‘99% of the world has no idea’: inside the shocking legal guardianship industry | Film | The Guardian

Please watch this, I forgot to post the HRW thingy, but this is going on Netflix on Feb 19.

In dark Netflix thriller I Care a Lot, a predatory court appointed guardian wreaks havoc, a story that’s far closer to reality than one would expect
— Read on www.theguardian.com/film/2021/feb/17/99-of-the-world-has-no-idea-inside-the-shocking-legal-guardianship-industry

Update on Activism on Behalf of young Adults with Disability

Do disabled people matter in terms of existence?

Dear readers,

It is with a lot of concern that I write this. After chatting with activists all day, playing dice world at night, and so on, there’s something eating at my brain and it’s eating at me like I eat a donut. Why are parents so eager to get guardianships of their children? Even a family guardianship is prone to estate theft, and I had no money to barter and things to buy or sell, but my parents’ names were indeed on my bank account. Sure they saved up and flew to Italy, but there is a real problem. They still trafficked in opportunities, civil rights, and other things precious to every human being.

I hope to testify in front of someone about the evils of guardianship and how they affected me, and most guardianship literature is about elders, not disabled young adults. Whoever preys on me is likely going to be thrown in the garbage chute like Veruca Salt in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I hope the squirrels find that the guardians are bad nuts anyway, and tap them on the head, and just like that, those who prey on the money and humanity of people like me and the elders and disabled and whatever everywhere in the country. The United States owes itself freedom for all disabled and elderly adults, freedom from being trafficked and freedom for the estates of celebrities like Britney Spears. Please, whatever you do, don’t support those who would see me hanged for writing this. There are blind men and women who’ve called me bad names for writing such things, but these people are likely going to be targets of estate trafficking, guardianship abuse, and so much other stuff. As much as I despise these people, they need to wake the hell up. They need to wake up and smell the marigolds, roses being too pleasant a comparison for guardianship and estate abuse. Thank you all so much.

Beth

Letter to All Guardians Out There in Florida, You’re On Notice

Dear readers,

The following piece is dedicated to all those considering or currently holding guardianship in the state of Florida, for those who have guardianship over a young adult with a disability. Please read carefully.

Katy, age 26, can’t even have a boyfriend without her mother knowing it. She doesn’t have a bank account in her name, can’t spend her own money, is micromanaged on the daily. Because of privacy concerns, I’ve changed this girl’s name. Katy is blind, and she does everything she wants, but her mother believes that because of a small problem like blindness, she can’t live on her own. I have a message to all those Katy’s Moms out there.

First and foremost, Katy’s mom could isolate her from talking to me, could easily have swiped away her cell phone, could have taken away all the rights she is owed by the Constitution, could have died early and her ashes stored in an office by a professional guardian. Here’s what you need to know about guardianship.

1. It is supposed to be a relationship that allows a guardian to take care of someone, but guess what it really does? It allows the following items to occur concurrently, or all at once. And the ward has no rights, and it’s akin to human trafficking and slavery. Katy knows what she needs, and her therapist is there to help, but let’s tell everybody what it really does.

2. It allows an evil person, an abuser, a toxic fiend, to isolate the ward. Katy can’t have boyfriends, friends, whatever. Katy can not even marry. This is also very detrimental to Katy as she might end up my age, no kids, no job.

3. Guardianship allows rehab services for the blind to choose your career over what you want. I wanted to be a choral director, but no, can’t do because of flunking class, university costs, and my parents can’t tell me to go back home and sit there, a shell of my former self. I left the state of Florida because of this flunky attitude that the university had toward my accommodations. That was why I do not currently have employment, I was wasting my time in hiding, and even when I used rehab services for the blind in Colorado, the same issues popped up. They decided to scale back my career choices, send me to a bigot for psychological evaluation, and then they said I was unemployable, so rehab services are useless. Katy can’t use rehab services without her mom butting in. This is bad for her business prospects and her love life.

4. Katy has medical guardianship. If she gets pregnant, guess what? Her mom could tell her to abort the baby, which is tantamount to killing in some circles. Or the baby could be signed away to a strange couple or single mother who doesn’t give a fuck whether Katy is blind and independent or not.

5. Katy has probably had her free speech encroached upon for the safety of nasty patriarchs and important people. I had that happen to me. And I hope that guardians understand what their decision really does to a person.

