[nfb-talk] feedback wanted on possible letter to the editor regarding "dining in the dark" dinner
westbchris at gmail.com
Sat Feb 2 23:07:11 UTC 2013
Guys, I realize a lot of you are a lot more skilled than I at these types of things, so I am seeking your feedback for the below letter. a link to the news story is below
am I too harsh in my letter below? I am trying to keep it short so that the newspaper will hopefully publish as is.
Should I come at this from another angle? Thanks so much in advance.
I recently read an article in the lifestyle section for January 22 entitled North Central Sight Services to host ‘Dining in the Dark’. This is supposed to be a dinner in which sighted participants will learn what it is like to be blind for an hour as they try to eat dinner blindfolded. As a totally blind person, I am against events like this for multiple reasons. Firstly, there is no way you can experience what it is like to be blind when merely blindfolded for an hour. Things that you think are a huge deal are mere inconveniences to those blind people who have learned the techniques necessary to survive in a sighted world, while things you probably wouldn't think of are much bigger deals to us. Secondly, and more importantly, I know how most sighted people will react to this since I have been around them my whole life and have seen it first hand. They will not state it openly, but they will walk out of the dinner making comments to their friends like "I'm glad I'm not one of those people" or "I'm glad I don't have to deal with that problem." They may give a few dollars of their money to NCSS, believing they are helping "those people" and will continue with their lives totally ignoring any blind people they meet while feeling good about themselves. The problem with this sympathy is it hinders our efforts to be equal members of society. Generally the people who feel most sorry for my life as a blind person, I can pick them out almost immediately, only wish to be friends with me on a very superficial level and don't see how I could possibly hold down a job or lead a normal life without a caregiver by my side constantly. Rather than educating the general public about the capabilities and needs of blind people, NCSS has decided to put blindfolds on them and give them an exaggerated and distorted view of blindness. I am an active member of Trinity Gospel Church's children's ministry, a saxophone player, and a computer programmer who happens to be blind. I would like people to look at my accomplishments first, not my blindness. I call on NCSS to educate the public about the capabilities of blind people by presenting real blind role models and their real lives rather than exaggerated portraits of bumbling sighted people as they try to eat a piece of meat blindfolded without training.
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