[Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read

Cheryl Fischer c16a19f at sbcglobal.net
Tue Oct 6 21:03:16 UTC 2015


Deborah,

I've got a call in to an Anna Kresmar at the Jernigan Institute to try to find this block of text. Now I'm uncertain if it is in the language of the law itself or if it might be in a supporting document explaining how the law was to be implemented. In any case, I remember that 25 years ago, the NFB would not sign on as an organization in support of the Americans with Disabilities Act until and unless such language was added. 

When the ADA was not passed yet, the NFB was getting criticized for it's opposition to the ADA being passed without this language. People feared that without the NFB's support, the Act might not be passed at all. I believe that the language the NFB wanted was finally added, and so the NFB did sign on.

I bet there are others of us who remember this? 

Cheryl
  


-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Deborah Kendrick via Ohio-talk
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 3:42 PM
To: 'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'
Cc: Deborah Kendrick
Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read

Cheryl,
If you could locate that block of text, I would be inclined to send it to the offending airline along with my column.
I didn't name them because I was already over allotted length and to name the bad guy would have led to naming the goodguys, too, and there just wasn't room.  But it has occurred to me that I should figure out how to get this info to the folks who might do something about it.
And Marianne, do please tell us the Philadelphia story!  Reading your last comment has me on the edge of my proverbial seat!

Deborah


-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Cheryl Fischer via Ohio-talk
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 3:09 PM
To: 'NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List'
Cc: Cheryl Fischer
Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read

What about the line(s) in the ADA that say that a person with a disability should have say in what accommodation they receive, if any, and that no accommodation that the person with the disability says is inappropriate for them may be forced upon them?  I wonder if a page or so of the ADA with this part highlighted might help, if not at the moment we are treated wrongly, then afterward if we make a public issue of the incident and/or the ongoing problem. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Ohio-talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Marianne Denning via Ohio-talk
Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 12:14 PM
To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List
Cc: Marianne Denning
Subject: Re: [Ohio-talk] Deborah Kendrick Column Please read

You are so right about that Barbara.  I don't think the Philadelphia airport will ever let me back in again because of the reputation I earned on my last trip through there.  (smile)