6. My guardians lied to the courts about me, well, my former guardians as of December. It is very obvious why they lied. They created a toxic relationship between me and them, relegated me to isolation or bad people as friends, and when I found love, up till recently, it was always an abusive idiot. That is not okay, not okay at all.

So what do you do as a potential guardian who steals SSI checks? Well, here’s an alternative for you to consider.

Supportive decision making is a very good alternative to guardianship, and if you don’t consider this, well, you’re evil. YOu have to understand, there is no excuse for guardianships, and when Katy grows to be aged 90, she could end up beat up in a nursing home, but supportive decision making will help with Katy’s needs a lot better, that is if she was intellectually impaired. Don’t like the things I am saying? Well, put the mouse or keyboard down and don’t comment, because gguess what? You can’t. I’ve been trolled on the subject of guardianship, and it is an evil practice akin to institutionalization and human trafficking. When my former guardians are sued, I’m going to ask that my lawyer help Katy out. She will be free, along with thousands like her. Young adults with disabilities deserve independence, dignity, and human rights.

Beth

Inauguration Letter to the President

Dear Mr. President,

I”m glad you were sworn in and I watched all the colorful ceremony in the morning yesterday. I’m also barely sad that Trump left, but that’s another discussion for another day. I want to remind you of my laundry list of things that I want to see get done, but I see you’re picking up things nicely. Let me jog your memory in case you forget.

First and foremost, the priority should be disabled people and covid 19. Blind people are in deep doo doo because of this virus, so let’s work together to get us out of deep doo doo and get us back to normal again. I like what you’re doing so far.

I’d also like to make sure you know that SSI marriage penalizing is off for me, and I won’t accept financial penalty for marrying my spouse and we’re committed together right now. Trenton and I had to do a commitment ceremony with the Unitarian church in Golden because we sure had nobody who was willing to do an actual ceremony of that kind without counseling, patriarchal stupidity, and submission to things not seen. I want you to end the practice and update the SSI program to reflect the times, reflect equality of disabled and nondisabled people.

I’d like to see experiments with universal income, and even if you earn millions of dollars, you should still keep a universal $2000 a month because that’s about enough for rent and living expenses and even if the millionaires donated that income, it would stimulate the economy and charities need donations now more than ever.

I want to see progress with China and a return to working with Wahway and other tech companies in China. As long as the Chinese government is put on notice about the Muslim forced labor and genocide, yeah. We need to urge Wahway and other companies not to work with Mr. Ping and all that so we can get some light on the Ouigars and their plight.

Thank you for ending that ugly Muslim travel ban. We need to open our doors to the Ouigar Muslims in China so they can get free and practice their religion here, where they should be free to be themselves. And they could create a whole new thing in America, so who knows.

Thank you for undoing the attacks on racial justice. I hope that by the time I have little kids in preschool, you have cemented racial bias training discussion in school, pulverized the 1776 commission, and done away with whitewashed history books in school. You don’t know how passionate I am about this issue. My own kids could be subjected to bullying unlike any we have seen growing up ourselves.

As a person with a disability, and as a potential parent, I want to emphasize that guardianship is an evil and crooked industry, more crooked than Donald. Guardianship encourages people like my parents to lock people like me and you up and steal things. My parents might have stolen assets from me, and I’m checking on that. I’m also looking into all kinds of issues my parents caused through guardianship. I may have to file a civil suit so I can support myself and kids, and kids are on the agenda. I want my children in the future to have money, toys, and a place to call home. But they can’t if their mom or dad can’t get a job, and we won’t be allowing the kids to go to Disney at all, even if Disneyland opens back up.

