Women with Disabilities in the Workforce: Can People Please Change Their Attitudes?

Dear Readers,

It is with a heavy heart I’m writing this. The problems I’ve had attaining a job are paramount to societal barriers put in the way for the pleasure of putting such barriers in the way. For one, almost 80% of blind Americans are either of two things: unemployed or severely underemployed in sheltered workshops, and only 10% of blind people are fully employed. The other 10% are part time workers because of circumstances. This is unacceptable.

Why is there no way for me to get a job, you might ask. Well, I sit here writing this and reflecting on all the people and places who’ve shut their doors on me. As a blind woman, I was also called “unstable” by a young woman on Facebook who was also blind, and judged by what you could call “neurotypical” blind people who’ve had better upbringings, which isn’t acceptable by and large. Society allows people to judge others for their abilities, something I cannot ignore and cannot accept or embrace. Crooked government policies also see this, and nothing is done to untwist the policy of marriage protections, or equal rights for disabled people in marriages and families. I as a disabled woman should never have to face the biting sting of the whip of incompetence, something I will never let my children see if they even dared.

Society just doesn’t get it. I cannot get a job because nobody will hire a blind person, especially on talk radio. The North Korean thing is about the only thing anyone will talk about, but my talk radio themes are more centered around equal rights and domestic civil liberties which could be taken away at any moment. Trump being as unempathetic as he is is doing a fine job of trying to wipe out ISIS, deal with the DPRK, but is not trying to take care of his people at home, which is the government’s first foremost responsibility. With great power, Uncle Ben says, comes great responsibility. Has Donald Trump watched Spider Man? I don’t think he even did, you know the one with Toby McGuire? That one. HE probably didn’t pay attention and Baron, his youngest son, was too little when the Spider Man movies came out, at least the one I’m referencing. Trump should take a look at what Uncle Ben said in that movie, and take it to heart seriously. With great power comes great responsibility, and might I add, a burden of truth. Truth is what you do, the tweets you send attacking the Honorable Barack Obama, the tweets and recordings of you making fun of people with disabilities, saying that the U.S. is a business, not a charity, and because I can’t work, you don’t care. I am living off welfare funds because of you and your lack of progressive enough policies to get blind people like me in a meaningful job. I want to be a radio broadcaster, a talk show host, whatever you want to call it, but music education is dying out in public schools. I don’t mind doing the midday shows, and doing talks about headlines, mainly the headlines in Colorado. However, who will hire me? Who will allow me to read messages from people? Who will also accommodate me with the correct software and a Braille display? That is important stuff, though expensive, important. My Braille display of current use is broken and sitting there collecting dust, which it shouldn’t. I seriously don’t want to sit at home collecting dust either, but if society has its way, all my friends would not be allowed to walk down the street. LEt’s talk to a guy who works, a guy who believes in a lot of people and see what we get. My buddy Jessie works. He also is heavily close to his family, which is great considering most families don’t deserve blind children as adults because they don’t know what to do with them. Families oftentimes coddle and cue the adult children who are only blind, blind and blind with some vision. It can get annoying, dangerously unhealthy and downright cruel of the family to coddle or cue the person to say something when they don’t want to. Jessie is not in a family like that, rather his family treats him like an adult. HE goes to work every morning, comes home, does his thing, and goes on about his life during the weekends. Trenton’s family I must say doesn’t cue or smother the hell out of Trenton, as I write this his mom and I plan a shopping trip for the weekend after the first of May. However, because I don’t work, I have to buy thrift store clothes, thrift store things, and consignment furniture and I desperately need a new queen sized bed for Trenton and I. We can’t put a king bed in our bedroom it’s so small, and I have my desk in here so I can probably tell you how echoey it is in the living room. Ugh.

Working makes a big difference, and if I worked, I could afford to get my kids clothing, food, and fresh vegetables and fruits without going to a food bank. Period. The kids need to eat three square meals a day, should we attempt to raise such family. Cats are no different. They need so many square meals a day, and did I forget to mention pet deposit or pet rent? Yes, animals require pet rent, pet deposit, and all that. No lying to psychiatrists or registering a kitten as an emotional support animal because of the rampant fraud that occurs with such animals. Jen, a lady who lives in Georgia, has a dog who carries her med supplies with her. Jen’s dog is classified under medical/emotional support, but still, even guide dogs are subjected to being thrown off the airplane. IF Jen could fly, she would have to leave the dog at home because some airlines have poor accessibility for service animals and ES animals alike. It doesn’t matter, and since she doesn’t work and has so many appointments she cannot leave work for, she probably will never get a real paid job. Neither will I. Jobs are hard to come by, but here’s something worse. The only job DVR wants me to do is call center work, period.

DVR refuses to help with more meaningful stuff, and I wouldn’t care more for the crap going on at all. This is what blind women face in the workforce: sometimes it’s sexual harassment, other times it’s too much scalding from the boss. Blind women are not immune to rape in the workplace as the women of Fox News were not immune to verbal abuse from Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ayles. This is truly unbelievable, you may say. But I don’t want to take the chance and be talked down to or walked on or on top of by men in the office, period. I don’t put up with stuff like this, or to put it a bit less mildly, I don’t put up with bullshit. I don’t, and I’m more no nonsense than you think.

I have a message for employers who are obviously interested in my work: please hire me. I need a job as much as the next guy, but you should give me a chance because I have more eloquence than the shy sighted blonde in the back, and you’re not looking for visuals, you’re looking at audibles. Like a voice. Period.

ISIS Can’t Keep Its Hands Off!

