One of the Most Misunderstood Groups

by Donna J. Jodhan

Would it be fair to say that in general, the blind community could be one of the most misunderstood groups? If so, then why? Could it be that we are misunderstood because maybe and just maybe, the mainstream society has probably not taken enough time to get to know us? Or maybe is it because that they have not been exposed to our world enough?

I guess that we could probably offer several explanations for this but at the end of the day, this is the situation. As for my humble opinion, I offer these possibilities:

I believe that when it comes to blind people in general, most of our mainstream society have somehow managed to erect artificial barriers towards us. These would include attitude, perception, and belief.

Let us first look at attitude. There seems to exist an attitude from many mainstream people that blind people should probably be viewed as not being fully able to be contributors to society. In short, we may be viewed more as people who need to be helped rather than as people who can help ourselves as well as others. The attitude may be one that includes the view that we are not fully able to take our places in the workplace and accordingly we are unable to attain enough spending power to look after ourselves. As a result, we need to be enrolled in support programs that can help to bolster our disposable incomes.

Perception: Much of our society may be guilty of having the wrong perception of blind people; we are often viewed as not being able to think and do for ourselves. We are often seen as being helpless, easy prey for thieves, hackers, and bullies, and we are frequently seen as not important enough to receive certain core services. Evidence of this is often exhibited by both governments and companies in that whenever the going gets tough, the first set of services to be cut are those to the disabled and to the blind in particular. These circumstances often occur during unfavourable economic conditions.

Belief: Believe it or not, there are certain cultures that genuinely feel that blind people are better off being shut off from society; in homes and away from the glares and stares of society. Or that they are better off not being seen or heard. There are even some cultures that honestly believe that we as a group should not be considered equally to the rest of society because of our disability.

Attitude, perception, and belief; these in my humble opinion seem to be the three main barriers that are responsible for us not being fully understood as people, contributors, and as part of society. These are the three main barriers that we as a group have to face and ones that we need to tackle if we hope to turn things around in a positive way

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: 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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