What I want to say, part II of the discussion about guardianship, is that my parents used it for racial biased motives. And these motives were loud and clear: don’t see Orien Henry because he’s black and you are crazy; don’t see Michael Bonnehome because he has a child and is sexually experienced, but moreover he’s black and you’re crazy. These motives should be checked in reports about the guardians and their care of the ward. The report should state that the guardians are racist and can’t be trusted, and such motives for such isolation should be written up as grounds for terminating the ward’s incapacitation order. We need to work together to dismantle this crooked industry. IF you want Netflix, I want to encourage you, Mr. President, to watch Guardians Incorporated, an episode of Dirty Money. It has lots of stories and I’m in contact with several victims featured in the story, including Laura Pebbles Thrash who is suffering because she had Charles Thrash with her, but he is under an evil and corrupt guardianship. The guardians won’t let him see Laura, and she loves Charles a lot, wouldn’t fuck with his money, but really, that’s just one story. My story is just as important, and I got discharged from the guardianship this past December of 2020 before you got sworn in. I think we need to work on ending this industry because it’s akin to slavery and human trafficking. It’s a bipartisan issue that shouldn’t get lost on Congress. Mitch and Chuck should be able to work together and come up with stuff to put in a bill that would severely limit the guardianship issue to people who are at the end of their lives, or solid aggression cases where the juvenile is murdering people, sexual abuse perpetrators, and so on. But we also need to limit how guardians can care for people, including that they can’t touch people’s bank accounts and can’t have assets that the person owns. Wards should have rights, period, and their rights should be verboten and maybe even robust. Even if you try to remove a person’s Constitutional rights, those would be restored after a certain time the juvenile demonstrates that they aren’t murdering people, sexually abusing others, etc. We also need to support black and minority criminals in a rehabilitative, not punitive system. See next thing in this blog here.

The criminal justice system is great, until you are black and blind and or brown or any other minority group. We need to rehabilitate all criminals, especially kids, with temporary natural guardianship for those under eighteen, a chance to live in a foster home setting instead of a damn jail cell. If a teenager needs help, we need to provide social workers and counselors galore for the person. We need to hit home for example, in the line of sex abuse work, that sex offenses are bad, and the teen who exhibits sexual abusive behaviors should be given a chance to change, and be normed and classified and given the all clear if they can demonstrate through behavioral changes and adapting to a new way of thinking that they won’t even think about touching kids. Aggressive teens who date rape should be required to go through the same program with those who molest their sisters. But here’s a catch: don’t make them go on a sex offense list with adults for thirty years. I like the idea of having them on the list of a separate kind, a teenage sex offender registry that ends at eighteen. And if they can demonstrate rehabilitation, then the sex offense data can in some cases be expunged. adults we can keep as is, but if an adult demonstrates properly that they won’t find kids to fuck or go fucking around with teenage girls, then they can definitely be eligible for some more rehab and eventual release from sex offender treatment and listing. Ex post facto punishment doesn’t always work, and I think sex offenders can and will learn new ways of adapting. I’d encourage you to talk to Kay Ivy, and get her to stop castrating males in Alabama. It’s lewd and bad to do such things, and psychologists agree that such conduct being bad, an equally punitive medication method doesn’t work.

I’m not saying pedophiles should be allowed to go free. I want you to understand and emphasize that pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. Predisposed sex predators and pedophiles, female and male respectively, should not ever contact kids again and we should certainly have them on a separate list but the situational folks should be given as much and many chances at rehabilitation as possible, but it’s like you have them on restrictions a lot at first, but little by little, as you did to your sons and daughter, just ease them off when they can be trusted. It’s the same concept as raising a teenager.

I want to emphasize that weed convictions should be erased. There are too many weed convicts who are colored and so on, and the good herb helps me sleep sometimes, so we need to legalize marijuana. Gimme a Marry Jane, okay?

Legal sex work should also be in the cards. Yes, I know how weird and immoral it must sound, but prostitutes sometimes become prostitutes because they have no other choice. We need to protect and legalize this work for women and men 21 years of age or older, if the Conservatives start gawking, and provide ways to get on a license list, and provide a school for potential prostitute students who want to learn how to service people. Lump it in to the hospitality industry if you are wondering. Transgender and gay people can also participate in a school like what I envision, but they have a prostitute school in Spain we could model things after. Just think about what protecting sex workers means. I may have become a sex worker because I had no other choice, and who would hire a blind woman who’s been through waht I have in the regular work sector?