Dear Readers,

When one is going to church, what do you expect? Whenever I went to church, nobody tried to shoot others and commit violence against the church in the name of Allah, God, whatever. God is not someone to be taken lightly, and even when Allah in Islam is subject to criticism, there is one thing that we should make known at all costs. Violence in God’s name is forbidden, haram, in Islam. It should be duly noted that the Medina scripts, the parts of the Qu’ran or holy book of Islam that condone violence, really don’t mean it in the present time. The book was written in a time when girls were mistreated and violence against Arab tribes was common, even “People of the Book” were considered dangerous. Egypt is taking the right steps to ensure Christians have a safe place to worship. I remember times when ISIS or ISIL or whatever this group’s name is would behead Christians and steal their women which isn’t right. An old man bought a Yezidi girl for the purpose of rape, and it was horrifying to hear this girl talk about her escape, her captvitiy being all the worse. ISIS needs to keep its hands off all Christians, rather, go back to their small caves and don’t come out again. ISIS has no place in Islam, nor does anything else that supports it. Weapons of mass destruction, that of the Mother of All Bombs, aren’t enough to stop this group from making it unsafe for Coptics to worship in Egypt. Coptic Christians, among others, are targeted because of their faith, and this is not right. One person dead because another person uttered “allahu-Akbar” that is not right. Islam is supposed to have had a better attitude toward blind women as well, but the brothers in the Mosque I attended did not have that attitude, and now my ex, Deq, is currently in Kenya with his new bride. This is fine, as I’ve found someone else who isn’t Muslim, who has a good head on his shoulders, etc., and because I don’t have any local friends, I don’t know what else to do but exchange conversation with an old friend. Thankfully, she understands that why I left the community, why religion doesn’t work for me. But that’s a whole different story I can write a different day.

As for the problems with Christians worshipping their way in Egypt, at least there is a president who’s willing to support the Christians, no jizzia tax or anything, because that’s humiliating. Arab Christians and Jews call God the same, so why tax the people for reading the “book”?

Facing the Truth About FAmily and Local Guardianships: a Reality Check on Face Us

Dear Readers,

I was given the pleasure of participating in a discussion about guardianship abuse, judicial corruption, and other things regarding that. Jenny (Margaret Jeanne) Hatch got free of hers, and she has down’s syndrome, but for me, it is impossible, and yet I’m blind and that’s really the only disability I have is blindness. As far as I know, guardianship uses the “junk science” of psychiatry to justify guardianships, and it never works. Meet the Johns and Janes of guardianship, people whose elder parents are confined to nursing facilities, drugged to death practically, and not allowed to see their children. They don’t remember their children’s and grandchildren’s names, occupations, and other personal details. Unfortunately, this is the face of Florida, my former residence. I’m not going back to live in Florida for any reason, and Trenton and I may have to delete our honeymoon registry in Florida because of safety reasons, security, etc. One shout of “She can hurt herself” and I could have my morning, afternoon, and entire honeymoon vacation ruined. Face Us with Lulu and Robin is a show worth listening to because you should be educated on the truth about guardianship. Use of unproven junk psychiatry to diagnose Border Line Personality was the worst thing in the world to cause problems for me and millions of others, and I’m going to speak out about this. I’m also going to speak on behalf of those who cannot and are not allowed to speak for themselves. What would I do for Florida if I was governor? Let’s see, a laundry list of things would have to be done:

Outlawing all outside guardianships of finances, marriage, and medical things. The end goal being to outlaw conservatorship or reform guardianship law so it’s person centered, not guardian centered. If an elder speaks what she wants, her wishes will be carried out by law. That’s it. And I will crack down on bad judges in Florida. Here’s how:

  1. If a judge rules in favor of a predator, he will automatically be disbarred.
  2. IF a judge does not uphold the last will and testament of someone who died in bondage, he will also be disbarred.
  3. Worse, for the judge who does not learn and become aware of disabled people and their capabilities, parents and their attitudes, and the potential for abuse to occur, they will not get their J.D., period. Florida should be a shining example of what can happen if judges don’t do their jobs, when elders are not taken care of, and when disabled people are deemed incapable of making any decision whatsoever. This is bogus. Florida should become the jewel of the nation, cleaning up its act, and doing its part to serve elders and mentally challenged and disabled adults right.

Let’s turn the page now to a different subject I’d address as governor. IF I were to have been elected Governor of any state, I’d have disabled adults be at the top of my list. We’d outlaw mistreatment of disabled females, clean up the judiciary system so that the victim is believed if she is disabled, even if she is blind. We need to make sure that DNA is extracted from her fingernails and her vagina if possible, this way we can catch the bad guy. That is, before she takes a shower. We need to change our attitudes toward disabled females and their capability to understand sex. I don’t want a bunch of Katy Talberts running around whereby the mother is irresponsible and doesn’t want her precious “baby” to learn about sex. Then, a boss takes advantage of her and friends and gets her pregnant. UGh. I would never want someone to get my daughter pregnant, but that doesn’t give me an excuse to terminate my daughter’s pregnancy. IF my parents were to ask me to terminate my pregnancy, I would say, not if Trenton is the father, you dumbasses. Trenton and I have the right to do what we want with our family, but Trenton suggested adopting cats. The problem is a pet deposit would be imposed on us, and even with our ongoing struggles with food and income security, a pet deposit would change everything. Babies don’t get deposits, or pet rent, or pet anythings. They require food, water, and shelter like all humans and animals, but they talk eventually and learn to walk and play, go to school, learn, and do lots of other things. Babies are never pets. Pets aren’t the same, either. My friend Carrie calls herself a cat mom, but how is that even the same as being a real mom to people and stuff? How is that even justified? We need a house so we can keep dogs and cats without a pet deposit, be able to afford food and water, etc. Trenton and I have struggled together and currently do not have assets on a house or anything, and can’t buy a house either because we can only have $2000 in the bank period. My dad could swipe all the money, and that is stealing and it’s wrong. Guardianship could potentially lead to someone stealing not only my money, but my spouse and children. Trenton may never be allowed to see me, and all bets are off if he finds me in a nursing facility in Florida. This is why I’m not going back, and I will establish residence in Colorado forever or some other state. I’m told I should move to Canada, but what good will that do? Canada requires jobs, sponsors, and other prerequisites in order to get there. But what about my children’s safety? What about my safety? My dad will not have any control if I am in Canada, but he will likely wonder why he lost me. WEll, it’s because of what I learned in the Face Us show with Robin and Lulu, the horror stories of predatory guardians, and you, Dad, not taking responsibility for your lies and the way you mistreated your daughter. I’m 30 years old and have no time for this stuff.

