[Nfbmo] RSB survey request

Bryan Schulz b.schulz at sbcglobal.net
Mon Nov 28 17:06:29 UTC 2011


Very well said even if i don't 100% agree.
What do you say to the person who wants to work and barge through the door 
and finds a brick wall constructed behind that door (aka favoritism) by the 
very agency that is designed to provide rehabilitation?

Bryan Schulz

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gary Wunder" <GWunder at earthlink.net>
To: "'NFB of Missouri Mailing List'" <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 9:35 AM
Subject: Re: [Nfbmo] RSB survey request

> 1). What RSB services and outcomes do you value most?
> The services from RSB have made my life immeasurably better. I have had a
> job since 1978 and before that sporadic employment to build a resume. My
> jobs, thanks to a contract between the state and federal government, have
> been good enough to assist in raising one child through college, another
> soon bound for college, one to finish high school and attend cosmetology
> school, and another to leave his son while he pursues his occupation which
> requires travel. If the American dream is to strike it rich and be known 
> in
> the history books, I've missed, but if the real dream is to have a family, 
> a
> home, some challenge, and a bit of time for pleasure, than the 
> state/federal
> partnership has given me a very realistic and rewarding life that meets my
> criteria for living the dream.
> 2). What are the barriers to access those RSB services?
> I had few barriers in accessing services. People believed in me. When I 
> said
> I needed something, I supported that need with fact and so the only 
> problem
> was the delay in procurement.  The only trouble I ever got into with the
> agency was when I would find people who couldn't get a braille writer, a
> typewriter, or a tape recorder, while I was receiving a scientific
> calculator, lenses for the Optacon to let me read it and an oscilloscope,
> and other high-tech devices.  Of course I tried to help people who were
> getting less and the counselor once told me that her biggest problem with 
> me
> was that people perceive me as the great white God of technology and that
> caused her all kinds of problems.  I took it as a compliment because I 
> never
> encouraged people to get technology just because they could.
> 3). What direction would you like to see RSB take in the future?
> I would like to see RSB emphasized to new students the nature of the
> contract to which they are committing themselves.  As a parent who has
> helped to pay for one college degree and stands to foot the bill for
> another, I can tell you that most blind people have no real idea what a
> college or a technical education costs.  When you try to budget $15,000 a
> year for a four-year institution and still find that your child has to
> borrow to make it through, you slowly come to realize what a tremendous 
> gift
> a college degree or a technical certificate really is.  When you buy a
> VersaBraille or a braille note outright and it takes you several years to
> pay for it even with a substantial amount going out monthly, you have a
> different perspective on what used to be a simple request and receipt.
> Students have to understand that America won't just continue 
> rehabilitation
> because it has in the past.  It will look for the payoff.  This will mean
> that we have to go beyond our comfort zone and looking for and keeping
> employment.  Organizations of the blind can help to knock down the walls
> that keep all blind people out, but once we open the door, it is the
> individual blind person who has to be courageous enough to walk through 
> it,
> to do the work required, and to come out of the process with a monthly 
> check
> that will convince the taxpayer that their investment was worthwhile and
> that they have substantially enhanced the quality of life for one of their
> citizens.  Training beyond high school can't just be seen as a stopgap
> measure to continue and income.  At this point in life one is required to
> step up and make a major decision about life goals and what will really 
> make
> them a living.
> Before people begin making an academic record it will be difficult if not
> impossible to undo, I think that the agency should do everything in its
> power to make sure they have the necessary skills of blindness to compete.
> A grade in technical school or at a university should represent a students
> ability to do the coursework and not their ability to handle the stresses 
> of
> being blind.  Mastering blindness skills and developing or enhancing an
> already positive view of blindness should come before one begins building
> their academic credentials.  RSB can't mandate this, but it can show that
> the acquisition of blindness skills prior to higher education is
> respectable, prudent, and the way to a happier, healthier life.
> If fewer and fewer jobs in America are going to come from corporations, we
> will have to figure out more creative ways to establish blind people as
> small business owners.  We will also have to figure out how to break into
> the small business market where hardware and software are used that are 
> not
> accessible and where the size of the business will argue against its being
> able to make the changes required by itself.  I think this means being
> proactive in looking at business opportunities and the kinds of technology
> they employ before we have someone with a job offer.  Frequently there is 
> an
> expectation that filling a vacancy will mean work starts immediately. Too
> often we don't have any idea what work in a given industry will require, 
> and
> by the time we usher in the rehab engineer, decide what is needed, order 
> or
> build it, and deliver it to the client, the would-be employer has already
> gotten the idea that the blind person he was so anxiously considering 
> hiring
> can't compete.  I suspect rehabilitation services for the blind will have 
> to
> partner with other agencies to figure out where hiring is taking place and
> what a qualified blind person would need in order to work, but I think 
> this
> is our only hope if we are to compete in an economy where there are fewer
> jobs than job seekers.
> Gary Wunder
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