[nfbwatlk] drive in custodialism

Arielle Silverman arielle71 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 19:37:49 UTC 2014

I never get mad at anyone who merely asks if I need help. I only get
snappy if they insist or if they invade my space. It's complicated
during training, though, because generally then students are taught to
decline offered help so they can practice their skills. Sometimes
during training it can be extremely tempting to accept assistance.
However I don't think students are ever encouraged to be rude or go
beyond a simple "no thanks/I'm in training now so I need to figure
this out on my own". Sometimes sighted people may interpret this
response as being rude however.

On 12/13/14, Debby Phillips via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Hi Marci, perhaps I am generalizing.  But I have been with people
> who were so rude to sighted people when they asked if help was
> needed that I was purely embarrassed.  A "No, I'm okay thanks" is
> sufficient.  But I have been with people who did the lecture
> thing: "Just because I'm blind doesn't mean I need help".  And
> mostly, I'm afraid to say, those kinds of lecturing responses
> have been from people in NFB that I have known.  I heard comments
> on buses in Denver about: "Well, don't offer to help the blind
> people because they are rude".  I have heard people say that that
> is how they were taught to react to offers of help.  So if I'm
> generalizing I apologize, but I have seen it in action.  If
> someone helps me in a way that is more invasive, like grabbing my
> dog's harness, grabbing me, not accepting my no thanks, I'm fine,
> then I can get rude and nasty too.  But it doesn't have to be,
> and shouldn't be the first response out of my mouth.  In this day
> and age, it's actually refreshing sometimes to have someone ask
> if I need help, because frankly it doesn't happen all that often.
> Now, part of that could be that I look confident when I'm walking
> down the street so people don't stop to ask, but I think part of
> it is that people just aren't involved much anymore.
> I remember discussing this issue with other students at CCB.
> Several people said that responding in the way they did was how
> they were taught to respond.  Their responses to sighted people
> verged almost on the hostile.  (None of the staff, just other
> students).
> I'd be happy to read and discuss books or speeches, or whatever.
> I think that's a very good idea.    Peace,    Debby
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