[Ohio-talk] FW: COMs 4110- Reflection Submission

Cheryl Fields cherylelaine1957 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 27 20:25:07 UTC 2018


LOL! You have earned a much needed break... CF

On 4/27/18, Sheri Albers via Ohio-Talk <ohio-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Wow, that is really powerful - both from the perspective of the author, and
> for the professor who made the difference in this person's life. Thank you
> Jw for sharing.
>
> Best Regards,
> Sheri Albers, Vice President
> National Federation of the Blind of Ohio
> 513.886.8697
> Sheri.albers87 at gmail.com
>
> 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 want;
> blindness is not what holds you back.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ohio-Talk [mailto:ohio-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Smith,
> JW
> via Ohio-Talk
> Sent: Friday, April 27, 2018 1:27 PM
> To: NFB of Ohio Announcement and Discussion List (ohio-talk at nfbnet.org)
> Cc: Smith, JW
> Subject: [Ohio-talk] FW: COMs 4110- Reflection Submission
>
> It is the end of our semester here and one of my final assignments in one
> of
> my classes is to write a final reflection paper on a topic that we have
> covered.
>
> I thought that I would share the reflection of one of my better students as
> I think that some of you will find it to be both encouraging and satisfying
> as we continue to impact how people see blindness and visual impairment in
> our society.
>
> Read on below and enjoy as I did while grading it!
>
> jw
>
> Dr. jw Smith
> School of Communication Studies
> Scripps College of Communication
> Ohio University
> Schoonover Center, Rm. 401
> Athens, OH 45701
> smithj at ohio.edu<mailto:smithj at ohio.edu>
> T: 740-593-4838
>
> If you see someone today without a smile, why don't you give them one of
> yours?
>
> My Bio<http://www.ohiocommstudies.com/people/smith/>
>
> Check out some of my music here<https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jwsmith22>
>
> From: Rich, Danielle
> Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 9:15 PM
> To: Smith, JW <smithj at ohio.edu>
> Subject: COMs 4110- Reflection Submission
>
>
> Hi Dr. Smith,
>
> Below is my reflection paper. Thank you for a wonderful semester! I truly
> enjoyed your class, and am extremely glad I took your course.
>
>
>
> All the best,
>
> Danielle
>
>
>
> Danielle Rich
>
> Dr. Smith
>
> COMS 4110
>
> 25 April 2018
>
> Reflection Paper
>
>             Societal perception both drives and inhibits what individuals
> believe they have the capacity to do. Throughout the duration of life, the
> opinions of others, especially on a community level, alters the actions
> that
> one chooses, or not chooses, to take. This phenomenon is particularly
> relevant for those with disabilities, principally within the blind
> community.  Society has a knack for de-normalizing those that do not align
> with the cultural standard. To many, those with disabilities are incomplete
> and helpless. Those without disabilities are quick to take pity on those
> that do have disabilities, without having the capacity to realize that
> those
> people are comfortable in their own skin. Within his work, "Practicing Law
> as a Blind Lawyer: What It Takes," Scott LaBarre outlines the
> misconceptions
> individuals hold towards what those with disabilities are able to achieve.
> LaBarre is a distinguished, blind lawyer, who has worked on a plethora of
> unique and beneficial legal cases. Throughout the following pages,
> LaBarre's
> work will be utilized to counter the stereotypes towards the blind
> community.
>
>             This semester, our class studied and discussed various elements
> pertaining to individuals with disabilities. However, there was one
> predominant theme that appeared within the confines of each conversation.
> Those without disabilities are notorious for doubting those with
> disabilities. To my dismay, I, too, and guilty of this. We may attempt to
> overcompensate by offering to lend a helping hand when it is not needed, or
> by incessantly asking if they do need help. For this reason, I chose to
> write my reflection on LaBarre's work. Upon graduation, I am attending law
> school. Prior to reading LaBarre's piece, I had not considered the
> possibility of an individual with a disability entering the legal realm. I
> believe that there is a stereotype in the professional world against those
> that have disabilities, and that those that society deems outside the norm.
> Thus, when reading his work, I perceived the misconceptions that many
> individuals hold. LaBarre is capable of defending, arguing and winning
> cases, and excels within his practice. His dedication to his career and to
> overcoming challenges is explicated as he states, "The key element for
> being
> a successful blind lawyer is a positive attitude and confidence in yourself
> as a blind person. You must believe that you can be effective and competent
> as any sighted lawyer. The only true limits placed on you are those
> dictated