I want to be clear on something. You and I are on no uncertain terms cradle Catholics. I’m not practicing at all, but since you understand Catholicism, I want you to understand that there are reasons why women get abortions. Women need such a thing as an alternative to having the rapist’s baby. We need an abortion because there’s no Brave New World ectogenesis measures like in an electric womb for babies just yet. And we need to use abortion as a tool to free up some space on the planet. I know Christians will gawk at me for saying this, but abortion sometimes saves a woman’s life, and it should be duly noted that the Trump appointees to the bench of the Supreme Court should be put on notice that their policy of making women go get the abortion meds themselves instead of having it delivered is dangerous. They could get harassed and harangued for wanting an abortion, but imagine someone fucked Ashley in the ass and got her pregnant and she didn’t like or trust the guy who did this. Ashley has all the rights of any woman, and should she want to, she should dispose of the thing inside her if she wants, and adoption is an expensive process all golden with white wealthy families taking the lead. Maybe they should allow abortion too, but if Ashley wants one, let her have one. If she chooses, we need to put the baby in a place of safety with a couple, man and man, woman and woman, or man and woman, or whatever, that will care for the child. Ashley is your daughter, and since she is her father’s daughter, she should at least be able to make choices about her body, and it’s her body herself. Let her make the choices she wants, right, Amy? And put Amy Coney Barrett in a state of I am not a handmaid, please. Women don’t need to carry babies they can’t or won’t have, and if physically unable, a woman could die giving birth. That’s dangerous because funerary bills would pile up and if Ashley died while giving birth to a rapist’s baby, what would you do? Don’t answer, just think about it for a split second.

I want to see blind people get an education. And as soon as Covid goes bye bye and this pandemic is under control, please pass legislation and encourage Congress to work on legislation guaranteeing blind kids Braille education. All blind people should learn Braille, regardless of how much or how little vision they have, and should have access to all resources pertaining to Braille at all levels. I have used Braille education to do my schoolwork, classwork and homework, and it’s imperative that we encourage blind kids to go to school with normally sighted kids, but we need to get them educational materials on par with sighted kids too. And yes, blind people need to learn to not just read, but write Braille, and they could also use raised markers to put things on their microwave ovens. Hey I do that. Encourage your secretary of education to do blindness training, and encourage that same person to expand programs for the blind into a federal thing. Whatever you want to do.

Geez, I better quit writing here, but I hope you find this and understand why I’m doing this.

Beth

Moving to Another Country Is Impossible Today

Dear readers,

I came close to thinking that my partner and I could move to a place like Sweden, but then again, there is a problem. My partner has disabilities, so do I. We are both different racial backgrounds, but we manage. The thing that bothers me about today’s Post Covid world … or what will be the post covid world, is that we can’t move. Restricting the movement of Americans in particular will hurt the rest of the planet. Why? Because travel is a moneymaker for some. For others, it’s life and death. Asylum from transgender related hate crimes is something that lots of transgender women need for their own safety. Immigrants from Mexico and Latin America need to come to someplace for refuge and to stay alive. Is it fair that asylum rules from the Trump administration should be implemented? No. Disabled Latinos are unable to receive jobs most of the time, but if America were to be like every other country in the world, we’d require sponsors and jobs.

While the Handmaid’s Tale could unfold if the violence is cured like ham here, especially during Joe’s inauguration, we need to be aware that these violent extremists don’t deserve asylum in Germany or other places. Hey, Angela Merkel said she was sad over the riots, and they were indeed riots. White people think they’re entitled to life itself because they’re white, to be called Miss and Mr. because they’re white. Example of this popped up in a Jack Benny podcast, where his butler, Rochester, who’s black, had to call Jack “Mr. Benny”. Yes, it sounds a bit like respect, but it’s racism. Pure and simple.

In other countries, there’s a racial reckoning too, but at least in Ghana, there hasn’t needed to be anything like the racial reckoning that has occurred in the United States. Ghana was the former slave coast, so I’m wondering if Trenton’s family has some ancestry there. Most African Americans do, at least, have some ancestry in the Ghanian slave coast, or the Ivory Coast. And they developed a culture of their own. While the slave’s Bible was used to oppress blacks, that is here in America, indigenous folks in Canada are going missing or being sterilized, which sucks. If we do or did move to Canada, we’d also need a sponsor and a job. I have a buddy in Canada who’s planning to get her American boyfriend out of here soon. I met this girl at a village Inn not far from my house, or what could have been an IHOP. The girl is pretty interesting I might add, and she’s done some pretty interesting things to make things work. She has a job, and her boyfriend? He’s a software genius and has created his own add ons for the popular screenreader NVDA. For the newbies to this blog, NVDA means non visual desktop access. Back to the topic now.

The thing that bothers me about lost travel opportunities for us Americans is that if my parents had been planning a second Italy trip, I would hope they wouldn’t. Italy is part of the EU and has banned Americans likewise because of Covid 19. My parents probably did take the Italy trip as a way to cement their power over me, which doesn’t seem to add up. Disabled women all over the world are not believed in the realm of sexual abuse, but still I think it could have been loads better in the U.S.

