[nfb-talk] The Word Blind

Ray Foret jr rforetjr at comcast.net
Mon Feb 23 15:44:22 UTC 2009

Michael is quite correct.  To speak frankly Peggy, whether we like it or 

1.  We live in a sighted society; thus, we cannot always expect the sighted 
world to adapt to us.

2.  In that same spirit of frankness, we can't always go around in a "warm 
camp mentality".  We have to realize this.  IF we are as "normal" as we 
claim we are, this means we need to be able to allow other sighted people to 
laugh at us (only when appropriate of course) and laugh at ourselves.  There 
was a little bit of a debate in the Monitor about this very subject.  Are we 
going to be so damn stiff and serious as  federationists that no one wants 
to be around us?  I ask this frankly because I almost left the federation 
over this very issue.  I decided to stay because I figured that I would 
rather stay with an organization which, while not perfect, came much closer 
to my own beliefs about blindness than the ACB ever could.

3.  While the above points are true, there is yet another.  We do have the 
right to have some adaptation.  This is where reasonable accommodation comes 
in.  There has to be give and take from both perspectives.

4.  Is this self contradictory?  I think not.  It's my own thinking about 
the issue and I just wanted to put it out there.  I would like to have some 
feedback here.

The Constantly BAREFOOTED Ray

"Old friend, what are you looking for?  After those many years abroad you 
come With images you tended Under foreign skies Far away from your own land"
George Seferis

Phone or Fax::
+1 (985) 360-3375
+1 (985) 719-2938
Skype Name:

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Bullis" <mabullis at hotmail.com>
To: "'NFB Talk Mailing List'" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 3:47 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] The Word Blind

I certainly endorse what Peggy said.  My comments were meant to describe the
two very different challenges we face.  The first is the challenge of
helping blind people with some vision to realize that they are truly blind,
not as a fiction or some legal distinction, but as an actual fact of life,
requiring that they learn the alternative, and more competitive, techniques
of a blind person.  The second, and perhaps more daunting challenge, is the
general public's use of the word blind.  That word fills a niche of lingual
understanding that we will be hard-pressed to change.  Blind dates, duck
blinds, blind prejudice, blindfold, politically blind, double blind study,
blind taste test.  I seriously doubt we will have much effect on this word
in these contexts.  Much like the lawyer who understands the word finding as
a legal term, we understand the word blind, when applied to actual blind
people, far differently than the public does.
Even if the public comes to understand that the term blind doesn't mean
totally blind when applied to people losing vision, I doubt that they will
change their usage of the word when thinking about being blind-sided or
blind prejudice.
Mike Bullis

-----Original Message-----
From: nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of RyanO
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 12:17 AM
To: NFB Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] The Word Blind

Well said, Elliott.

I would add that this very topic was addressed by Dr. Jernigan in his 1993
article, "The Pitfalls of Political Correctness." When we begin to soften
language in the name of emotional sensitivity, we often lose focus. Words
mean things. I submit that if we alter our wording, we will inevitably alter
the fundamental concepts that have afforded us cohesion as an organization.


nfb-talk mailing list
nfb-talk at nfbnet.org

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature
database 3880 (20090223) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.


nfb-talk mailing list
nfb-talk at nfbnet.org

More information about the nFB-Talk mailing list