Net Neutrality Again

Dear Readers,

Imagine that you are driving down a street, and the speed limit for your lane is 20 MPH. Whereas, a lane full of big rigs is something like 100 MPH. That’s what a lot of people say lack of net neutrality is like. Who wants to bet Comcast will dislike all content of interest to people with disabilities? And what about my own personal website? People need to access websites at a proper speed, and I’m not going to allow Comcast to throttle speed and keep throttling to their heart’s content. I remember when I was going out with Blake, long distance, we relied heavily on a network connection to channel our feelings and such to each other, and when that connection when to a slow lane, I was not happy. Here is a message to the FCC: do not encourage companies to throttle people because of their money. Trenton and I are on disability and cannot afford your slow lane fast lane approach. Amazon, Netflix, and Google may dominate the market, but we can’t allow people to come last because of your lack of empathy toward people of different socioeconomic classes. Whether we’re equal or unequal, what President Trump wants is a pyramid scheme of his own: him on top, the rest of us on the bottom. It’s like ancient Egypt, where the pharaoh was worshipped and on top of the big pyramid of such things, and the lower classes were on the bottom and expected to bow down to the king or in Hatshepsut’s case the Queen. I seriously don’t like the Donald’s approach to being president and hope that people find reason to throw him down from grace. Trump’s campaign is already trying to resist Dems and their grassroots honest efforts to keep the Internet equal. And thus it should remain equal. The Republicans’ dream for this country is to force people to bow before Donald Trump, give up maternity care for states as well, and I’m not happy because Colorado and other states could then become better places to live, and Florida in red will opt out of medicaid paying for maternity care. Therefore, none of my kids will be born in Florida because of maternity care costs. Ugh.

But anyway, net neutrality. Mom and pop websites should at least get an opportunity to not have to be in the slow lane, and I won’t be in the slow lane either. Check out my personal site: http://www.denverqueen.com and go through all the links and see what you like and don’t like, give me some constructive feedback on it. Or just enjoy it.

Buying that Latest Piece of Technology: What If you’re Blind?

Dear Readers,

Imagine you wanted to buy a phone, tablet, or laptop. What if you could buy that piece of tech and find that it has its own screen reading software in it? Well? This is becoming more and more of a reality for those in the U.S. Around the world, not so much. Imagine you’re in China, Thailand, or Hong Kong, or someplace out there in the world, and you want to buy a phone, tablet, or computer. You can’t go far without access technology, so buying that phone, tablet, or PC could require you to ensure that you have access to it, a la JAWS for Windows or WindowEyes if you have Windows. The universal access design in a PlayStation is obviously down to a zilch for all but the U.S. Sony refuses to comply fully by American law, and is not complying much in the other parts of the world. I have blind friends in the UK and other parts of the world who would love a PlayStation, but can’t use its menus and other things because speech is only available in the U.S., no hacking allowed. Only in the America that touts an administration run by a man who may stop access is access even allowed. Trump could also push the FCC to cut net neutrality, which could mean blindness sites would be on the top of the list for companies to say they don’t like. They’d slow down websites just because of preference.

Anyway, access is breeding inequality around the world, an here’s the secret: organized movements. the UK sees the NFB as radical, in Asia it is not allowed in half the countries of the world, and in Africa, some countries are so corrupt and crooked that they don’t think an African blind movement is worth funding even with an NGO. Ethiopian women who are blind are subject to shunning and being an outcast, which is never fun. The United States, sadly, has the best blindness organizations, so you would think, and thanks in part to the NFB, companies absolutely must make their product accessible, no matter what for the American consumer who is blind. Android phones are almost there in accessibility, and in terms of the companies who make android phones, they hail from Korea, CHina, and parts of Europe, but mostly Asian countries whose blind are routinely dismissed from jobs, not allowed to marry, or looked down upon or berated for marrying at all. Koreans oftentimes arrange marriages, as does the continent of Africa. But that’s a whole different story. These are the places where your android phones are coming from, and it’s ironic they have Talkback, which allows blind people to see the screen through audible output and gestured input the way you do with iPhones. An iPhone may be produced in China, which Apple probably doesn’t know the whole history of China’s blind, but Apple at least puts VoiceOver on all first generation products, such being the apple watch. I plan to purchase the watch and give a full on review of it.

We have a lot of things to do and places to go with technology, but a blind person should be able to make choices about technology not based on access, but based on preference. For example, a Korean blind guy may want to purchase a regular product like the iPhone, and an English blind guy may want a game console. Imagine a Thai blind woman purchasing a tablet, a tablet with Talkback or Voiceover on it, and making her life better as a result. Technology and businesses can also intersect, making sure that the blind are not forced into a massage clinic, or an institution, or worse, they may be killed at infancy as in the city of Pyongyang, North Korea. But imagine for a moment, what if we enacted international rules on access technology? What if we enacted international no barriers policies? THen, Jonathan, a guy in New Zealand, could buy a playstation 4 pro and get access as quickly as Chris, a guy in Australia, or as well as Dean, a guy in England, or let’s say a buddy of mine in Hong Kong, or all my friends in America. Perhaps a friend in Germany could also purchase an android phone and still be able to use Talkback, in German of course, or English, whatever the preference, without any problems. International access to technology is important. Very important. Without it, blind people would not have a choice, and part of it requires that governments allow all apps all over the world, period. We need open trade in technological programming, and this way, a blind person and sighted person alike can have access to the same stuff, no matter where you travel.

Jealousy and Desire: What Are They?

