Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Before Getting to the Office

by Donna J. Jodhan

One of the things that often occupies the mind of a disabled person on the way to work is all of the things that need to be faced before reaching the office. It all starts with the walk to the bus stop and ends with the arrival at one’s desk.

So many people have told me about their anxieties of getting to work. Waiting on the bus and ensuring that one gets on the right bus. Finding a seat on the bus and making sure that they do not miss their stop. If it is winter or otherwise bad weather, making sure that they make it safely to the bus stop.

It does not end there! If one has to take the subway then there are the added challenges of navigating one’s way to the correct subway. Just like a sighted person, a disabled person has to ensure that they get on the correct subway but if you are blind or sight impaired then guess what? The blind or sight impaired person has to deal with navigating through crowds and using their memory to pinpoint the location of their subway. Then when the subway arrives, they like everyone else has to jostle their way onto the subway and try to find a seat or the nearest pole to hang on to.

The trip is almost at an end but not quite. There is the final leg so to speak of getting from the subway station or bus stop to the office. For the disabled person and speaking as a blind person, this last leg is just as challenging as the previous ones. A disabled person has to navigate through crowds coming out of subway stations, walking on sidewalks, and going into office buildings and office towers. If the weather is bad, then the same concerns as described above re getting to the bus stop apply.

For me, when I worked in the mainstream workplace, all of what I have described applied directly to my challenges. With time, it got better. There is no easy way to deal with this. All that I can say is that as long as one realizes that these challenges do indeed exist, that’s half the battle won. The other half is to overcome them.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day. 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:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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