Restricting travel here in the States at a time when riots happen at the Capitol is simply asking for Gilead to come to fruition. Q Anon dudes in bearskin headdresses don’t need places in government. But there’s also a hidden cult called the Word of Faith Fellowship which resides in Spinndale, North Carolina. This church managed to destroy one family, and I read their story. It was awful. Their pastor is a woman who thinks it’s okay to abuse male and female babies and adults alike, blasting them and casting the so called demons out of them. such people don’t need a place in our country’s governing body politic if the cult still even exists. I applaud the survivors of WOF for standing up and speaking out. I applaud America for having religious freedom, but we need to act responsibly with that freedom. This includes putting regs on dangerous cults. I don’t want my kids or myself and my partner to get sucked into a cult, and micro control groups are another problematic thing. It’s this mentality that you can believe what you want without responsibility that sprang into Q Anon and other things.

As for the restricted travel, I feel like if we don’t leave this country, a repeat of the Holocaust could occur. Trenton and I need a place to bunk down and make a family, but there’s a few things I don’t want to happen. I don’t want my kids growing up speaking Swedish, Finnish, or Spanish even. They need to communicate with the family in English, their own obvious lingua franca. If the kids don’t learn English that they can use to communicate with their own parents, they will not succeed at all in family life, I presume. England has banned Americans, and might continue to ban us if we don’t get this covid crap under control. I don’t want to stay here though, with the rioting in the capitol, Pro Trump assholes wandering about my state, and the Prod Boys messing around with things. In any case, I don’t want to be in a situation where the women in this country have no virtually no rights. the Handmaid’s Tale is not irrelevant fiction, and I’m not a vagina flaunting feminist, as one woman might have put it. This woman might have survived sexual abuse, but she’s a self hater for some reason. I can’t comment on her stuff on Facebook without her saying that she thinks that my beliefs are why women don’t get taken seriously. Well, I don’t care anymore. Women need rights, must have rights, and will not escape the patriarchy until we have a right to be heard, believed, and trusted here in the U.S. I can’t justify all the technicalities of staying here any more. Canada might have been an answer, but they closed the border to so many. Trenton could be explicitly targeted for being black, and I’m not putting a target on his back here,, he’s just not that guy in the Hood. And we’re not interested in the Hood. we want to live in a safe place, where there is little chance of a death threat, and if we do get death threats, we need security. We want the city and county of Denver to pay for our security if such things happen. Or we could put the bill on Lakewood or Golden or Littleton. We need to be clear: leaving this country is a conflict we must consider in our minds. If we leave, we could face access barriers everywhere we go, and that means no Alexa skills or Google actions rolled out to us first. Certain songs are walled off in the United States but not other regions. I can’t go without my typical music, but Sweden and Finland have musics different from ours, but the world does not need to wall off music because they should or can. If I moved to Canada, we’d also have a pretty shitty Netflix selection, no Hulu, and no Disney Plus selections we want. Canadian media is different from our own, and we’d never watch Friends again. But what justifies it? If the Boogaloo assholes come knocking, they will take more than my blog away, my body away, and my other life away from me. Boogaloo will also destroy any sense of security I have, deploy methods of exterminating my friends and loved ones, and then they’ll populate Netflix and Hulu with racey content like that found in the Jack Benny show, while funny but still a bit racist. Let’s look at what they could ponder in the film industry.

First, when I was listening to Jack Benny, I noticed that Rochester was driving Jack’s car, and the car was also voiced by the same guy who does Woody the Woodpecker, Mel Blanc. That guy was amazing by the way. Mel made the car noises while you could imagine that Rochester was driving Benny’s car to the studio for the CBS show we would expect. The thing that bothered me was that “Mr. Benny” was what Rochester had to call his employer. What does Trenton’s mom think of this? She’s worked in data entry for years, but does anyone call her employer “Miss” or “Mrs.”? My mother in law should probably know that this sort of race based titling could pop up in the Boogaloo world if they had their way. Q Anon and the white nationalists could deem it inappropriate for Trenton, for instance, to call me simply Beth. Worse, they could say he couldn’t marry me. He’d have to call me “Miss Beth”. Young kids do this to me, but that doesn’t bother me because kids should learn respect as young as possible, but I don’t like to be called Miss or Mrs. Matthews because for one, the Miss part. It’s a foul stench of patriarchal difference between married and unmarried, owned and unowned. Women are not the property of their fathers or husbands, face this. This means that if I legally took Trenton’s name, it would feel like he owned me. But he knows he doesn’t. It’s not a race thing either, it’s a feminist thing. Revolutionary women kept their maiden names, especially Lucy Stone. Who knew.