Dear Readers,

I’m going to pick on someone my own size. I’m going to take on the world of jealousy and illicit desire because it happens all the time in the blind and sighted communities. Let’s go to Jason O., age 24 to so, a man with a menacing way of dealing with girls and women. Jason abused many females in his lifetime, including myself, and he demonstrated pure jealousy and hatred toward my friends Deq and Blake. Jason made rash stereotypes about Africans, saying they had AIDS, said I was  lucky not to have gotten AIDS, which is a vile generalization about blacks I despise. Deq is Somali Muslim, and as such, does not have sex outside of marriage, except with a girl he liked here or there. Deq comes from a culture where the woman’s virginity is law, where the man controls everything, and where the woman may not be so important. Does anyone remember reading Born in the if Rains by Fadumo Korn? Or Fadumo Abdi Hersi Hussein? She mentions that her father never hit his wife,  like she said this was the case with her Nicole Yusuf and the other men in the family. Yusuf had two wives, not uncommon in Somali Muslim cultures, and Abdi Hersi Hussein or whoever the father was, he was a great guy, many camels and such, but he was a proper gentleman. However, his first wife Milano was an elope job, rally. What did Jason know about the Somali culture? Nothing. Yes, many Africans arrange marriages and sometimes within the family, but this isn’t always true. In any case, Jason made brazen stereotypes about Deq’s culture that were disrespectful, even when we were broken up. Deq now has a Kenyan born wife, and will probably have a baby. With her, he will have sons or daughters, who knows.

Now, I want to say how ironic illicit desire and jealousy has become. Jason’s recent ex is being framed for cheating, and worse, one girl is knocked up. Not the ex, but someone else. This is a clear demonstration of sexual misguidance within the blind community, something no Somali family would tolerate. Of course, Fadumo’s sister Khadijah, she was almost married off at only nine or older or something of this nature, she was probably fourteen, and the guy was too old for her. This usually happens a lot, but illicit desire among teens is highly discouraged. I wouldn’t discourage desire of any kind in my teenage sons or daughters, but I would not put up with cheating from her husband. Though African society allows polygamy, this is illegal in the United States, and I would not condone such practice because oftentimes, one wife is not as loved as another. And this isn’t just Muslims, it’s all the third world societies, and some upper world cults. Blindness community members take note, where are you getting your sexual guidance from? It all starts at home.

Ever had that talk with your child about the birds and the bees? And the flowers and the trees? It could be something positive for your child as he/she grows up. Tell your daughter, for instance, she will need to keep her privates private and to only the man she loves and is married to, only that man can have those. This was hard because of the extreme situation I was in with my family, but I’ve found the man I want. He’s awesome, and he doesn’t cheat or run around or get girls knocked up. OF course, nobody introduces me to a different man to marry like Tula’s dad did in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and I hated how he expected Tula to abide by strict Greek rules etc. Tula fell for Ian Miller, and that was that. Tula and Ian eventually marry, but not without obstacles from parents and family on Tula’s side, and not without Ian becoming Greek Orthodox and their daughter later having to be Greek Orthodox and go to Greek school. I would not want my kids going to Chinese school, even if we lived in San Francisco’s Chinatown,  which is. Famous setting of many books. Anybody heard of Lawrence Yep? He wrote books about Chinatown, children’s books, older kids’ books, all that. San Francisco and Chinatown host a Chinese school, and may I hit home for a second? Yep wrote some stories about family and relatives as well.

Here we are talking about unwanted cheating, and Yep did not cover that in the books I saw of his. Must I say though that there are many books about love that go viral, like Shakespeare’s  Romeo and Juliette, but those said stories are extreme. Florida introduced a Romeo and Juliet law to keep teenagers out of sex offense class. Teenagers having sex when one is under by a year and the other is over, just by a few years or months, all that  allowed in Florida. For a deep red state, Florida showed some progress in the demoralization of disabled adults, teenagers, and  unmarried adults at large. I’m not kidding, it is unlawful for relationships to be condemned, but for blind people,  we are constantly being threatened by families, other people, and jealous exes etc. I received a weird call informing me that my wedding was illegal, that I should turn in the paper and lose my money, but I will not believe in the gender bias of the policy. Government policies like this one have been around since the 1940s, when Roosevelt first introduced SSI, so I try and explain why we chose what we chose, but the weird caller didn’t care. Apparently, I think this was all borne out of a very illicit desire because the person the caller told had kissed me good night the last I spoke to him. I will not name the people involved, but I have a warning message for all of you guys.

No trolling around, of course, but face this matter. I don’t put the f word in a paragraph fifty times. But here’s something else; if you are illicitly desiring me while I’m in a relationship or when I say no, I mean it. No. No means no, and you could come across as creepy to some, weird to others, desperate to many. Please, if you’re blind, male, and desperate, I don’t care what you want. Don’t create trouble for me and the man I chose to be with for life. Therefore, kill that desire and go find someone local for the sake of seeing her on a daily basis. A local girl would be good for you, jealous one, because obviously, creating drama where it doesn’t belong can have consequences. Sorry to say, but the next time you try and mess up my relationship, I won’t be there. I’ll be happy with Trenton.

Beth

Five Myths About Blindness and Why THey Are Dangerous

Dear Readers,

The following are five major myths about blindness and why they are dangerous, and yes, busted. I have plenty of examples of why these myths should not be perpetuated.

