[nobe-l] New THOUGHT PROVOKER #149- Framing Blindness

Robert Newman newmanrl at cox.net
Tue Sep 15 02:01:40 UTC 2009

RE:  Framing Blindness 

Here is a principle that many of us who are blind do not seem to have in the
forefront of our consciousness when verbalizing, presenting ourselves and
our blindness to others. Do you watch how you "frame" your words, your
thoughts when presenting to another? If you have not read the PROVOKER, it
follows.  Recall that I collect responses and post them upon my web site for
all the WWW to read and learn from and that URL is-
Http://thoughtprovoker.info <http://thoughtprovoker.info/>   If you wish to
receive THOUGHT PROVOKERS sent directly to you, just write me and ask, at-
newmanrl at cox.net 

Framing Blindness

"sir, I'm looking for a job. I heard you have several openings. As you can
see," the young blind man held up his white cane in emphasis as he addressed
the business owner, "I am blind and because of it, I'm having a very tough
time getting employment. Did you know that nearly 80% of the blind are
unemployed? For centuries, blindness has been viewed as the worst handicap a
human can have, but it is all a lie, a great misunderstanding. With the
right tools," raising his cane again, "a cane or dog guide, and with Braille
or for some, large print and other blindness skills, we can do most jobs,
just as good as a sighted person. But we don't usually get a chance to prove
it." lifting the cane for a third time. "Usually people can't see past this
and we get pity, doubting thoughts and seldom an equal chance. Would you
give me a try in one of your job openings?"

"No, I won't. And I'm going to tell you why." The business owner, Ernest
tone in his voice, palms flat on the counter top, leaned forward. "I
listened to you, heard every word, processed the difficulties you laid out
concerning the non-acceptance and unemployment of the blind. But think about
how you framed your story and what you set me up to think. You walked in,
gave me the woes about being blind, hit me with 5 negatives, to one positive
and you want me to think you've got what I'm looking for in an employee?"
Slapping a palm on the counter top in emphasis. "But this is what I'll
consider --- I want you to go back outside, take a minute to think about how
you need to present yourself to me, then come back in and try your spiel
again. But concentrate on telling what you can do for me."

Surprised at the businessman's response, the blind guy knotted, accepting
the challenge, turned and using the best cane technique he had, exited the
building. Minutes later he came back in.

"sir, you are looking to hire a customer service representative. I believe I
have the skills to fill the position." Indicating the cane in his hand, "As
you can see, I am blind and if you would hear me out, I would like to
explain how I feel I can make this a success." Getting a go-ahead sound, he
continued. "Your job add listed a requirement of competency with a PC. I use
a PC every day.  And how it works for me, I use what is called screen
reading software, it's voice output. This software will usually work with
most computer applications. And if we find that it doesn't work right out of
the box with your companies system, we could call my state rehab counselor
and she can have her IT specialist come in and evaluate your system and
tweak my special software to work with yours. Second, you require customer
service experience and though I haven't been paid to perform that duty, I've
had a couple of volunteer positions in which customer service was part of my

"The answer is still no. Better, but still not good enough. I now know that
you have abilities, special tools and some backup to aid you if you need
technical assistance. However, though I'm feeling there is employment
potential, but it appears to come with an equal weight of potential problems
that I would have to overcome. So no again. Go back out, rethink and come
back in and convince me that you are the best person for the job."

Not fully surprised, though somewhat dismayed, yet encouraged, the blind guy
knotted, turned and exited the building. Minutes later he came back in.

"Sir," reaching out his right hand to give a shake in greeting, "my name is
John. You have an opening for a customer service rep, it is one of my best
skills and I want to talk to you about hiring me for the job. I'm a very
competent PC user. I have references I will present that will vouch for my
ability and reliability to be at work every day, on time and that I always
give 110% to the job. May I talk to you about your position?"

"Yes, let's talk," responded the business owner.

Robert Leslie Newman 
Email- newmanrl at cox.net

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