Friday, April 29, 2011

Proving myself

Ever since I was a little girl, I was told that I had to be "better" than everyone else. I had to be "realistic." Taht was what the Vocational Rehabilitation Services told me, or the Rehabilitation Counseling Services (same agency, different name) tld me in the late 1960's when I took some library class for blindpeople. We had to take psychological tests either in person, or circle some tests in junior high which Sister Jean Marie from Lavelle School administerred. What does make blind people tick? I was told in junior high that no one would hire me. Wehad to be polite, upbeat, and grateful as blind people, and I was given a case in point by my Braille teacher. Someone was trying to help a blind man navigate in the snow or something, and he was rude. Well, that was my lesson. Don't be angry, bitter, or any of those negative emotions. Don't expect to work, either. Even my wonderful dad said he would not necessarily hire a disabled employee. No one has learned about us and our commitments, values and resourcefulness. You see, people with disabilities have to be resourceful to get their needs met.
We must change these pictures. Even though there are some people that "make it" and have loads of money and are unscathed, many people with disabilities and who are blind are thought of as "dependent" "worthy poor" "depressing." We have to jettison isolation, individuality, and closed-door condescension. Koraling Lynne

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