Top Ten Reasons Why the Blind Can't Get Ahead

10. The public still thinks blindness is a great misfortune.

9. Vocational and orientation-mobility training are horrifically funded—that is, its left up to the states and nonprofit organizations when it should be offered by every eye clinic and billable to Medicare.

8. Blindness advocacy organizations fight amongst themselves like the characters in “Gulliver’s Travels” who start a civil war over the question of which end of the hard boiled egg to break first—the big or small one.

7. Just try using a cell phone or a Macintosh pc. I mean “off the shelf” “ready to go”—just try it.

6. Just try using a PC “off the shelf” without expensive “third party software”—just try.

5. Just try going to a movie and asking for audio description.

4. TV can’t be watched—probably a good thing.

3. Bank machines; vending machines; signage; endless roulette of incomprehensions…

2. Blind students drop out of college at higher rates than other disabled student groups. See above problems.

1. Access to printed or electronic information remains highly provisional. Thank you Google; Microsoft; Apple; Adobe; Mozilla; Sun Micro Systems; and all the rest of you bongo whacking Information Technology designers who continue to think of the blind as “add on” people. In Disability Studies we call this principle “the defective people industry”.

Why am I posting such a riposte on Memorial Day?  Ask the Blinded Veterans of America.


Iowa blind advocates (Steve being one of them) disagree over court ruling on paper money

Advocates Disagree…(click for complete article)

Updated May 20. 2008 6:04PM
By Diane Heldt
The Gazette    

A federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that paper money — indistinguishable by touch — is discriminatory to blind people was hailed by some advocates as a long-awaited step forward, while others said a change is unnecessary and plays into negative stereotypes about the blind.

Blind people have adapted and often fold money to distinguish the bills, but no longer would have to rely on others to help them if the Treasury Department makes bills of different sizes or prints them with raised markings, supporters of a change said.

"What’s at issue here is the ability to identify money without other people helping you," University of Iowa English Professor Steve Kuusisto, who is blind, said. "My view is, the most accommodations possible help the most people. To be opposed to accommodations that help people is narrow."

The American Council of the Blind sued for such changes, but the government has been fighting the case for about six years. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling could force the Treasury Department to alter money, though the ruling is subject to appeal.

Continue reading “Iowa blind advocates (Steve being one of them) disagree over court ruling on paper money”


As written by Simi Linton:

Definitions of the word “blind” found in my computer’s Thesaurus
support the idea that blindness limits . The terms ignorant,
imperceptive, insensitive, irrational, oblivious, obtuse, random, rash,
stagger, unaware, unconscious, uncontrolled, unknowing, unplanned and
violent came up on my screen. My Roget’s Thesaurus also provided
inattentive and purposeless. These meanings lurk under the surface when
the word “blind” is used whether on its own, or in pairings, in such
phrases as “blind passion”, “blind rage”, “blind justice”, “blind
drunk” and “blind faith”.

How can the culture get away with attaching such an absurd
proliferations of meanings to a condition that affects, simply, visual
acuity? Of all the impairments, blindness seems to call up the most
fantastical of responses. These are used, uncritically and without
apparent irony by many and often.

Read Simi’s post in its entirety:  Blind Blind People and Other Spurious Tales