[Ohio-talk] Comparing Blindness to Severe Disabilities

Marianne Denning marianne at denningweb.com
Wed Dec 25 23:07:26 UTC 2013

This is a very interesting discussion.  First, I have been blind since
birth so I really have nothing else to compare my life to.  I remember
my first job out of college.  I worked at an apartment complex for
people with physical disabilities.  Many of them could not feed
themselves, dress themselves or communicate easily.  I felt sorry for
them.  I learned later that they felt sorry for me.  It really opened
my eyes to a lot of things.  If anyone is going to be successful in
life you must handle what life gives you.  I have met people who had,
what looked like, an easy life and they were constantly complaining
and feeling sorry for themselves.  I have met people and wondered how
they went from day to day and they had a fantastic attitude.  I think
any time someone loses an ability they once had it is a challenging
situation so even though the loss may be different the challenge is
similar.  I don't understand this at all, but most people fear
blindness above anything else except cancer.  I don't get it but I
don't think we can ignore it either.

Okay, I am off my soap box.  It is a great topic for discussion and
thinking.  I would especially like to get responses from people who
lost their vision as adults.  I believe the NFB philosophy is great
for putting blindness in perspective.

On 12/25/13, Dawn <dlanting at bex.net> wrote:
> Colleene  I really considered myself with a disability  but I guess I am
> disabled because of my blindness  I just feel so blessed  that I am me  and
> I can think and have a heart   there are many people worse off then I  I
> don't ask God why me  I say  why not me  Merry Christmas  and Happy
> Birthday
> Jesus  Happy New Year  everyone
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of COLLEEN
> Sent: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 3:17 PM
> To: ohio-talk at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [Ohio-talk] Comparing Blindness to Severe Disabilities
>  Hello Everyone,
> When you read this please do not think that I am diminishing the adjustment
> to blindness that many people on this list have experienced. I hope that
> what I am going to say will put things into perspective.
> On the news Monday night Channel 13 had some coverage of some students from
> the University of Toledo Engineering Department's Project inhelp someone
> with a Disability.
> Asparently they invented something to help a nun who has lost all of her
> limbs.
> The person from the Ability Center who commented about this Invention said
> it just proves that people with Disabilities can succeed in overcoming such
> major challenges. The person who mace this comment is blind. While I know
> that there are many adjustments for those who become blind I do not think
> you can compare these adjustments to those experienced by someone who has
> lost the use of her arms and legs.
> This just reinforces the stereotype the public have about blindness. It
> says
> to the general public that blind people are as disabled as someone who has
> lost the use of all four limbs.
> It would have been helpful if the Ability Center had used someone with
> significant disabilities as the spokesman for this story.
> I am making these comments after Dawn shared information with me about this
> story.
> I did not see the story myself but I just want to encourge people to think
> about our attitudes when we make comparisons.
> We all have differing views on which disability would be the hardest to
> adjust to and deal with in our lives. I am sure a deaf person would say
> that
> it would be harder to be blind. I am sure that a blind person would say it
> would be harder to be deaf.
> I think that some people who use a wheelchair would think it would be
> easier
> to be blind or deaf. The comparison between being blind and having no use
> of
> your limbs is like comparing apples to oranges.
> Colleen Roth
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Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
(513) 607-6053

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