Archive for July, 2013

Feature Writer Steven Famiglietti – An Interesting Change

Recently, I began to work with people who are deaf and blind. These individuals have become a part of my responsibilities in the past six months. At first, I was afraid and overwhelmed by these new challenges.

I was at a recent appointment working with an individual who uses sign language as their main method of face to face communication. This means, when I schedule an appointment with this individual, I have to make sure there are sign language interpreters there as well. These individuals have quite an exhausting job. They must interpret my spoken words to the student in sign language. Then, the individual signs back to the interpreter and then the interpreter speaks the message to me. In observing this dynamic way of communicating, it quickly becomes apparent that it takes longer to have a conversation. It is important to speak carefully and to listen carefully to what the interpreter is communicating to avoid any misunderstandings.

I’ve worked with people who use Braillenotes as their technology of choice and I’ve worked with people who are using screen magnification software as their technology of choice. In each case, I am fascinated by how quickly these individuals have learned to use their hardware and software to communicate with the outside world. I give them a lot of credit for accomplishing these tasks, because they have an extra barrier to deal with, one that I had never thought about until I worked with them.

When I first met these individuals, I was actually afraid because I had never worked with anyone who can only communicate with sign language in the past. I thought I couldn’t speak in the same way as I do with those individuals who don’t need sign language. I quickly lost my fears and learned that these people are just like me. Now when I visit them, I make jokes with them and speak to them exactly as I would if they verbally spoke back to me. I respect and appreciate working with them and I am glad to have gained this amazing experience.

Feature Writer Lynne Tatum – iOS App Update

Have you been using any iPhone apps you consider really cool? Below are three I’m finding convenient and fun.

BlindSquare ($9.99): I’ve had this app for some time but have only recently begun using it on a regular basis. I salivated for Sendero’s long-awaited Seeing Eye GPS app but I’ve been incredibly impressed with this cheaper solution, and feel it’s a fairly good contender. As I’ve said to many, it’s offered us the freedom to get on any bus and get off at the correct bus stop. I know I can ask the driver but sometimes they’re ornery – and so am I. BlindSquare offers a level of independence that I’ve never known, which makes my iPhone even more indispensable. With the latest update, you can even plan a route. It didn’t find the address for my job but it did find that of Lighthouse International. Initially, I had all points of interest turned on but I’ve filtered it so that now only streets are announced. The developer welcomes your feedback and has graciously thanked me for mine via Twitter.

Instapaper ($3.99): As you might expect, I consume much of my news via Twitter. Deluged with articles from many sources, Instapaper enables me to read them in a clean, stripped-down fashion. You can read them right away or open them later. The bare and spare articles are perfect for sites you’ve found too cluttered. You can create your account on the web at www.instapaper.com. Once you open the app, the Read Later list is conveniently located at the top of a list of options. Also, note that the Edit button is at the top right and provides the ability to organize and delete articles in a relatively Voiceover-friendly manner.

Capti Web Player ($2.99): Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with “Samantha”. She and I have a beautiful relationship. Sometimes, however, it’s nice to change it up a little. The Capti-Web player offers the ability to read articles with the Acapella speech synthesizers – “Heather” and “Ryan”. Once I got the knack of making a playlist, the app became infinitely more attractive. Indeed, this was the idea behind the development of the app. Here are some hints. Once you’ve added articles to the playlist, double-tap on the “Playlist” button; next double-tap on the Edit button at the top right; select your articles; then double-tap on the Done button. Double Tap on the first article you would like to read and the rest should follow. Additionally, go to the regular Settings button of your iDevice; locate Capti Web player and you’ll find options such as the ability to change to the male voice.

What apps have you found APPsolutely indispensable? Do Tell!

Feature Writer Karen Crowder – The Menace of Bed Bugs: Paula and Claudia’s Story

From the 1940s to 1995 everyone assumed bedbugs had disappeared from the US. In the 21st century, reports and articles in magazines confirmed their reemergence.

Paula and Claudia reside in Lincoln, Nebraska. In July 2011, they lived in a three story apartment complex. Paula had been there since 1977, living in a garden style one bedroom apartment. Her best friend Claudia moved there in 1981 and lives in a studio apartment. On this warm July day they sat in upholstered velvet lined chairs appreciating summer sunshine. As they walked to their apartments that afternoon they were unaware how their lives would change.

