[nfbwatlk] Fw: an essay

KAYE KIPP kkipp123 at msn.com
Tue Nov 24 23:06:59 CST 2009


Wow.  Good essay.

Kaye
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike Freeman" <k7uij at panix.com>
To: <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 6:40 PM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Fw: an essay


> ----- Forwarded Message -----
> From: "Mary Ellen" <gabias at telus.net>
> To: <list at cfb.ca>
> Date: Monday, Nov 23, 2009 13:31:04
> Subject: an essay
>
>
>
>
>
> Joanne, our nineteen-year-old daughter, is studying in Guatemala this 
> semester. As part of her philosophy course, she studied nongovernmental 
> organizations, (NGO'NESS). This is the essay she wrote comparing effective 
> and ineffective NGO's.
> The whole movement toward social and human services would be greatly 
> enhanced if those making decisions remembered respect, education, and 
> offering a genuine hand up.
>
> Joanne Gabias
> Philosophy 235
> Essay 3
> Don't Be Blinded by the Glamour
> Many humanitarian organizations put on a show that will please the donors. 
> They tell them what they want to hear to receive funds. However, these 
> funds sparsely  are properly distributed to the benefit of the recipients. 
> The best way to measure the effectiveness of these organizations is to see 
> how they respect their recipients, their methods of education and if they 
> are giving people a hand up or a hand out. I will be looking at two 
> different organizations to illustrate the difference between a positive 
> and effective humanitarian organization and an organization parading as 
> one.
> To be able to help someone you need to first understand who they are as a 
> person or as a people.  You cannot pretend that they are any less than 
> they are. You cannot downplay their identity. Once you acknowledge them 
> for who they are you have to respect them for who they are. From there you 
> are able to figure out what you are able to do in helping them in whatever 
> way they need to further their personal improvement.
> The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the largest organization for 
> the Blind in the United States. Respect is at the core of everything they 
> stand for and fight for. They do not run from the word blind. They embrace 
> it. They believe "The real problem of blindness is not the loss of 
> eyesight, but the misunderstanding and lack of information which exist. If 
> a blind person has proper training and opportunity, blindness can be 
> reduced to the level of a physical nuisance." (NFB)
> The CNIB on the other hand, fears the word blind. The CNIB is a Canadian 
> organization that focuses on the prevention of blindness and support of 
> people with vision loss. Their name used to signify Canadian National 
> Institute for the Blind but they have since changed it to simply CNIB. 
> There were two reasons for the change in name. The first was they didn't 
> like the word Institute, rightly so. The second was they didn't like the 
> word Blind. They refuse to call anyone they help Blind, even if they are 
> 100% blind. They prefer to use the word vision impaired or affected by 
> vision loss for everyone they help. This is the core of their 
> ineffectiveness. If you are terrified to understand people for who they 
> are, you are not able to truly respect them and therefore are unable to 
> help them in any way.
> Once you recognize and see the value in who you are trying to aid, you can 
> find ways of facilitating their needs through education. Education is the 
> basis to all self-improvement. You cannot grow if you do not have a method 
> of doing so.
> The NFB's main focus of aid is through education. They have programs for 
> all ages, infants to seniors, for all degrees of blindness, legally blind 
> to completely blind, for parents of blind children to blind parents, for 
> newly blind and so much more. Their goal is to help people "understand the 
> real problems of blindness and try to develop innovative education, 
> technologies, products and services that help the world's blind to achieve 
> independence." (NFB)
> Since the CNIB does not believe in the word blind, their goal is to try to 
> help you use the little vision you have as much as possible. They have 
> products and services that help you continue to use your sight.  CNIB is 
> not directly responsible for the education of blind children, though they 
> frequently raise funds using children. Nevertheless, their philosophy of 
> using vision instead of developing blindness techniques has been adopted 
> by the education system of Canada. In schools, at least partly because of 
> the influence of CNIB, children are not taught how to read Braille rather 
> how to use large magnifying glasses to slowly read print. This in fact 
> hinders the child. Once they become fully blind, they will have no way to 
> read or write anymore. They will have to read learn all these things when 
> they could have been taught them in the beginning. Learning  blindness 
> techniques would not prevent them from using their small amount of vision. 
> In fact, knowing blindness skills make
> s the use of small amounts of remaining eyesight more useful because sight 
> can be used in situations where it will truly help and blindness 
> techniques most of the time because they work best. If the person knows no 
> blindness techniques, the person has no choices.
>  The CNIB looks at blindness or vision loss, as they call it, as a huge 
> problem that has little hope without their services. This is clearly 
> embodied in their slogan Vision Health, Vision Hope.
> If they want to be an effective and positive organization, CNIB must start 
> giving their recipients a hand up and not simply a handout. They should be 
> a supporting aspect of a person's self-improvement not the provider of 
> cradle to grave services, most of which a well trained and independent 
> blind person does not need. Their goal should be to give their recipients 
> the means of coming to their own ends. They shouldn't consider themselves 
> the saving god of their recipients or their only way to happiness.
> The National Federation of the Blind believes that every person is an 
> ordinary person, some just happen to be blind. It is the same as if you 
> are missing your pinky finger on your right hand, it's annoying but it 
> doesn't make you any less capable than anyone else. The NFB provides 
> measures of helping you attain  your full potential and assists you in 
> achieving your goals. There are blind welders and blind painters even 
> blind people who have climbed to the top of Mount Everest. The NFB is also 
> a positive support when faced with prejudice and discrimination  in the 
> work place or other institutions. The NFB helps people fight many battles 
> of inequality due to blindness. My own parents have benefitted from the 
> help of the NFB in this matter. The airlines wanted to take away their 
> right to walk by refusing to let them keep their canes with them on the 
> plane.
> The CNIB see themselves as the facilitator of happiness for their 
> recipients. They believe that through their products and support, their 
> recipients are able to live a more enjoyable and hopeful life, as much as 
> they can without their eyesight. They see themselves as the light at the 
> end of the tunnel. They unfortunately do not have programs or services 
> that help their recipients personally grow and prosper. The CNIB "needs to 
> be needed" by blind people they perceive as perpetual clients. The more 
> they're needed, the more funds they can raise from the public.
> Many people especially in Canada see names like the CNIB and believe they 
> are helping their recipients achieve a better life without really looking 
> into what the agency does to help their recipients help themselves. Many 
> people believe when an organization claims to be helping their recipients 
> that they truly are doing so.  Donors need to look into the three aspects 
> of an organization as explained above, respect, education and hand up or 
> handout, to determine if an organization is truly helping their 
> recipients. People need to stop being blinded by the glamour of good 
> intentions.
>
>
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> References
> "NFB- What Is the National Federation of the Blind?". National Federation 
> of the Blind. Nov 24 2009 
> http://www.nfb.org/nfb/Who_We_Are.asp?SnID=983196946
> "CNIB- Vision Support". CNIB. Nov 24 2009. 
> http://www.cnib.ca/en/services/vision-support/Default.aspx
>
>
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