[nfb-talk] Reaching our youth; blindness and disability awareness

Mark Tardif markspark at roadrunner.com
Thu Dec 18 20:34:14 UTC 2014

I think you are very right about that.  Our youth need to be encouraged to 
ask questions, to display their curiosity, the younger the age, the better. 
I suspect that it is when young people are hushed up by well-meaning elders 
when they are just asking questions about blindness, that wrong stereotypes 
can develop and wrong stereotypes lead to inappropriate behavior later on.

Mark Tardif
Nuclear arms will not hold you.
-----Original Message----- 
From: Bill Outman via nfb-talk
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2014 2:00 PM
To: 'NFB Talk Mailing List'
Cc: nfb-l at nfbnet.org ; 'Writer's Division Mailing List'
Subject: [nfb-talk] Reaching our youth; blindness and disability awareness

Hello, list members.

I would like to share a positive way we can impact the topic of diversity,
disability awareness in general and blindness awareness in particular.

A couple weeks ago I was wrapping up a Thanksgiving visit with my mother and
other relatives here in Florida and I had a chance to give a presentation
about disability.

It occurred following the last service at my mom's Episcopal church on the
Sunday following Thanksgiving, November 30.  I was speaking to the Cub Scout
den at the church about blindness and the overall topic of disability.  The
scouts have been learning about disability in their program for a number of
weeks, and I had been asked to speak to this particular group so they would
have a personal experience with this subject.  I showed my iPhone with
VoiceOver and my laptop with Jaws.  I also showed my cane and talked about
pedestrian safety for all with mobility challenges.  The scouts asked a
number of questions.  One thing they asked about is how a blind person
handles money, as it occurred to them that all the bills are the same.  The
scouts had a chance to participate by doing sighted guide drills with me.
What was originally envisioned as about a 15 minute talk turned into an hour

I had been a scout myself at the age of these children.  I think it is
important for all the blindness and disability organizations to reach out to
such youth organizations whenever possible.  This helps build awareness from
the ground up.

Bill Outman

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