[nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing

Bryan Schulz b.schulz at sbcglobal.net
Thu Oct 15 16:15:12 UTC 2009

oh yea,

try getting out of it!

Bryan Schulz

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Alan" <awheeler at neb.rr.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2009 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing

> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> nfb-talk mailing list
>>> nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nfb-talk_nfbnet.org
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