[blindkid] RFB&D fundraising

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Mon Feb 16 19:16:59 UTC 2009


I don't mean to stir things up, but I don't think Carol is being closed-minded.

RFB&D describes a kid for whom Braille wasn't working -- so they had 
to use RFB&D's recorded books presumably.  You describe a kid with 
good Braille skills.  If it is the same kid, then which is true.

It is RFB&D who is doing wrong by trying to raise money for its 
service by saying that Braille doesn't work.  They are the ones 
polarizing people.  This negative kind of fund-raising won't help 
them in the long term.  Maybe there is a reason that they recently 
had to lay off 32 people.


At 02:22 PM 2/15/2009, you wrote:
>Wow!  I'm almost ashamed to share this.  Not because of the content, 
>but the irony.  Cooper happens to live in my state.  He is a very 
>well-spoken teenager with wonderful Braille skills, who is a very 
>competent, capable young man.  He joined a group of 6 other adults, 
>who traveled to Austin and spoke before our State Board for 
>Educators Certification.  In Texas, certified teachers can take an 
>exam in almost any area of education and get an additional 
>certification.  The blindness community in our state has rallied to 
>strongly encourage our legislators to change this regarding 
>CTVIs.  We do not believe it's OK for just any teacher to take a 
>couple of courses and an exam, then teach our kids, without ever 
>completing the rest of the coursework or internship, which provides 
>a period of much needed mentoring from an experience CTVI.  Cooper 
>brought some type of Braille note taking device with him to the 
>podium that day, and he read his
>  entire written testimony.  All the board members stopped in their 
> tracks to listen to this eloquent and clearly well-educated young 
> man read his moving speech.  I had to follow him, which was not 
> easy.  So I opened with that, "Hard act to follow," as I choked 
> back tears of pride.  And, Cooper is not even my son.  I could only 
> imagine how proud his mom would have been.  She was unable to 
> attend with him, though his CTVI traveled with him and also spoke that morning.
>Anyway, you might want to think before you respond, both in actions 
>and in words, regarding others in the blindness community.  If we 
>only tear each other down, how will we help our children and 
>families progress together towards a common good.  In all honesty, I 
>am disappointed with these clearly uninformed (and that is putting 
>it nicely) responses, especially Carol.  I thought you, along with 
>several others I know, were voices of reason with an open-minded, 
>open heart attitude.  I hope I was not wrong.
>From: "Carol Castellano" <blindchildren at verizon.net>
>To: <blindkid at nfbnet.org>; <nopbc-board at nfbnet.org>
>Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:15 AM
>Subject: [blindkid] RFB&D fundraising
>Hi All,
>I recently received the RFB&D "Family News" in the mail.  In their 
>appeal for "a generous gift," they give a few real life 
>stories.  Here's a quote from the story on the front page:
>"Then came school.  Cooper was aware of the sighted kids, running 
>and playing and doing their schoolwork independently.  He sometimes 
>felt isolated.  But he was always able to keep up--until the third 
>grade.  Cooper tried his hardest to read his books in Braille.  But 
>it was very difficult, and it took him a long time.  But the end of 
>the year, he had to miss a special class field trip because he had 
>not met his reading requirements."
>OY!  Stuff like that makes me so aggravated!
>----Inline Message Follows-----
>Hello Carol and listers,
>     And the good RFB&D supplied him with his textbooks in an audio format.
>Cooper lived happily ever after because he never truly learned to read;
>something he would have done had he continued to receive his textbooks in
>Braille. Dribble like this comes out of guide dog schools and certain other
>agencies for the blind in their fundraising campaigns and other
>publications. They fill their coffers while doing serious harm to the blind.
>Peter Donahue
>----Inline Message Follows-----
>All the more importance for the National Federation of the 
>Blind--you just never know where such attitudes continue to linger!
>Mark F.
>Mark Feliz
>VOICE: 480-890-8943
>FAX: 480-835-3036
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>blindkid at nfbnet.org
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