  1. Blind people are stupid. Um, this is an easy one. We are treated as subhuman, talked to like a child, denied our rights, and all systematically because the world believes blind people are stupid. My buddy Art is not stupid, and he held down a job in Miami, Florida for 28 years doing inside sales work. Does that require brains? Yes, it does. It is all reverse psychology. Secondly, Trenton is not stupid. He is smart, plays the drums, and above all, is weird. He is able to do things as normal adults do, all comorbidity aside, what with the mild CP and inability to use certain appliances like my can opener. All I have is a hand crank one, but still, he’s a smart guy who knows what’s what. Blind women are smart as well. My brother had the honor of a blind professor of English at University of Central Florida. So how is this myth dangerous? If a society believes this myth, they can limit education and opportunities for the blind, including marriage, having children, taking care of their own homes, doing their own things with jobs and such. They can if they believe it. Society who believes this myth can also systematically deny blind people wages, hard earned dollars that can get us off the system, which is something I desperately want. A job is so hard to get because this myth is in action here in the United States and abroad. 80% of blind people are underserved, underemployed, unemployed or denied their rights because people believe a sworn statement that we’re not capable, somehow incapacitated, or stupid.
  2. 2. Blind people are arrogant. This is a dangerous myth sprung out by the organized blind movements like the National Federation of the Blind and American Council of the Blind, both organizations centered around their kickbacks, both seemingly arrogant. Again, the same profile would apply to this myth as with other myths. I have met some ACB folks who are genuine and NFB folks who are and aren’t. There are NFB folks who don’t live up to a standard of morality, and this myth doesn’t help matters. I won’t name names, but it should be duly noted that the NFB is not necessarily arrogant, but President Mark Riccobono is the heir to an assortment of woes that a majority of people commit to. Mr. Riccobono is a real inspiration, whereas some people in the organization who are laypersons, if I may use a church term to describe the common man, act lost and alone and debilitated. The idea that blind people can be 100% independent is a dangerous myth in and of itself, perpetuating this myth about arrogance. Riccobono I’m sure is not 100% as a lot of blind people have to at least know when to ask and obtain assistance at a shopping mall or store, and what about putting on a dress or tux to try on and see if the dress or tux looks good for a change? Mark’s daughters will one day have to wear wedding dresses, if they so choose to marry, and one of the biggest things about weddings is trying on the dresses to see if the sizes are correct, will it need alteration, coloring, etc.? I want the colors to accent my skin, and my mother says pale ones do quite well. Mark Riccobono’s wife is also blind, and she probably will one day get a close look at what her daughters are wearing, fashion trends, and when it comes time, the wedding dress. Mrs. Riccobono will have to critique constructively as all moms do, and she probably does it well. Her husband has a sighted son, but still, the family is mostly blind, so they use what they need to in order to get by. Arrogance is not what the Riccobonos stand for, and they recently had family fun together after a state convention. FAmilies with blind people can still play together, and they should because they’ll stay together. How is the arrogance myth dangerous? Think about it, it promotes the idea of superblind and superman like people, which is to say that superior hearing and touch are only the beginning. Blind people need to be interdependent, just as all the families in the NFB eventually have to. Think about the time when your son or daughter goes out with a friend, you give them a curfew, and they follow or don’t follow it. It all depends, but technology allows us to know more than we should or shouldn’t about our kids. Wait till the girls and boys of today who are blind become teenagers. WHen they turn eighteen, parents must acknowledge their adulthood, and of course, they should teach healthy ways to use assistance if necessary. They cannot front a persona of arrogance.
  3. 3. BLind people must be 100% independent, no assistance from sighted people. Busted! Why? Because whether you like it or not, if you’re blind, you still have to rely on someone to technically get you from point A to point B. LEt me pick on someone else who I know, someone who I can tell you is not 100% independent and can still be considered for jobs, does lots of coding, and is a brilliant guy. Ty, one of my readers, yes, I’m picking in Ty from Canada. He’s blind and in a wheelchair, and does lots of things from his chair. Comorbidity being a huge problem for blind people, Ty doesn’t let that stop him from doing what he wants to do, whether it’s ham radio study or fixing up sound effects for radio. Ty is pretty cool, I’ve spoken to him, and he’s no CFB president or Canadian politician. But if you look into the eyes or the soul of someone as simply awesome as Ty, you will see no such thing as 100% independence.
  4. I myself cannot be 100% independent not because of blindness or any comorbidity issues, but because I technically rely on people to pick out the right brand of food, sometimes having to make sure we don’t lose things, and then you have to worry about lots of the canned goods that you have to identify. Canned foods are not my thing, not at all.
  5. 4. Blind people have superior senses. Busted again! Why? Because we just use them more. The only dangerous thing about this myth is the constant peppering of questions about blind people’s abilities that we all get, and it’s sometimes hampering on personal.

5. Blind people cannot raise families. Good as busted. The myth suggests that strangers would have to raise a child of a blind couple, but Trenton and I are more than capable of raising a child. The thing with comorbidity exists in blind parents as well. Trenton is not exactly in a wheelchair, but there are many blind and physically disabled people, including the Riccobonos, the Batrons, the LaBarre couple, and lots of other examples I can think of. The Spears family is also another example, and with their sighted son, they could still face a host of challenges due to the myth that blind people cannot raise families. YEs, they can. The myth is so dangerous that little Michaela was stolen from her parents, and the NFB ensured her safe return. Because Erica Johnson, her mom, now raises her, she understands what’s up. However, let’s not delve into personal details, but we know that all parents who are new have a bit of trouble with nursing, and so did Michaela and her mom. However, because the nurses believed a dangerous myth about blindness, there was a long period of time where she was in foster care. Ugh. She could have been adopted out. A friend recently lost his children due to his blindness, and the dangerous mythological beliefs prevailed, not justice, in seeing that his parental rights were terminated. This could hurt me and Trenton. We need all you readers to believe that we can and will raise a family if we so choose. We can’t legally marry under the auspices of the courts, but we want to do a spiritual wedding, however that won’t mess up the kids’ chance of being who they are.

 

Hope you enjoyed reading these myths and the reasons why they are dangerous and the fact that they are all busted. I will also try busting myths about the deaf and other disabilities because trust me, personal experience has taught me lots about the blind and disabled. When it comes time to go dress shopping, I may have to depend on a second female or two to get my dress size right, but I’m not kidding, I’m still a person and I will continue to be so.

Things Society Must Changge in America: Becoming the Cutting Edge We Should Be

Dear Readers,

As crazy as it sounds, there’s a lot that society must change in order for us to become the cutting edge country we once were, and I’ll start at the bottom and go to the top.

Social Misconception About Blindness: Because I wrote ten bad things about being blind, the point being that society causes the 80% unemployment and under service of the blind and disabled, society must get over its misconceptions about blindness or any disability. There are many blind and disabled people who have skills and talents we must use in order for the U.S. To become more great again. Are you reading this, President Trump? If he wants to make America great again, he should consider disabled people for hire. Kick Betsy Devon out of office as secretary of education, and replace her with a blindness professional, a blind teacher, or a former blind student. I don’t trust this woman with our education system. Neither should the Congress.

