visually, but the blind aren't seen as a 
significant purchasing population, then the problem is opportunity stifling 
attitudes which assume the blind have little to contribute in our community. 
When you design software which could be used with tab and arrow keys, but 
find it is only designed for use with a mouse, again the problem is attitude 
and that we have little to contribute to the workforce.

The NFB has a mission. We want to be relevant to all blind people, but we 
aren't and don't attempt to be "everything blindness or vision related." The 
USABA will tell you much more about being a blind athlete than the NFB. You 
will see more about technology in Access World than you are likely to see in 
the Braille Monitor. It is likely you will see more about legislative 
efforts and coming to deal with blindness in the Monitor, but none of this 
depreciates the value of other people and organizations carrying on their 
own particular efforts to improve life for blind and visually impaired men 
and women.
I have sat through many state convention presentations where conditions of 
the eye are discussed at length by professionals, and in one convention four 
hours in a Friday afternoon seminar was spent on conditions of the eye, 
complete with PowerPoint presentations. At our own national convention, Dr. 
Kurzweil talks about technology of the future minimizing or eliminating 
altogether the conditions caused by visual and other handicaps. It is okay 
to be blind, it is respectable to be blind, but there is nothing superior 
about being blind anymore than it is superior to be of a given race or 

Build a device which will let me read street signs and I'll buy it, a device 
which will let me distinguish the facial features of my wife and my daughter 
and I'm in line to purchase. In the meantime, I'll continue to believe I'm a 
full human being - not broken, not pitiable, but a human with the capacity 
to live in the world and make a contribution to it. And, by the way, I'll 
keep fighting through the NFB to see it remains that way.


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