If I leave the United States, what else would I miss? Well, barbecues and outdoor celebration of July 4 would be a thing of the past. Sure, I would miss the fireworks, but who needs that. What I’m more worried about is the walling off of musics in Canada versus the United States. Example, Google said that Fiddler on the Roof was not available in the United States, which is odd.

Another thing, if I did leave the States, it would be hard to find a country and planetary principality where Trenton is respected along with me. Blindness and all, we deserve respect. We don’t like conspiracy theories, we don’t like things that don’t align with human rights, not up for debate. Please note, we’ve had enough of the travel restrictions, the exploitation of the disabled, and the lawlessness perpetrated by those in the Capitol. Thank you for reading.

Beth

The Five Stages of Abuse: Detecting the Predators Before They Strike

Dear readers,

The following is my story, but broken down into the five stages of abuse as researched and codified by Dr. Leigh Baker’s Protecting Your Children from Sexual Predators. This book has been an invaluable tool to me for learning not only what happens when a predator strikes a child, but what happened to me personally. Please read with caution, some of this may be a bit graphic, and some of this may not.

TW descriptions of sexual abuse #abuseTW

Stage 1: Detection. This is easy to spot. Not always the same from person to person. Let me set the stage for my detection when I went through it. First and foremost, I was at the Daytona Rehabilitation Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or what was known at that time as simply the Rehab Center. Daytona Beach had lots of places to go, including the Volusia Mall and all kinds of beach places at that time, including the walkways and boardwalk. I was at the mall, browsing crap at Claire’s, where I usually get lost in all kinds of cute crap anyway. Then a man approached me. His name was Ricardo Guerra, or I’d know him as Rico for short. Rico approached me from somewhere in Claire’s, I’m pretty sure it was Claire’s, and he bought me a couple of things I wanted to start with. Oops. This led to the detection stage. I’m not sure what Rico was doing in detecting a piece of meat to eat, but the detection stage usually is when a predator gets to know their prey in some subtle ways. They have to detect things vulnerable about you, including things like you struggle in school, your parents suck, things like that. Maybe you feel out of balance in a new family, that is just as Jensen, the little boy in Leigh Baker’s case study, did. Dr. Baker used the example of a preschool teacher’s aid and a student for her case composite for the five stages, so I may go there from time to time, but remember, this was her work. I will however use examples of each stage from my own story, so keep reading.

Stage 2: Approach. Rico did some pretty mad approaching later on. He took me to the perfume counter at the mall, bought me a French flower perfume of some sort, I can’t quite write it here. Now, I had this perfume for a while, but Rico was a real nice guy at first. I didn’t know he was 51. He noticed my talents at the piano and singing, which was, in all due respect, the nice thing about it. But there are some things that you must know about Rico in the approach stage that really bothered me. Looking back, he had me alone a lot, wanted to take projects with me a bunch, and even tried to send me expensive gifts. This was also the case with the Mr. Bob and Jensen story. Bob learned that Jensen liked model planes and such, so he went and bought the little kid an expensive model plane. He disguised himself as a father figure. While this is different with boys, Rico also tried to disguise himself as a father figure for a girl. While he had his own daughter, Rico also had lots of issues going on in his own brain. My relationship with Rico took a turn for the next stage when we were sitting in the hall at the Rehab Center, and I could barely concentrate on nursing home and job skills and such. See next item.

Stage 3: Subjugation and Stage 4: Grooming. This goes kind of hand in hand. Subjugation makes it possible for the predator to isolate their victim, making more and more advances towards the victim, getting to know the parents, getting to know the people around them. The victim doesn’t really know what’s happening. Rico did all this. my dad wasn’t happy. Understandably, neither was my mom. After she found out Rico was doing Stage 4, the grooming, it became abundantly clear that the abuse stage would follow. Rico was removed from the Rehab Center because of claims he had sex with me. Well, those claims would have been true had he gone on to the next stage. Something Dr. Baker writes clearly in her chapter on these stages, sometimes the predator has to go back through stages 3 and 4 to get to stage 5. See nextx item.