At night both women began experiencing intense itching, did they have fleas? Claudia told me “I noticed marks on my arms and legs and my feet were so itchy.” Paula told me “I noticed bites on my legs and arms, it aggravated skin conditions I have eczema, dermatitis and shingles.”

By August, they were getting two and a half hours of sleep many nights. On August 4, they discovered there was a bed bug infestation in their complex. A mentally unstable neighbor had brought chairs and other second hand furniture from the dump to the complex. They could hear their land lady broadcasting the news angrily, threatening to evict all three disabled tenants.

The relationship between Paula and Claudia and the landlady became worse, and on the 18th, she called Claudia angrily demanding that they both fill the trash barrels tomorrow, so she could properly exterminate their apartments. They could not fulfill her request; they were so debilitated from sleep deprivation. As Paula was walking outdoors Saturday morning the kind trash hauler was alarmed by her appearance. He noticed her tiredness, arms and legs riddled with welts and bite marks. He said “you should be in isolation, you don’t look well.” The man notified police about the complex’s situation.

Paula notified Adult Protective Services and the police. On August 31, a sheriff served Claudia and Paula with eviction notices which Paula appealed to the director of fair housing. He gave them a two month extension.

By October the apartments were not exterminated. Both women were experiencing severe sleep deprivation psychosis. Some of the symptoms include daytime hallucinations, paranoia and excessive confusion. Claudia suffered from allergies and since she took Benadryl it mitigated the effects of the parasites.

When Paula visited the dentist in October, frightened by her appearance he made an emergency appointment with her dermatologist. On November 3, he insisted “Paula should be hospitalized and placed on intravenous antibiotics.” She had stage 1 sepsis, without treatment she would be dead in a week. In tears she said, “But I am being evicted.” He was shocked and tried to reason with her landlady. She was callous stating, “I don’t care how sick she is they have to be out of here by November 11.” On November 7, Paula found the apartment she is living in. As she told me, “I had five minutes to decide whether I wanted it.” Adult protective services and the League of Human dignity partially helped them pack and paid for one of two storage units.

On November 10, with just the clothes on their backs, sick and exhausted they moved in to a motel to stay for a month. Most of their belongings were consigned to storage units.

In my next article I will talk about their amazing recovery and give information about these insects.

Feature Writer Ann Chiapetta – Introducing the Seeing Eye GPS App

What does the oldest guide dog school in the U.S. have in common with the makers of the first blind friendly, pedestrian GPS device? A brand new app for the iPhone, of course.

For the price of a one or three year subscription, you can purchase the app and get the same high quality turn-by-turn walking directions that have only been available with Sendarro’s Trekker Breeze which lists for over $800.

Currently, the low cost, popular, off-the-shelf models like Garmin or Tom Tom GPS (short for Global Positioning System) devices come equipped with speech output but only for announcing routes and to input data. There is no speech output option for those who can’t read the screen and want to operate one of these nifty little doo dads.

Up until a few months ago, the only true, portable and fully accessible GPS device was the Trekker Breeze.

Despite the exorbitant price tag, it has been used for years by the blind community and was first tested by Guide Dogs for the Blind, among other blind and visually impaired user groups. Then, about four years ago, another smaller and less robust fully audible device called the Kaptain Plus was endorsed and is still used by Leader Dogs. I tested this and it was simple but the urban canyon effect blocked a lot of urban and suburban usage when walking in areas with tall buildings. It did have a usable voice command system, though.

Why am I so excited about this new app? I’ve listened to two podcasts demonstrating this Seeing Eye Sendarro app and I am very pleased with its performance.
To listen or read about this app, follow the links below.

For a podcast, go to: From Cool Blind Tech:

CBT#55, Seeing Eye GPS Demo
http://coolblindtech.com/podcast/seeing-eye-gps-demo-cbt-55742013

For a blog article, go to: “A Blind Man’s Journey” comes “Because Somebody Gotta Be the Goat: My initial thoughts on Seeing Eye GPS”:
http://blindtravelblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/because-somebody-gotta-be-the-goat-my-initial-thoughts-on-seeing-eye-gps/?utm_content=buffer5069e&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer

For the Sendarro feedback page, go to: http://www.senderogroup.com/products/SeeingEyeGPS/segpsform.asp

Feature Writer John Christie – Disabled Parents Lose Custody of Their Children Because of Public Misconceptions

Two years ago, Erika Johnson, of Independence Missouri, who is blind along with her husband, had her first baby, Mikaela. While in the hospital, the nurse was teaching Erika how to breast feed her baby. The nurse sympathetically told Erika that many mothers find nursing hard at first. Then the nurse called social services and reported the couple to them. The couple had their baby taken away from them for 57 days.