Educational Defficiencies: No deleting history, more field trips, and inclusion of able blind and disabled or blind students in the classroom are among the laundry list of things that this education system must do in order for me to feel safe and have peace of mind about my own children going to public school. Among the top five things I can name for the education system are field trips being a must, anti bullying being number 1 on social conduct scores, veteran teachers teaching at all the bad schools so the kids get the brightest talent, blind students being required Braille instruction regardless of how little vision Rey have, and vocational options must be available to all high schoolers so they don’t necessarily have to waste money in universities. Making college free for all individuals is not realistic, and universities like Notre Dame and Harvard are not state schools. They want your money, so what’s the best alternative? Field trips have become obsolete to some people, but why not enchant students with trips to the zoo, a hospital, or even a small laboratory for  high school students who want to earn degrees in microbiology? A young man once followed my pediatric practitioner so he could learn what a doctor does, etc. Hosa club was probably this boy’s favorite  time of day. Chorus and band should be required at least for a year in schools across the ages. In all honesty, learning about history and civics has become all the more important. We must be able to take our students to Washington D.C. To see all the government buildings, including the White House. The students would learn about bicameral  legislature and other subject matter typically associated with social studies. Trips like that to the Colorado Capitol Building would also be wonderful because Colorado kids would learn about civics and the state legislative process, to think they’d be watching it happen right before their eyes.

Gender Choices and Inclusivity Policy: Listen up, North Carolina, get rid of the Bathroom bill, and I mean that. If you’re a resident of the Carolinas and you’re transgender, you should be able to choose the bathroom of your choice. Don’t like it, GOP folks? Well, too bad. They’re big and larger than anything else in your minds, and they’re human beings like you and me, so treat them with respect and dignity. It’s hard to believe that Carolinian states like the North part are so exclusive when it comes to bathrooms. Reversing transgender rights is a stupid decision. Better yet, let’s do unisex bathrooms to solve the whole problem, this way the whole family can use the bathroom at the same time. And the stalls will have a ful door and lock for security, and of course, for the women who identify as such to feel safe and secure while supposedly doing their business in the bowl. Who cares who identifies or “wants to be” male or female? If your identity is male, use the men’s room. If you’re female, then use the women’s room. But if this problem gets too much, unisex bathrooms should be put in place in all restaurants. Boys and girls should learn about each other’s anatomy in school, how to respect it, and how to deal with homosexuality and transgender issues in a healthy way, not in an exclusively heterosexual context.

Better Songs on the Radio: President Trump should be funding NPR and NPR classical stations. Why is this, you may ask. Because some people say classical music is good for you. If a woman gets pregnant, she should be able to sing lullabies to her baby, and learn classical lullabies, something that a lot of today’s parents don’t have the time to do. I think not working has its advantage here, not having a stressful work schedule at least. If I had a schedule at a workplace, what about my baby? Trenton said he’d be glad to take care of the hold, but lack of the arts education has a profound impact on babies as well as older people. If you don’t know what Brahms’ Lullaby  sounds like, you’ve lost something quite valuable. My parents had stuffed toys and music boxes that played the lullaby, which even for my brothers as infants was important. Celine  Dion has her own version of Brahms’ Lullaby which has been catalogued in her album she dedicated to her then baby son. Her son is probably a gifted musician, or he may never carry a tune in a bucket, but Dion and her songs will be enough for Renee Charles to possibly get some of that gift she has. And he’s mature, so said Dion in a very old interview I watched. She is someone I would give an award to for being a good mom because at least even in the babies’ early days, she’d be singing them songs, English, French, all that stuff. What are today’s parents doing? Not as much as that and definitely not singing to babies. We need to incorporate the arts in our daily lives, even when we’re not in school. It would help with conversations. Imagine what your child or teen could be talking about in their talk if it was about the Mozart symphony they heard. Maybe that’s better  than the drama at school.

Cars. We need to quit depending on so many automobiles. We need a bus-centric city in every state that has public mass transit readily available, especially for blind and driving disabled people. We should be allowed to use the commuter system at a discounted rate based on income, and one such model exists! In Boston, Massachusetts, the blind are free to ride the T subways in the city and around the Boston metro area, so far as I know. I went there, and commonwealth ID cards also allow blind workers to get to work for free. That honestly takes the stress off of us, we don’t need to pay for transit in Boston, and because of this, we stimulate the very expensive economy even on SSI.

Women in Government and Executive Positions. Because of what’s happening with Bill OReilly, I think it’s time for women to take command. Even Trump is not fit to lead our country because his maleness is too intimidating and he uses it for bad things on women. He treats the First Lady like a piece of crap, from what I’ve heard, and would grab women’s bodies if he could. It’s not locker room talk. Because male humans have fallen under a wicked spell of patriarchy, it is time for women to lead our government–if she doesn’t get kicked out–and for women to take full and complete control of justice and law. The three women in the Supreme Court certainly make the court diverse, but we can’t have so many men and no women in politics, and as CEO’s of businesses. Carly Fiorina must defeat Donald Trump if she wants to see women progress because Hilary Clinton may never make it. Criminal or otherwise, it’s the men who are more deplorable in politics than the women. Women should be making the decisions about their own lives and bodies, and to have a man make all the decisions about their wives is tantamount to paternalistic societies like the Middle East. This must stop.

Technology and readiness. Kids should be kids, not your little computer programmer at six years old. I believe kids should be learning code, sure, but making apps at six is a stretch. Technology is great, but they should still practice their penmanship, something Apple incorporates into the iPad.