Stage 5: The Abuse. You could say that Rico was stupid enough not to do stage 5. I ended up polishing off his feet, but that wasn’t really sexual enough. He wanted me to cop a feel at his body, but let’s face it. Sexual contact was never made. Even when he was removed from the Rehab Center, I think he was like, oh, I didn’t do it. I had to believe him because for real, he never had sex with a minor. In the abuse stage, Dr. Baker writes that the teacher’s aid encouraged his student to let him touch the little boy’s body. This is truly abusive. If any adult in authority tells your child to touch them or they touch the child, it is a clear sign that the abuse stage has passed. Rico advanced pretty strongly, but his abuse wasn’t really there all the way. The only way he could have done something would have been if I really did touch his penis, and he would have returned such things by touching my body parts. Nobody touched there. Period.

The appropriate Response. Parents, if you’re reading this, know a few different points about surviving sex abuse and harassment. First, it is not the survivor’s fault. Second, the survivor should not be given any sort of punishment for going through sexual abuse. Because of Rico, I had to live in my parents’ house for a few years, enduring isolation and guardianship and my parents telling me not to talk to all kinds of people because in their minds, the men were bad news. However, the choices my parents made even during my tenure at the Colorado Center for the Blind were also very poor. I was not going to get much support from my parents, and it took years of therapy and finding the right people to get me over the predation experience I suffered at the hands of Rico. His name appears on a court filing my parents tried to do that included a restraining order. Well, what if they had done this to men because they were black? My parents might have also done the same shit to my current partner, Trenton, because of his African American blood and heritage. They could have also told a judge that a man who was black was on drugs and the judges would believe my parents over me. Thankfully, Judge Tanya Rainwater was smart and didn’t believe my parents and their claims of sexual abuse at the hands of Ricardo Guerra. The judge said there was no proof of sex, and she wanted DNA and penetration and all that. It could have happened. So what were my vulnerabilities? I was on the verge of committing suicide, wanting to date teen boys, but Rico said they were losers. Well, he himself was a loser. I was also deemed a mental case by the high school, something I didn’t want. They recommended, after all the stages of abuse and my parents’ laxidasical response and their lackluster involvement, they recommended I have an attendant at school. This was humiliating. I would never forgive THS for this crap. Not ever. What my O and M instructor had to do was allow someone to follow me around at school. She was not allowing of anyone, really nothing occurred and I had to have occupational therapy because of my parents’ toxicity. They blamed the victim of sexual abuse instead of help and support the survivor. Guardianship in all cases is an inappropriate response to sexual abuse. Parents, you need to get adequate counseling for your teenager or your child, not guardianship for the budding young adult with disabilities who has suffered sexual abuse. Making up mental health stats and diagnostics will not get you anywhere but resentment from the child or teen who becomes an adult. Every action you make has an equal or opposite reaction. The response to Rico’s abuse my parents concocted was nothing more than victim blaming, shaming, and an ill fated understanding of how predators operate and communicate. My parents should have read Dr. Baker’s book and seen the composite sketches, and maybe allowed me to participate in talks about sexual abuse and the stages of such. If they had, they would have understood that Rico was a bad groomer, a terrible abuser, and I was a victim, not something to pore over in guardianship files, not someone to exploit. My money and wages are lost, I can’t even get a job or go to college because of the sexual abuse. Because of the guardianship, I was relegated to men who would do nothing but cheat on me, tell me to go fuck off because I had guardianship, and or they’d act like it was the best thing to do. Well, it’s not. I resent my parents for doing this, and I resent the professionals who followed this track and wanted me to suffer for the abuse I suffered. Professionals should never, never under any circumstances recommend guardianship for a child or teen who has disabilities because they will not be able to work, have a family, or grow up. It’s institutional ableism at its finest, and it’s worse when the child or teen is blind. Blindness is the most feared disability on the planet, and I had lots of delays in adaptive skills training because of guardianship. I didn’t even know how to prepare my own food till I was over 23 years old and had a fully furnished apartment. Ugh. With the fully equipped kitchen I was able to learn food prep techniques, but the whole time I was at CCB, they tried to scale back my program or make exceptions because of the guardianship. And all this because of Ricardo’s abuse. Please, parents, listen to your kids. If they don’t want to be labeled a mental case because they’re in love with a teenage boy, especially if it’s a girl, please listen. If you don’t listen to your child or teen, you could end up being resented or the relationship could go adrift. I only receive calls from my parents now every christmas and birthday, not enough to solidify a good relationship. It makes me wonder what my own kids will think because they will end up not having a Grandma and Grandpa around to give them presents, cookies, and stories of the past. Grandparents are important, but for my children, they are not important because they could have told me to abort a child had I had one at all at this time. My parents would justify the abortion as getting rid of the blood of a blind woman. My baby is not likely to be born blind, but making it so I can’t have kids would have been an option had my parents kept me at home. I left because they were telling me when and how to use the Internet, and at age 23, I flew away and quit college at FSU. I never went back, except on Christmas vacation, but was spiritually abused about being a Muslim because I had converted trying to find the answers. Spiritual abuse is common in families with children who have disability as well. I’m 34 now, unemployed, no kids, but with a perfectly awesome husband and partner in commitment. We couldn’t legally marry because his healthcare check and survival benefits would have been taken away. I would never advocate divorce for us just to save our checks, and it is selfish in my opinion. I wish people would stay married for life, and I swore that on my partner. However, he and I would benefit from having a child. The child would need a safe home and housing we don’t have and can’t provide, and all this because of Ricardo Guerra. He doesn’t realize how much he ruined my life and the lives of the people around me. I guess predators don’t always realize how much they ruin people’s lives.