This story is more the norm than the exception for disabled parents. As a matter of fact, the National Council on Disability’s 445 page report cites many examples of discrimination that disabled parents face. This also reinforces the cultural belief that people with physical or intellectual disabilities shouldn’t have or raise kids.

Another example of a disabled person who would like kids but doesn’t have them yet is Robyn Powell. She uses a power wheelchair because she has limited use of her arms and legs. At 31, this attorney was asked and suggested many times if she would like to have the process of sterilization done. She has refused many times. She says that she has been offered a hysterectomy more times than she can count. She tells them that she thinks that she will need her uterus. As you can see, society as a whole feels that the disabled population is incapable of raising kids.

Parenthood is hard for anyone. But Powell believes that people with disabilities can adjust to parenthood better because they are more adaptable. Yet the council’s report called “Rocking The Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children” shows the challenges and discrimination some face when it comes to child welfare, family law, access to fertility treatment and adoption.

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, people thought this act would make it easier for this group of people. But it hasn’t. People with disabilities who want to have kids and raise families still have to deal with legal quicksand. Two-thirds of child welfare laws list some type of disability as grounds for removing a child from his home and allowing parental rights to be terminated. People with psychiatric or intellectual disabilities lose their children at a rate as high as 80 percent.

Agencies for the disabled should start a campaign and educate the public about how disabled parents can bring up families and hold down jobs. That way, the public will have a positive image of what the disabled can do. This way, maybe the statistics can be turned around.

Source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/11/27/why-parents-with-disabilities-are-losing-custody-of-their-kids/

Feature Writer Terri Winaught – How Net-By-Phone Works

As indicated at the conclusion of Part One, “About Phil Scopes,” Phil’s education, employment, and his desire to create an accessible service culminated in Phil developing Net-By-Phone in June, 1999. What makes Net-By-Phone both accessible and unique is that it requires neither a computer nor a special phone to read E-mail and browse the Internet. By using any landline, cordless or cellular phone, one can access his/her account simply by dialing a number much as an individual might do to get into telephone banking or voicemail. Once in the system, synthetic speech will read E-mail to which you can respond simply by using your voice. The ability to use one’s voice to send and respond to E-mails is a big plus for persons whose hand coordination difficulties might make it virtually impossible to keyboard on a computer or even use a phone key pad much as one might do to text.

Just as using any telephone and one’s voice brings a new level of ease and accessibility to sending E-mail, so, too, does this simple combination lend ease and quickness to browsing any website. The computerized speech with which any website is spoken reads text, HTML, attachments, MP3s, and Wav files. To say more about Wav files, recipients of Net-By-Phone voice-generated E-mails must be able to open Wav files. With so many access technologies for persons who are blind or vision-impaired being very expensive, one might understandably question the affordability of this service. As someone who utilized Net-By-Phone for several years, I can assure you that there are pricing plans to meet any budget (see www.net-by-phone.com for pricing plans using either a Chicago number or a toll-free number).

A final aspect of Net-By-Phone that maintains flexibility and innovation is the option to access e-mail and the Internet entirely with your voice or to use the phone keypad much as one might do when texting.

The focus of the third and final part of this series will be the unique and extensive voicemail system Phil Scopes has also developed and implemented.

To learn more, phone 1-773-572-3000 or visit www.net-by-phone.com.

If any readers have Philmore Production’s Voice Internet Service, share your experiences with that system in Readers Forum.

Feature Writer Alena Roberts – A New Curriculum for Teaching Braille to Adults

Last summer when I started my master’s program, one of our classes was to learn the Braille code. The class was quite easy for me since I learned Braille over 15 years ago, but for my cohort members who knew nothing about Braille, learning all that information in 8 weeks was a lot for them to take in. The Braille code is very complex and people who lose their vision as adults often choose not to learn because of its complexity. In order to increase the number of blind adults who do learn Braille, someone needed to change the way that we teach the code. Emily Wharton, an instructor at Blind Inc. in Minnesota, has done just that. The Code Master Methodology curriculum has been demonstrated to be effective at teaching Braille to adults in a much shorter time and with a higher success rate.

An article in the Braille Monitor from this February does a great job of explaining how the Code Master Methodology differs from the traditional way that we teach Braille. The traditional method can take up to six months for people to learn and students are given a textbook to work from. They often don’t get to pick the materials that they read and many find the process very tedious. Emily’s goal was to try to design a curriculum that would encourage her students to be excited about Braille.

