[NFB-Talk] civil disobedience question

Jim blind.grizzly at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 16:40:00 UTC 2020

Hi Jack,

Sounds like your mind is made up, and no one is going to convince you of anything you don’t already believe.

I keep going back to Dr. Jernigan’s idea that self-determination must be first and foremost.  He articulated the concern that it’s a terrible bargain to trade self-determination for over-accommodation and the well-meant yet misguided intentions of others.  

For whatever it’s worth, I feel that self-reliance and accessibility are both necessary for self-determination.  Frankly, your rant about accessibility and advocacy being only about accessibility makes no sense to me because it assumes accessibility is always good.  I don’t mind asking for accommodations, but I also want to reserve the right to reject accommodations, especially when accommodations are not logically linked to the functional limitations of blindness.  For whatever reason, you cannot understand that letting others do for us the things we can do for ourselves is a human rights disaster.  Balance, my friend.  Asserting our humanity by insisting on self-determination is powerful.  Depending only on accessibility is oppression.

Lastly, you are way off base regarding the NFB support of the ADA.  We made the ADA better.  No amount of ignorance and vitriol will eclipse that truth.


Jim Marks
blind.grizzly at gmail.com
(406) 438-1421

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack Heim [mailto:john at johnheim.com] 
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2020 5:55 PM
To: Jim <blind.grizzly at gmail.com>; 'NFB Talk Mailing List' <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>; mike at michaelhingson.com
Cc: 'Chris Westbrook' <westbchris at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [NFB-Talk] civil disobedience question

Jim, this world does not have a problem with blind people being given so many accomodations that they stop doing things for themselves. That is not a problem.

How many times do we have to have this debate on this list? We just had it a few weeks ago when we discussed  a mom who demanded that her son's certificate of achievement be brailled. Its always the same dam thing! 
Watch out, you don't want to give a blind person the idea that they can get anything simply by asking for it. Since when has that ever been a problem?!

The bottom line is that the NFB has made one mistake after another. The ADA is the most valuable civil rights legislation for disabled people in human history. I deliberately put that hyperbolically but its true. 
Other countries have modeled their laws after the ADA. People in the European Union envy our ADA. The NFB could have said, "Wow, this is huge. Lets see what the power of the NFB can do to make sure it passes." 
The NFB's lack of support for the ADA is a stain on it's history.

So is the NFB's choice to fight the ACB in its lawsuit against the government on accessible money. And the NFB's siding with TV and movie producers on audio descriptions. And organizing protests against accessible pedestrian signals.

I do not know how many times I've made this point on this list... This attitude that we should take care of ourselves is destructive toward our goals. Of course people should do as much for themselves as they can but that has nothing to do with advocacy. It gets in the way and prevents the NFB from being an effective advocacy group.

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