For your convenience, all Reader’s Forum submissions are separated by the ## symbol.
Regarding Ann Chiapetta’s article last week: I am with Albert Rizzi’s crew here. The flight attendant was out-of-bounds; you always accommodate someone to a new seat if a guide dog team is restless. It’s my hope that the blind around this nation, (Do I have a witness here?) will stop being so divided. Air lines must be educated, and we are to be
educated about what is, and is not, acceptable in boarding. Southwest Air Lines does not have assigned seating.
Before some of you ask me what I should’ve done, let me remind you that I am only limited in the monies I carry on my person and I do not always trust cabbies. Computer malfunctions are no excuse for stranding blind passengers! There should always be Plan
B: Find someone in the area, (trusted) that can get you to your destination.
About Bob Branco Article about inconvenient question: I like to hear those experiences in USA Because I live in Brasil and I thought that in other countries, people would not make those questions to people with disability. Because for me, ask to someone, no matter if with or without disability, how he goes to the bathroom, how he makes love… it is disrespectful, rude.
About games, I would like to know if there are audiogames in Portuguese?
About Disney, I think Disney parks are too much visual. There are many things the blind cannot touch, therefore, cannot see. They should have a special attention for the blind, for so they can touch things. Those who see can see the castle. But we cannot. When I was there, I would have liked so much touch the castle, but the security did not allow me to approach. It is stupid! Because if I paid for the ticket like others, I should be able to see everything. I say the same thing about museums. I was in the Natural History Museum in Washington, and I could not touch the biggest diamond, because it was behind the glass. OK it is so valuable, but they must understand the only way the blind can see is touching. So, every museum should allow the blind to touch everything. Because if others can see, we have this right too. The same thing happened at another museum in Washington. Once, here in my city, in Brasil, there was a Barbies exposition. Many Barbies with different styles. They were behind the glass. But the expositor took the glass off and allowed me touch in everything, making me so happy because I love Barbies!
I am writing to respond to Tammy’s comments about the commercialization of Christmas. As stated in the poem, Good Night America, we have been lured from the most important priorities in life by what we are promised by the stores. What will we remember when the broken toys are discarded, and the appliances finally give up the ghost? The most meaningful thing about Christmas is when family gets together; I grew up in a fractured, dysfunctional family, one side fought over who would be invited, and the gifts they bought. My cousin Nick has a good idea. Let me begin, however, by seconding yours. How would the stores like it if people didn’t show up for the bargains until the Monday after Thanksgiving? Nick has suggested that we buy from locally owned businesses instead of the giants I referred to, and one family refuses to buy gifts at all. They would rather create lasting memories, like the kind we had last year at my brother-in-law’s house. I heard about this on HLN, and thought what a breath of fresh air, pass it on. It would be interesting if we could find out how many people did it just that way, for once. I remember the Christmas of the year that my sister died; my aunt and I got our gifts from my cousin Courtney that morning before they left for Oklahoma, and later that day, we had George Foreman grilled round steaks and loaded boxed mashed potatoes, and were happy with those. For one year, I got my wish: we didn’t go all out on the extravagant stuff for Christmas dinner. Don’t you just love it??
Regarding Theresa Petrey’s Two Different Worlds, I can identify totally. While my school friends remember out loud things I don’t, and again, when my family recalls events from my childhood that I don’t, I say, in both cases, “I must not have been there.” It makes me feel that part of my life that might have been is missing.
I would like to comment on Ann’s article about the blind man being put off the plane. It is our responsibility when we make our reservations, to let them know we will be traveling with a guide dog. I know many blind people do not like to do this. However, I have found that it makes things go much more smoothly when I arrive for the flight. They know to be expecting my dog and they have saved a seat with adequate room for her. The other issue is that Albert became verbally abusive when he was asked to get his dog under the seat.
We all know it is a FAA regulation that all aisles must be kept clear at all times during a flight. I have often sat in the back bench seat that was described by Albert. I always take off the harness handle and my dog fits just fine under the seat in front of me. If the dog didn’t fit, then it is my responsibility to bring it to the flight attendant’s attention so another seat can be found. I have often had situations when other passengers have been asked to change seats with me so my dog can be out of the way. By Albert getting angry and shouting at the flight attendant did not resolve anything. It is behavior like his that makes it look bad for all other blind people traveling with guide dogs. Please people, let us all remember to act mature and respectable at all times and to be sure our dogs are under the best control and not in the way of anyone else or out in the aisles where they could cause a tripping hazard. Remember, the general public lumps us all into one basket so the poor behavior of one of us results in a negative impression for all of us.
The day the music died was not referring to the day Kennedy was killed, but 3 Feb 1959 when the plane crash killed Buddy Holly., Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper (JP Richardson).
I think Eric meant poorly prepared, not poorly unprepared, when they couldn’t ascertain where the driver was, because her computer was down. No offense, but they were poorly prepared. She, (the Dispatcher) should have found another way.
He could, I suppose, arrange another method to attend these football games.
The guide dog plane incident sounds ghastly. But I am AMAZED! That the passengers backed Rizzi. That blows me away. I recall once being refused by a New Orleans city bus driver. My dog, he said, needed a muzzle. One bystander offered to help me go to Walmart to get a muzzle. I think not! I later checked and learned the law had been changed several years ago. But some ignorant drivers may not have recalled being told this. You never get away from ignorance as a disabled person and it only takes one screwball to jack you up and not-so-supportive bystanders to worsen things.
This is a response to several folks who commented on my emergency room article in the reader’s forum.
Hello readers. Thank you for your many comments regarding my “emergency room article”. It seems as if it stirred up lots of thoughts and ideas. By the way the article is absolutely true! I chose not to mention the location of the hospital where this occurred to avoid the possibility of a lawsuit. You see, I still have to go there occasionally for treatment and things are improving.