Her classes start by having the students learn the dot configurations and learning their letters by using a peg slate. Within the first couple weeks they know the entire alphabet and punctuation as well as how to write using a Braille writer and a Braille display. The students then move on to contracted Braille and reading on a Braille display. Emily has found that the Braille display is easier for beginners to learn to read on because there is only one line.

Another difference from the traditional method is how contractions are introduced. The Code Master method has students start with the short form words which are often the last thing that is learned traditionally. This is done because it’s easier to memorize the short forms. The materials given to the students also include audio CDs and a list of the 1000 most common sight words in their proper contracted form. Once students have learned the contractions they move onto choosing their own reading material which encourages reading outside of class and improves fluency.

Because the new curriculum has been so successful at Blind Inc., Emily has recently been recognized both by the NFB and the National Braille Press. It is also likely that the curriculum will be available to other centers around the country very soon.

To read all about the code, here is a link to the Braille Monitor article: https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/bm/bm13/bm1302/bm130205.htm

Letter from the Editor – Week of July 29, 2013

Hello Everyone,

I hope everyone had a relaxing and cool weekend.

I think we had a better week last week with the magazines reaching you all. Please let me know if you are missing any emails. If you are missing the current week’s magazine or supplement you can automatically get them by sending an email to editor@matildaziegler.com with the subject as either “Did not get magazine” or “Did not get supplement” (without the quotation marks).

Thanks for reading and to those who wrote in to the Reader’s Forum.

Have a great week.

Sincerely,
Editor

Recipe of the Week – Macaroni Salad

Submitted by Abbie Taylor

Ingredients:

1 package large elbow macaroni
4-6 tablespoons mayonnaise
1-2 handfuls chopped onions
1-2 handfuls large pitted black olives
.5-1 tomato (chunked)
5 dill pickle spears (chunked)
2 tablespoons pickle juice

Directions:

Heat water in large pan. When boiling, add macaroni and, if desired, a little salt for flavor and to keep it from sticking. Let simmer for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Drain macaroni in colander and run cold water over it. Pour into large container. Add other ingredients, stirring after each ingredient is added. Let sit in refrigerator for at least a few hours before serving. Enjoy!

Reader’s Forum – Week of July 22, 2013

For your convenience, all Reader’s Forum submissions are separated by the ## symbol.

Valerie wrote:

I enjoyed Terri’s article about Net-By-Phone. I have been using it for over ten years and found it to be reliable and easy to use. Great system!

##

Sue wrote:

In response to Eric’s comment, yes it would be so nice if Apple could create an iPhone that is in Braille, but there is a screen protector from speeddots.com that makes an overlay that you can put on the iPhone, I bought one because I am going to get an iPod touch soon, it looks awesome, there is mainly dots on this lay out there are a few at the top and there are some where the on screen keyboard is. They have two models, one is the standard which I have which has all of the dots, and if you are an advanced user you only get a few dots here and there. I got my screen protector from atguys.com for $8.00. I think some time in the future I am going to get a Braille keyboard and a qwerty keyboard to use with the iPod touch since they are Bluetooth enabled.

##

Jake wrote:

I wish to comment on “Desire to Learn Improves Access to Online Learning by Hiring Blind Employees,” written by Alena Roberts. A couple years ago I took an online medical terminology course through one of the local community colleges, and my experience definitely could’ve been better. At the time the college used WebCT to deliver all its online courses. I found this platform to be only somewhat accessible. The quizzes and exams themselves were pretty accessible, but the time clock for the exams was not that accessible. Furthermore, I found myself going to the top of the page and tabbing repeatedly each time I needed to advance to the next question. Before going any further here, I should mention the 2 screen readers I use now: System Access to Go and Non-Visual Desktop Access. At the time I was a pretty experienced SA user, but NVDA was still quite new to me and I therefore didn’t feel comfortable using it for everyday tasks. This tabbing around was a bit time-consuming, and I think it really impacted my final grade in the course. Fortunately the Assist office, the college’s office for students with disabilities, was very understanding and offered to have one of their staff help me take these exams. So on the morning of each exam I’d get a ride to one of the college’s 2 campuses from a tutor who works with me. The staff member read me each question and the accompanying answer choices, and I dictated my answers. There were several visual diagrams, even though my professor had previously been notified both in person and in writing that I could not see the diagrams. Sure the staff person helping me out could’ve explained these to me, and some of them tried doing that. But they were pretty complex in nature and it was therefore felt that the best idea was for me to skip over said diagrams. In addition, this professor was less than accommodating when it came to communication. She even falsely informed us that one of the exams was available online for me to take. I actually ended up finding this out the hard way. My tutor had dropped me off, and the staff person went online to look for the exam. She then informed me that she couldn’t find it, and that I would have to go home and try taking it online later that same day. I somehow managed to complete the exam online and have it submitted in the allotted time period. Perhaps this was just a lucky day for me, I’m not sure. But needless to say I’m so glad I finished that course. I was then asked by someone in the Assist office if I would help test out the Desire2Learn platform for accessibility, as the college was going to switch over to it for all their online courses. I told them I’d be glad to help evaluate it, but I never heard back from anyone so I don’t know what the story is with it.

