Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at
Sat Apr 29 03:06:21 UTC 2017

I first heard the complaint about "the blind" from a staff member at The 
Seeing Eye in 1979, when I got my first dog.  She'd been reading a 
letter I'd written to the Federal Aviation Administration or some such, 
which letter was inspired by my first NFB convention that year.  I think 
my reaction was that I sort of understood her concern but didn't think 
it worth worrying about.

I've thought about this from time to time, mostly when there's an 
argument about what language to use when referring to blind folks or 
folks in some other group.  I think my view now is what it was that 
summer in 1979, but maybe with a better understanding of the concern.

It occurred to me as I read Kyle's message that "the blind" is part of 
"National Federation of the Blind," and that was the organization that 
catalyzed my crude sort-of-equality philosophy of my teens into a 
philosophy of equality that I have thought about regularly and refined 
in many ways since those early days.  I don't use the phrase a lot these 
days, but I would not call on any blindness organization to alter its 
name to kick it out.  Although the phrase can sound dehumanizing, so 
that the argument against using it is understandable, I associate it 
with my efforts and those of thousands of other blind people, in or out 
of the NFB, to promote a far better grasp of our full humanity.

I guess I was wrong on Wednesday when I said that non-geek stuff message 
would be my last on the topic here.  Strike one.

sent from the city with both Celtics and Red Sox victories tonight


On 4/28/2017 10:38 PM, Linux for blind general discussion wrote:
> According to eric oyen:
> # In fact, the sense I get is that we (the blind) aren't really even
> considered human.
> As long as we continue to consider ourselves to be "the blind" rather
> than people who happen to be blind or visually impaired, we will
> continue to be viewed as less than human. I am human. Blindness is a
> physical characteristic that I happen to possess. My image of myself is
> human first and foremost, with blindness as a challenge to overcome in
> whatever way is humanly possible. In projecting this image of myself to
> the general public, I generally feel less dehumanized than your
> run-of-the-mill "the blind," because in projecting my self image of
> human first, I relate to other humans on a human level, and the rest can
> more easily take care of itself. No, this isn't a matter of political
> correctness or anything even remotely close. It's a matter of self image
> and psychology. There is a certain stigma, write or not, attached to
> "the blind" by the general public at large. Overcoming it is possible,
> but it means educating the general public, as well as other people
> challenged by blindness or visual impairment, that our blindness or
> visual impairment is a physical characteristic, and even a limitation in
> many cases, but that it is not at all who or what we are as people.
> ~Kyle
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