In any case, these things are essential to America becoming a great nation, and I hope that with time, people shut Donald Trump up and take notice of what America needs, and it’s not to get involved in other people’s business or whiten the nation. It’s to correct wrongs and work with what we have.

the Social Aspect of Being Blind: What’s Good and Bad

Dear Readers,

For the last time in a while, I’m fresh with being fed up. I’m fed up with not legally being able to do things, including marry, own a home, and have any kind of assets. My hope is that people realize they have the wrong girl, and are messing with the very wrong person. There are ten things about being blind that are good, but here are also ten things bad about being blind, and I’ll tell you, the bad things aren’t my fault. It’s society’s fault for even placing these roadblocks in my way. For one, I’m blind, but have had instances if not more than one of comorbidity with mental illness due to past family abuse. Many people with BPD (border line personality disorder) have family abuse cases that range largely from their teen years and younger. They don’t get diagnosed enough or they’re overdiagnosed. This has to stop. Here is my ten good and bad things list.

Ten Things ABout Being Blind that are Positive:

  1. You don’t have to truly know what a naked guy looks like.
  2. 2. You don’t have to see the disgusting pile of meat you’re cooking, especially that of factory farms.
  3. 3. You can do anything with the lights off, and it helps your power bill. I pay close to $10 for electricity, and I owe it to the lights being off.
  4. 4. You can eat anything, not be so picky about the color of foods. My brothers and father hate green vegetables, so Mom used to make peas and greens for us girls only. I’m kind of appalled of my brothers and father’s food choices from the past, as if they would allow us to have nice dinners and such. They would not except have Italian food only. Ugh.
  5. 5. Your cane parts crowds. People can treat you with respect and dignity. Though I will say that a dog is sometimes sent the wrong message through unsolicited petting, etc. See the other ten things list I’m gonna write.
  6. 6. You don’t have vertigo as badly as you would when you go on roller coasters and simulator rides. I’ve been on an orbiter ten billion times to exaggerate, and I would not throw up. That’s the weird thing about being blind.
  7. 7. People are fascinated about Braille, though they don’t always spell the name correctly. And the navigation cane is also a wonder, and you take in more things with it than you would your eyes.
  8. 8. You can take in all the things that you want to experience with other senses, including touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Refering back to the food advantage I wrote about earlier, but you can also not be as scared of snakes either. Don’t even let my poor mom watch a TV clip with snakes in it. I’ve held gators and snakes, and both animals should at least be supervised, which they were. That’s my rule when dealing with wild animals. You also get more out of petting your dog or cat friends. That’s important, since sighted people sometimes don’t know how soft the fur feels against your palm.
  9. 9. You sometimes get discounts on phone bills like with Sprint if you wanted a blind/low vision plan. It can be patronizing for some companies, but I think T Mobile and Sprint will both be doing things like this in the future. I don’t think they should limit it to special interest groups like the National Federation of the Blind, but they should offer it to all people who are blind/low vision.
  10. 10. You can talk to most ordinary people with blind relatives and they’d know what the relative had gone through, but sometimes humor brings education where anything else would not. There are some outstanding families out there, like this one mom who educated her child about two blind women with sticks, and I had the opportunity to educate the mom further on the use of a long cane.