Regards,
Jake Joehl

##

Jennifer wrote:

I am one of a small population of blind people with retinopathy of prematurity. I have been totally blind since birth. I have spent most of my time mainstreamed in to public school. My experiences being mainstreamed into public school were a mixed bag. One year I would have a resource room with a resource teacher and a teacher’s aide who also did Braille transcribing for those of us who needed books in Braille. I am happy that I was taught Braille. Without it I
wouldn’t have gotten through college and math would have been much more difficult. In sixth grade, the people who were in charge of my individualized education plan decided with the agreement of my mother that I was ready to be completely mainstreamed, which in this case
meant that I would not have a resource room and the only service that would be available would be an itinerant teacher. This went on until I was in ninth grade. The itinerant teacher I had in sixth grade was excellent. She traveled from one district to another and taught other blind and visually impaired students. My first itinerant teacher Mrs. Crystal helped me if I was struggling with math and she also transcribed my Braille books. In eighth grade she was replaced by Mrs. Obrien. Mrs. Obrien was rarely ever on campus and she only wanted to transcribe but I did learn how to use the computer. I learned to type when I was in second grade. Once I got out of high school, which had a resource room, I was referred to the department of rehabilitation. I went to the Orientation Center for the Blind (OCB,) which at that time was one of the best places to learn
independent living skills in California. Then I moved to another state. At one point I went to this state’s program for the blind and it was quite different. All of us had to be blindfolded. I was blindfolded even though I wasn’t visually impaired. I started to have questions about how well these instructors had been trained. My questions about how things were being done were systematically discouraged. Those instructors who were willing to answer my inquiries gave the following answers. One instructor had had one week of training, another had two weeks of training and still a third instructor had only one day of training. This was very disappointing
for me. However my orientation and mobility skills improved a great deal. I eventually left that program. One thing I have learned about training programs for blind people is that not all programs are created equal and if you are given a choice you should thoroughly investigate any program you are considering.

##

Elaine wrote:

I don’t like the word sightless. I refer to myself as a blind person. I don’t like being referred to as sightless any more than someone without teeth would want to be referred to as a toothless person.

As far as handicapped placards are concerned, I think blind people should be eligible to get them if they choose to do so. They might come in handy in situations such as rainy and snowy weather.

Sincerely, Elaine Johnson

##

Eric wrote:

I want to respond to the reader who complained to the Ziegler about their Convention experiences. I’m assuming they were referring to the Convention of the National Federation of the Blind.

No offense, but you were poorly unprepared. You should have carried a roommate. When others ask for help, you may be told to, “Figure it out!” in an NFB setting. If you get an ignorant comment, don’t listen to it! If you need help, try and fight for sighted assistance.

Your second mistake is also a no-no at Conventions, NFB, ACB, or otherwise: find cheaper restaurants in the area. This requires you to open your mouth. Don’t stay in the hotel all day. Once General Sessions, or the big activities, are over, get some fresh air! It may be July 4, and
you might want to go check out fireworks. Ask around.

And don’t disparage the Federation. You are there to acquire k-n-o-w-l-e-d-g-e. Be yourself; don’t be out of place.

As someone who follows NFB and ACB, you really did not do your homework. I’m at eric@pmpmail.com.

Eric

##

Patty wrote:

After reading this week’s edition, I have to make a comment. In my opinion, like all things, a little good has come from the different blindness organizations such as NFB and ACB. Not mentioned in any particular order. However, just as there are different groups or, parties if you will for things of a political nature, it seems to me that they all start with good intentions and then it becomes a matter of the haves, and the have-nots.