> by your ability, imagination, and willingness" (LaBarre 133). I believe
> that
> he is an amazing example not only for the blind community, but for anyone
> who feels as though stigmatization prevents them from achieving their
> aspirations.
>
>             Similar to other course materials, the themes presented within
> LaBarre's work coincided with additional course material. In the film, At
> First Sight, the story of Virgil, is depicted. When Virgil's girlfriend,
> Amy, learned that he was blind, she was surprised. As Virgil was
> attractive,
> educated and employed, his blindness did not occur to her. Both Amy and his
> sister attempted to overcompensate and to protect him, which irked Virgil.
> Both LaBarre's work and Virgil's story depicted the most prominent theme
> within our course- the need for autonomy. Independence is vital for
> self-esteem and self-efficacy. Without autonomy, individuals feel seemingly
> helpless. Within the film, Virgil injured himself and grew infuriated when
> his sister kept insisting that she help him. When discussing how he may
> travel for work, LaBarre explains, "I will not and do not bring my legal
> assistant if the only purpose for doing so is being guided" (134). Similar
> to other adults, those with disability to do want to be treated differently
> based on one factor.
>
> LaBarre's statements made his work extremely effective. He exhibited how
> he,
> working against the norm, earned his JD, and competitively practices in the
> field of law. From his work, and also from additional materials, my
> worldview of those with disabilities has dramatically shifted. When we
> ventured around campus blindfolded, I was initially horrified. I was
> flooded
> with concern that I would trip, and I was shaken due to the fact that I was
> unaware as to where I was. However, with time, I grew slightly frustrated.
> I
> did not like having to depend upon Halle, my partner, to guide me around
> campus. I felt as though by her leading me, I lost a degree of my freedom
> and independence. No amount of class discussions or readings could make me
> feel the way that our in-class activity did. It is sometimes difficult to
> learn how to act appropriately until you are on the other side. Those
> without disabilities believe that they are doing an individual with a
> disability a service by aiding them. Holding a door, providing directions,
> or leading them across the street are seemingly minute actions, but
> directly
> diminish the sense of their independence. Like those without disabilities,
> people do not want to be belittled or aided without request. This
> experience
> resonated with the content in LaBarre's essay. When on business trips, he
> does not want the help of a guide unless it is absolutely necessary. He has
> found means to compensate for his blindness, and does not allow it to deter
> him from providing immaculate legal defense and counsel. LaBarre preps and
> reads by utilizing Braille, and works as timely as an individual with
> vision. Throughout the duration of the semester, the central focus has been
> that individuals with disabilities are just as capable as those without.
> LaBarre not only encompasses this narrative, but proves that a disability
> does not define you.
>
> The stories, narratives, and discussions have significantly altered my
> perspective. Oftentimes, it is easy to ignore and overlook situations that
> are not particularly relevant to us. As I do not have an individual with a
> disability in my interpersonal network, the information presented to me
> throughout the semester was fairly new. Studying the courtesy rules,
> listening to TED Talks, and reading articles as LaBarre's provided me with
> a
> heightened degree of insight I previously did not have. LaBarre's work
> embodied the fact that disabilities are not a defining factor, and that
> those with them do not have to be outside of the societal norm. On an
> ending
> note, I have truly enjoyed the presented material this semester. Throughout
> my tenure at Ohio University, it has been quite rare for me to learn
> information that I will carry with me for life. However, the knowledge I
> gained within this class is quite unforgettable. In my future career, I
> look
> forward to the prospect of working alongside an individual similar to
> LaBarre. It is my hope that one day, the cyclical pattern of stigmatization
> towards those with disabilities will be broken.
>
>
>
>
>
> Danielle Rich
>
> Ohio University '18
>
> Chi Omega Fraternity | Career & Personal Development Director
>
> Industrial-Organizational Psychology Research Assistant
>
> Phi Alpha Delta | Pre-Law Fraternity
>
> Psi Chi | International Honors Society for Psychology
>
> Associate Justice | Ohio University Student Government
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-- 
Wishing You All the Best,

Cheryl E. Fields


A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human
life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will
never sit.
--D. Elton Trueblood



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