Ten Bad THings ABout Being Blind

  1. Blind people are 70-80% likely to be on benefits and unemployed, compromising their livelihood and relationship lives. There is plenty of this to go around with all disabled people.
  2. 2. Blind people in special interest groups tend to be paternalistic at times, electing to have a male in charge, trying to say you should be 100% healthy except your blindness to receive help from their groups. This is disparraging for me because it sends the wrong message about comorbidity. Mixed disabilities can also lead to stigmatizing treatment by doctors, service providers, and professionals who are supposed to help you, not hinder you.
  3. 3. Unsolicited petting or treating guide dogs can not only be annoying, but dangerous for the handler of said dog. There is also rampant discrimination against people with these wonderful animals, whose lives are dedicated to the service of Man, which is something to be said versus the dogs who spend their lives being groomed and played with and who think it okay to chew up the carpet. Example, my dad’s German shepherd from his teen years ate up a good lump of carpet, causing Grammy, his mother, and Grandpa, the father in this case, to have to repair the carpet and send the dog to the vet. Misty was probably in her puppy days at that point. However, let’s meet Mya, a friend of mine’s German shepherd who not only guides her owner around but alerts her to seizures that she could be getting. Mya is a sweet dog, a godsend above lots of other dogs and uses her intelligence and responsibility to guide her partner around and helps even judge her partner’s friends’ character. She knows people, but I don’t think Mya wants to be petted while working. Like I said, guide dogs should be respected, and the handlers as well. This means NO PETTING! Don’t pet guide dogs, and whether you’re allergic or not, take the dog owner in your cabs, Mr. Taxi and Uber and Lyft drivers. The same goes for restaurant owners, airlines, and a multitude of other establishments and services that have discriminated in the past. Without Mya, my friend would be stranded and probably more depressed and angriy at life itself. Dogs have a way of getting to their owners’ hearts. It’s amazing, but keep in mind what guide dogs and their handlers want, the freedom to use a dog in whatever setting they want.
  4. 4. Comorbidity is a huge problem in the blind community. Most of my blind friends have mental problems, or they have to take medication for some reason or other. Mya’s partner from the previous entry has a therapist who accepts Mya and her patient. There are many other blind people with other disabilities, most of which has to do with social problems as will be mentioned in the following things. Comorbidity is not lost on me, though. I was diagnosed unfairly with border line personality disorder, BPD, and it hurts me to see this diagnosis because they base it on collateral, not me at all. I can’t get a forensic test without it popping up, but the doctors are not educated in how to care for blind people, as I will elaborate on next.
  5. 5. Healthcare providers are unsure how to care for a blind person, can’t spell the terms correctly, and can’t identify the proper use of guide dog harness, cane, or Braille itself. This happened to me. This could have a huge impact on Trenton and I’s ability to find a practitioner of family medicine who won’t discriminate against me because of blindness. I want to be able to have children with Trenton but the doctors might think that I can’t take care of a child because I’m blind, let alone myself. My children and grandchildren should be also making eldercare decisions for me, not the Taurasi brothers or Mom or Dad because Mom and Dad might be six feet under, and the boys might also be unable to care for their sister. It will be absolutely essential to secure the next of kin, a someone who respects my love of life and freedom, to at least be making such decisions. Eldercare sucks in Florida, too, so the big thing is not to move me to a nursing facility in Miami, which could lead to abuse and wrongful death lawsuits by my family. Doctors should be realistic in their care of blind people, elder or not, and realize that blind women and their husbands can make the decision to have a baby, and they can go to a doctor and have the baby checkups done completely free of sighted invasiveness, except that the midwife or doctor should check the fundus, top of the uterus, just like with any woman. I don’t have the legal right to keep the baby information private, however, as I will elaborate in the next entry.
  6. 6. No privacy. Not even in my medical records, and an IEP full of stupid goals and stupid things that have nothing to do with preparedness for independence. My professional staff included a TVI and cane teacher, and because of the negligence of my family, a therapist. I personally could not learn food preparation and cooking with Mom hovering over the stove and demanding that I do the tasks faster. That isn’t what VR professionals do to blind cooks to be. Any blind man or woman should be trained in the art of cooking, chopping onions, etc. I hope we get an electric knife sharpener that I put in an Amazon wedding registry. I personally wish we had a knife sharpener or can opener like my bud Joey suggested as his mom sharpens a meat cleaver with a can opener and not a knife sharpener. I like Joey’s mom’s practical knowledge of the kitchen, heck it’s great, but I could not learn these practical tips and tricks without having known blind people such as Joey, Trenton, and others who’ve cooked and have been cooking for a long time. VR professionals who are blind and are role models are a plus, and at CCB, that’s what I found. However, the IEP goals in high school did not address the fact that CCB and BLIND Inc, and or LCB had loads better ratings than the Florida state rehabilitative facility in Daytona Beach. Only one person, a TVI/OMS in Tallahassee, addressed my need for intensive mobility, which I received at CCB, but after some recent events, my travel skills have been compromised. We had a student die, run over by a belligerent driver in a car who claimed to see the three blind mice, so to speak, waiting for the Mineral and Utica bus to arrive. She killed a blind man in her vehicle, thus she was charged with manslaughter. I don’t want to die so young, this guy was my friend. Then, there was all the discouraging from the NFBCO themselves, back to comorbidity. They want nothing to do with the guardianship case because I have a mental disability. Um, come on, comorbidity is a result of family abuse, period. I want my mental health stuff to be kept private and away from my parents because if my kids have to be involved, it takes away from a lot of things. I want to be able to do things on my own and this includes having the privacy and safety to give birth to children. I would never abuse a child, not in my wildest dreams, but my parents could assume so. No privacy in my sex life is a problem. My dad invaded Trenton’s privacy with me by asking him about safe sex, which is all well and good, but invasive and obtrusive. I don’t appreciate it.
  7. 7. Blind men sometimes take advantage of blind women, which becomes magnified because of the blindness. There was a man who took advantage of many women who were blind and sighted alike, having had a child who moved out of Colorado, failed to pay child support, and worse of all, he kept treating women like they were toys. This happens more than you think. Go to the conventions this summer, and I dare you, if you are blind, look around. When the party’s over, have you got a hangover? Did you once have a stranger in your bed? A pounding in your head? Thanks, Katy Perry. These are signs that you are lost, not morally guided or centered, and the worst thing about it, people in your community will hear about your sexual escapades through Facebook etc., and you don’t have the privacy to keep it safe. Trenton and I steer clear of conventions unless something great happens.
  8. 8. Blind people are treated as subhuman in the justice siystem. Society takes the antics of a blind man and states he needs guardianship. They cover up the abuse of a woman, again, she needs guardianship. Blind people don’t need guardians, period. It is absolutely stupid because I cannot fight what my family did, and this sends the wrong message to strangers, society, etc. If my father and mother die, that thing should be reevaluated, and I want nothing to do with Florida governing bodies who think I’m a test subject. Blind people should not ever be under guardianship, comorbidity aside. It sends the wrong message as much as placing DVR Colorado under the Office of Long Term Care sends the wrong message that blind people need care more than we need lives.
  9. 9. People think blindness equals baby or stupid. Talk to guys like Trenton and Joey, and you will get the picture. Trenton is treated with more respect from his family and I, and Joey’s family is great. But Joey admits that when he goes out, people sometimes get the wrong message about him because of blindness. No matter how much training we’ve all had, we sometimes need to educate society with limited force because in their eyes, we need nurses, should be put to bed, and are big freaking babies! This goes back to the guardianship examples. People think we don’t ever change either. I had to block someone on Facebook, someone I trusted from fourteen months onward in age, someone who practically raised me, sadly because she harkened back to high school and accused oe mf chasing boys when I was with Blake. I blocked this woman because she was talking to strangers–wrong and unjustly I might add–and she doesn’t want to admit that I’m a grown adult who will make decisions regardless of the racist, aableist parents I have to deal with.
  10. 10. One more thing about being blind, society thinks it’s okay to overprice our stuff! The Access Technology Affordability Act must be passed, and I hope the government will do something right for a change because JAWS, Braille displays, and other things, they’re all way too pricey for the average blind person. Forgive me for saying this, but the Orbit Reader 20 was meant for developing countries like in Africa and such, it’s a rugged and wonderful product, but which American blind people will buy it outright? Nobody, not without saving up and messing up benefits. The OR 20 also requires Windows, another expense I’m not gonna pay for yet. Technology is how we connect, how we learn, how we find friends. To have that door closed could mean no jobs, no lives, nothing for us, while sighted people and their progress marches on.
  11. I hope you guys opened your eyes, so to speak, about these problems about blindness. You can reach me at any time for comments, but please be respectful when writing comments. Trolling is not allowed.

Beth

Checking in

Dear Readers,

I’m ready for anything that could better my life as of now. My parents won’t be invited to any events Trenton and I may have, but not sure Trenton’s family’s up for hearing about the wedding. We can’t get married legally, and won’t, because of benefits being taken away. We won’t stand for the government and their crooked way of taking money from disabled married people. Where 0% of blind people are unemployed or underemployed, being denied benefits is wrong and inappropriate. We’re going to have to lie and he around things in order to do the game of survival. This is your United States of America, shady government, backward thinking, and corruption everywhere.

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