[nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Fri Oct 16 16:48:30 UTC 2009

Well, I never use words like that and I amconstantly being accused of having 
a bias anyway. The truth is that most of the people on this list see any 
criticism, no matter how valid or how carefully worded, as bias on the part 
of the writer. But the main problem on this list is not with people coming 
in herewith a bias against the NFB. Quite the contrary, the problem is that 
far too many people are totally unwilling to listen to any criticism of the 

From: "David Andrews" <dandrews at visi.com>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, October 16, 2009 9:55 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing

> You can't ask us not to read anything into your explanation when you use 
> words like gobbldy goop!
> Dave
>   At 12:35 PM 10/15/2009, you wrote:
>>don't read anything extra into it.
>>not at all.
>>i was just telling jim what the theory is.
>>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 11:55 AM
>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing
>>>Hmmm, biased against the centers, are we?
>>>Personally, I think it's a nice approach, and they don't act like nazis 
>>>or dictators about it, either.
>>>----- Original Message ----- From: "Bryan Schulz" 
>>><b.schulz at sbcglobal.net>
>>>To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
>>>Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:14 AM
>>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] NFB Centers and Rock Climbing
>>>>the gobbly goop explanation is that you will gain confidence from the 
>>>>rock climbing so you can transfer that to other tasks that seem 
>>>>impossible to you.
>>>>Bryan Schulz
>>>>----- 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 
>>>>>>three NFB centers in Minnesota, Colorado, and Louisiana as well as 
>>>>>>which are a part of a state's rehab program as is the case in Iowa and
>>>>>>A. Yes
>>>>>>  Can a client be exempt from this exercise due to health, age or
>>>>>>other complications?
>>>>>>    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 
>>>>>>that they shouldn't engage in such activity?
>>>>>>    Recall the discussion of informed choice we've had from 
>>>>>> time-to-time.
>>>>>>These centers have a set curriculum students are required to take 
>>>>>>participation in recreational activities such as rock climbing. Such
>>>>>>exemptions could be viewed as attempts by center students to "Menuize" 
>>>>>>training. They never realize the full benefit of the program if they 
>>>>>>to "Water down" these center curriculums by requesting exemptions from 
>>>>>>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 
>>>>>>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 
>>>>>>attend or take part in they should reconsider their choice of 
>>>>>>and adjustment center if they're unwilling to participate in the 
>>>>>>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! 
>>>>>>person was otherwise happy with the program and I commend this person 
>>>>>>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, 
>>>>>>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 
>>>>>>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 
>>>>>>from returning to the NFB center to finish his training. There are 
>>>>>>accounts of students who due to accident or illness were unable to 
>>>>>>the initial part of their training but returned later to finish. This 
>>>>>>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 
>>>>>>and our capabilities as is the general public. It would be easy for a 
>>>>>>to "issue a letter requesting that a student not be required to 
>>>>>>in this or that part of the center program due to these mistaken 
>>>>>>and beliefs about the blind. What happens if that same doctor is 
>>>>>>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 
>>>>>>patient chooses to participate in that activity. There's the 
>>>>>>that the doctor may discourage this person from engaging in rock 
>>>>>>even though the person is healthy. They can thank the patient who 
>>>>>>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
>>>>>>Peter Donahue
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