Here’s what I wish, I wish I could start an organization of people who weren’t interested in who’s right and who’s wrong, not an organization that would turn away someone who has a dog in one of their centers, or restrict the use of said dog if the dog were allowed at all. Well, how would you cane travelers like to be told you had to check your cane at the door and go always with a sighted guide. Think about it folks, you wouldn’t even be able to, while attending certain events, get up and go use the rest room by yourself. You’d have to inconvenience someone. So these things along with many others are actually getting in the way of the original idea of these groups.

It would seem to me, that what we should do is band together, stand united as blind, and other disabled persons as well. Show that whether you’re extremely overly successful, averagely so, or not yet employed, (And, by the way not being employed does not mean you’re unsuccessful, there are lots of ways to be successful.)

I’ve kind of gotten on a rant here, and I simply can’t help it. People, you say you want to be treated like the average John/Jane Doe but then you start yelling “I’ve got to have it this way because I’m disabled.” Folks you cannot have it both ways.

I call to all blind and disabled organizations everywhere, stop trying to be number 1, stop trying to always be right on every point, remember how we’ve gotten as far as we have, and let’s stand united to continue strong, and successful in whatever way that is for us!

If you’re interested write me at: campbell04@charter.net

##

Marilyn wrote:

In Karen Crowder’s article “Keeping Comfortable and Cool During Heat Waves,” she mentioned keeping hydrated with iced coffee. If coffee or tea is decaf, it’s OK; but, if it has caffeine, then it is not going to help you keep hydrated. As a matter of fact, it does just the opposite. The same goes for cola and other drinks with caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic; so, not only does it not hydrate you, you need to drink even more to counteract the effects of the caffeine. Being in the pool can help hydrate you via your body’s absorption through the skin. When the sun is intense, consider wearing a cloth sun hat even in the water. I have a floppy hat that won’t get hurt by getting soaked. I’ve worn it at the beach. I’m not worried about fashion. I’m not going to fry myself.

Thanks for your consideration,
Marilyn Dorn

##

Ann wrote:

Hello Readers, I am writing in response to a few folks who wrote in regarding my convention article. I appreciate your feedback and will continue to provide material that stimulates readers to write in to the Forum.

To the anonymous writer who, “felt like I had stumbled into a fanatics din. I felt like I was lost, not just physically, but emotionally as well.”

I too felt that way during my first State Convention and it took a long time to go to another convention, to risk the possibility of it happening again. The second time around was much better.

Also, in reading David’s commentary, I am not sure what “facts” need to be proven. I was writing about my personal experiences, not facts.

I’d also like to touch upon something that these two forum submissions touched upon: why do some blind folks feel like other blind folks have more when we all are living with vision loss? Where does the sense of entitlement come from? Blindness doesn’t discriminate, so why are we envious or bitter when hearing about successful blind folks?

Blindness is isolating and we often give in to it. I give in to it when things get tough for me. Please, if you are reading this, don’t give up. We all struggle with the loneliness and isolation. You are not alone.

##

Lucia wrote:

To Dave McElroy: Dave, I can’t prove you wrong, ‘cause you have the facts. You are right! We need universal website accessibility, and I wonder what is being accomplished in these organizations. We do need protests against movies which would demean blind people, we do need support of the Guide Dog Attack bill and the Help America vote bill. We do need legislation, we need jobs, support with housing discrimination, and about jobs, 84%, not 70%, of working-age vision-impaired alone, as agencies will have us believe are out of work.

We do not have good transportation, we don’t have accessible home appliances. Dave, you are right on target! My best to Pam. I miss you guys!

Peace, with justice, Lucia

##

Lucia wrote:

To the Ziegler Reader: The Ziegler reader is correct. There is no election of new officers. You are absolutely correct! Aren’t we supposed to be helping, advocating and supporting each other instead of fighting each other?

Yes, shamefully, too many blind people have that air of superiority. There is one also at another organization as well, right here in New York City. It is no one’s fault if they don’t feel they have sufficient skills. People need training, though not a judgmental critical attitude from those who are supposed to support them.

I bet those “top officials” did go with sighted guides! I know what the Ziegler reader means. I’m as “independent” as they come, but for a different reason: I am alone, that’s why. If two people agree, but for different reasons, then, they disagree. No one should dictate to people. It’s not fun. Don’t go. Leave them, go your own way, make friends who will love and respect and support you, and stay cool. Peace!