On 10/6/15, barbara.pierce9366--- via Ohio-talk <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> This is a home run. I love the way you capture the exhaustion and 
> desperation. These things never seem to happen when we are fresh and 
> patient.
>
> Barbara
> Barbara Pierce
> President Emerita
> National Federation of the Blind of Ohio Barbara.pierce9366 at gmail.com
> 440-774-8077
> The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the 
> characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the 
> expectations of blind people, because low expectations create 
> obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life 
> you zwant; blindness is not what holds you back.
>
>> On Oct 5, 2015, at 10:26 PM, Marianne Denning via Ohio-talk 
>> <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>
>> This is excellent and so true.  Next step, what can we do about this?
>> I have had the same thing happen on many occasions.
>>
>> On 10/5/15, Eric Duffy via Ohio-talk <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>> This is a good read. The problem Deborah describes continues to be a 
>>> problem for many of us. Spread the word. Let people know that 
>>> Deborah’s experience
>>> is not an    isolated incident. .
>>>
>>> Eric
>>>
>>> Deborah Kendrick commentary: Airports can mean humiliation for some 
>>> travelers. A recent midnight flight from San Francisco to Cincinnati 
>>> held the elements all blind travelers dread most: The moment when 
>>> one disability is mistaken for another, and deep-rooted 
>>> misconceptions engender humiliation. When the last plane landed, I'd 
>>> been traveling for 13 hours.
>>> It
>>> was 11:00 a.m., and I was exhausted. Here is the scenario. My ride 
>>> home is in the cell phone lot. I ask the gate agent if someone can 
>>> walk with me.
>>> This is a simple enough request and one I have made hundreds of 
>>> times in dozens of airports. I am a blind person carrying a long 
>>> white cane. My request is for someone to walk with me who knows the 
>>> way. The gate agent is smart, courteous, eager to assist. She makes 
>>> the call. ... And another.
>>> ...
>>> And another. When five minutes has gone by, I am impatient. At ten, 
>>> I am agitated. At twenty, with a red-eye flight behind me and the 
>>> knowledge that my ride home is just a few minutes' walk away, I am 
>>> close to meltdown. I hear the agent say into the phone, "No, she 
>>> doesn't need a wheelchair.
>>> Just
>>> needs someone to walk with her. At 25 minutes, the somewhat 
>>> embarrassed gate agent comes over where I am leaning on the wall, 
>>> trying not to cry, wishing I weren't so tired and could just start 
>>> walking, exploring, figuring it out.
>>> "The problem," she informs me, "is that they won't come unless you 
>>> will sit in the wheelchair. She is apologetic, sees the folly of 
>>> this supposed "rule". But I am ready to disassemble with fatigue and 
>>> humiliation and thus I acquiesce. The young woman who comes with the 
>>> wheelchair tells me that if I don't sit in it, she will be fired.
>>> She will either leave me here or I will ride. I sit down. For the 
>>> half-mile distance from gate to exit, I pray no one sees me who 
>>> knows me. Don't get me wrong. There is no shame in using a 
>>> wheelchair. For my friends who use them with purpose, the wheelchair 
>>> is a tool of freedom and flight and euphoria. No, for me, the shame 
>>> was rooted in the fear that others would think me a shirker, a 
>>> faker, a jerk able to walk who commandeered some deserving 
>>> passenger's wheelchair. The subtext here, the message conveyed, is
>>> this: Because I happen to be blind, I am not worthy of the same 
>>> respect as any other paying passenger. If I need assistance, I will 
>>> shut up, sit down, be addressed like a child (or piece of 
>>> furniture), and be grateful. This, regrettably, is not an isolated 
>>> incident. I have scores of stories from others - blind lawyers, 
>>> athletes, and CEO's -- recounting similar nightmares. Kaiti Shelton, 
>>> a University of Dayton music therapy major, returned from a college 
>>> abroad trip in June. The emotional high sparked by success in 
>>> another country, the joy of having been treated as an equal by the 
>>> residents there and her fellow college students, plummeted quickly 
>>> in an American airport. She, too, was given the ultimatum "no 
>>> wheelchair, no assistance. Eric Duffy of Columbus, president of the 
>>> National Federation of the Blind of Ohio, says the wheelchair 
>>> argument has happened more times than he can count. "I can be coming 
>>> back from a powerfully positive experience, meeting with members of 
>>> Congress on Capitol Hill or participating in negotiations with other 
>>> leaders, and then the [emotional] balance shifts at the airport. The 
>>> disrespect leaves me feeling insulted and angry. The only 
>>> consistency in flying, if you happen to be blind, is inconsistency.
>>> Sometimes, the curb to curb process is rich with encounters of 
>>> mutual respect, jumpstarting your business trip or vacation with a 
>>> general love of humankind. Another time, the misconceptions held by 
>>> airport workers result in degradation. You are grabbed, pulled, 
>>> talked about in the third person, and given inappropriate 
>>> "assistance". One TSA worker might allow you to move through the 
>>> line without any particular notice, while another wants to hold your 
>>> hands and talk to you in the sing-song tones reserved for 
>>> preschoolers. One flight attendant might order you into the bulkhead 
>>> row while another just as quickly orders you out of it. One day you 
>>> might ask for someone to walk to the gate with you and the employee 
>>> who arrives is so engaging that you have exchanged life stories by 
>>> the time you arrive. And another day, the request results in a 
>>> stripping of dignity.
>>> Disability awareness varies widely from one airline/airport to another.
>>> Not
>>> surprisingly, that difference seems to be in direct correlation to 
>>> the source of training for employees. If you want to know how best 
>>> to treat people with disabilities, ask them. And then listen to what they say.
>>> Deborah Kendrick is a Cincinnati writer and advocate for people with 
>>> disabilities. .
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> Ohio-talk:
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>>> nningweb.com
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
>> Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
>> (513) 607-6053
>>
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>
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>


--
Marianne Denning, TVI, MA
Teacher of students who are blind or visually impaired
(513) 607-6053

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