Out of Sight, Out of Mind

by Donna J. Jodhan

Someone recently put forth the following argument to me. Out of sight, out of mind; could this be the reason why society often forgets about blind and sight impaired persons when it comes to ensuring that they receive such things as: equal access to job opportunities, education, health services, equal access to sporting and recreational facilities, and everything else that the mainstream person has access to?

I listened with bated interest to this person's opinions and arguments and after our encounter I decided to take a bit of time to contemplate. It did not take me too long to formulate my own opinion. There definitely seems to be a common thread when it comes to blind and sight impaired persons being either forgotten or left out of many every day matters.

When it comes to sporting activities, I have found that in my home city of Toronto Canada, there is a definite lack of accommodation when it comes to sporting activities. Over the last decade, I have tried so many times to catch the interest of the Parks and Recreation folks in Toronto to raise the issue of blind persons being left out of sporting events and they have sheepishly admitted that more needs to be done but to date not much has been done.

A few months ago I had a meeting with some officials of a financial institute to discuss making more financial planning services available to blind and sight impaired persons and at that time I raised the issue of making information available in alternate formats such as Braille, large print, and electronic text. To my chagrin but not to my surprise, the officials admitted that they had never thought of doing so. I also had a similar meeting with a major supermarket chain in Toronto to discuss making their weekly specials more available to their blind and sight impaired customers either online or through a phone service and again, I was told that this had not been thought of up until now.

So the question of the day would be this one: Why is it that so many companies, cities, and even governments seem to often forget about the blind and sight impaired? Out of sight out of mind? Because the blind and sight impaired community is just too small to be considered or could it be something else? This is not just a Toronto Canada problem; it is Canada wide, North American wide, and even global wide.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all: http://www.donnajodhan.blogspot.com
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility: http://www.sterlingcreations.ca/blog/blog.html
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns: http://www.sterlingcreations.com/businessdesk.htm

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