[nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing

Alan awheeler at neb.rr.com
Thu Oct 15 15:44:39 UTC 2009

No one is forced.  It is, to my knowledge, just an option.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John G. Heim" <jheim at math.wisc.edu>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:03 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing

> I'm unclear as to the purpose of these centers? Do people go to them for 
> the opportunity to do things like rock climbing?  Because I would imagine 
> that if the NFB didn't provide opportunities like that, it would be very 
> difficult to find them otherwise. I can't imagine most rock climbing 
> places letting blind people participate. Heck, one time I tried to sign up 
> for a wood working class and they kicked me out when they found out I was 
> blind.
> But if a person wants to work on his job and mobility skills, he shouldn't 
> be forced to climb rocks. I wouldn't have a problem with state governments 
> supporting recreational facilities for the blind. But if these centers are 
> intended primarily as rehab centers, then they shouldn't be forcing people 
> to climb rocks.
> ---- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Peter Donahue" <pdonahue1 at sbcglobal.net>
> To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4:17 PM
> Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing
>> Hello Jim and listers,
>>    Okay let me take a stab at this one. I'll insert my comments following
>> yours and will indicate them with the letter A. Here goes:
>> Hello all!
>> Do all NFB centers insist that clients rock climb?  I'm referring to the
>> three NFB centers in Minnesota, Colorado, and Louisiana as well as 
>> centers
>> which are a part of a state's rehab program as is the case in Iowa and
>> Nebraska?
>> A. Yes
>>  Can a client be exempt from this exercise due to health, age or
>> other complications?
>> A.
>>    Each case is considered on an individual basis.
>> Have people been denied services from all of the above
>> agencies if they refused to rock climb or they obtained a doctor's 
>> statement
>> that they shouldn't engage in such activity?
>> A.
>>    Recall the discussion of informed choice we've had from time-to-time.
>> These centers have a set curriculum students are required to take 
>> including
>> participation in recreational activities such as rock climbing.     Such
>> exemptions could be viewed as attempts by center students to "Menuize" 
>> the
>> training. They never realize the full benefit of the program if they 
>> attempt
>> to "Water down" these center curriculums by requesting exemptions from 
>> this
>> or that part of the training. Here again each case is considered on an
>> individual basis.
>>  What exempts people from this
>> activity and if they are exempt, can they still receive services from our
>> NFB agencies?
>>    A.
>>    Much of my answer can be found above but I'll add here that if a 
>> student
>> chooses not to participate in a class or activity all center students 
>> must
>> attend or take part in they should reconsider their choice of orientation
>> and adjustment center if they're unwilling to participate in the entire
>> center curriculum.
>> A friend of mine returned from one of these centers.  He has a badly
>> sprained leg or he has pulled ligaments in his leg!  Needless to say, he 
>> is
>> out of the program or is immobile for an undetermined amount of time! 
>> This
>> person was otherwise happy with the program and I commend this person 
>> for
>> giving it a good try but I think there comes a time when a person my age 
>> who
>> is twice 30 shouldn't attempt such a thing!  If I were in my 20s and 30s, 
>> I
>> wouldn't question this but when one is in their late 40s and beyond, I'd
>> question whether this is such a good idea!
>> Any thoughts?A.
>>    Our centers have had students in their 80s participate in roc 
>> climbing,
>> skydiving, and other high-impact activities. There are several accounts 
>> of
>> blind senior citizens that attended our centers and participated in all
>> aspects of their programs and had a darn good time doing so published in 
>> The
>> Braille Monitor. Your friend needs to not allow his accident prevent him
>> from returning to the NFB center to finish his training. There are 
>> numerous
>> accounts of students who due to accident or illness were unable to 
>> complete
>> the initial part of their training but returned later to finish. This 
>> should
>> not be a problem.
>>    As far as doctors exemptions go remember that health care 
>> professionals
>> are influanced by the same prevailing attitudes and beliefs about 
>> blindness
>> and our capabilities as is the general public. It would be easy for a 
>> doctor
>> to "issue a letter requesting that a student not be required to 
>> participate
>> in this or that part of the center program due to these mistaken 
>> attitudes
>> and beliefs about the blind. What happens if that same doctor is 
>> presented
>> with a health report for a blind individual in their 80s wishing to 
>> attend a
>> sports camp where rock climbing is one of the activities offered and that
>> patient chooses to participate in that activity. There's the possibility
>> that the doctor may discourage this person from engaging in rock climbing
>> even though the person is healthy. They can thank the patient who 
>> mistakenly
>> believed that older blind individuals shouldn't participate in this
>> activity. Let me recommend that you take some rock climbing lessons and 
>> then
>> reread your post.
>>    I hope I was able to shed some light on this issue for you. All the
>> best.
>> Peter Donahue
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