Thank you for reading this blog. I will be telling a summary of my story on the third season of my podcast, and I will be doing some research to help find some music for this. I need a heraldry fanfare because we’re talking about the Throne Room with Beth Taurasi and I’m supposed to portray the Queen thing with dignity. Please listen to the podcast and learn a great deal if you can.

Beth

Guide Dogs and Spiritual Centers: How to Include Your Congregants with Guide and Service Animals Who Are Disabled

Dear readers,

You’re probably a cleric or minister who’s had a guide dog or service animal user in your congregation. You probably don’t know much about the dog or other animal’s ability to do its job and not mess up your building space. So here’s the question: have you considered making your space welcoming for these people and their dogs? Let’s take a look at guide dogs and service animals, and I’ll tell you how my guide dog handler friends would like you to address these issues.

Guide dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California is a great example of a guide dog school. Note: Seeing Eye dogs are usually only dogs trained and registered at the Seeing Eye dog school in Morristown, NJ, so please refer to all other types of mobility assistance dogs for the blind as simply “guide dogs.” Guide dogs help their blind owners walk around and they will be able to walk up and down your church aisle. While you’re busy making your church or spiritual place of worship welcoming to the wheelchair user, there are some issues with blind people who use guide dogs being asked to leave or not let the dog in the communion line or otherwise don’t bring the dog at all.

First and foremost, guide dog training takes a lot of effort, love, and money. The dogs are raised with puppy raisers as young as eight weeks old, right after weaning from the mother dog. When they are removed from the mother, they are individually given to a family or person who wants to help instill the fundamentals of obedience and socialization. This sort of training includes the sit, down, stay, and other sorts of basics. They also learn to do some commands like forward, left, right, etc. They don’t do harness stuff till they leave the puppy raiser and go to what we blind people would call “dog college.” At the dog school, you as the dog handler would learn how to control your dog, give corrections gently and such, and how to work with the dog in harness. There are also dogs at the schools that are in training to become guides. If you want all kinds of cuteness and puppy love, watch Pick of the Litter, and watch GDB pups go into training. Some will become breeders, others will become working guides. The working guides are amazing guides indeed, so when you meet a guide dog user for the first time, ask them questions about what your dog user friend uses their service animal for. They will be glad to answer, but please don’t give a standoffish comment like, “Oh, you can’t bring the dog here.” I’ve had people complement my dog handler friends on how beautiful their dogs are. If I personally had a guide dog, I would groom the dog like crazy to perfection, put bows and ribbons on their collar, and make sure the dog is spiffy and all dressed up to impress, just like myself. This would be great for job interviews, and making a good first impression on a church or spiritual leader in a center of spiritual knowledge.

Service animals for wheelchair users follow the same sort of path, and some disabled people have diabetic alert dogs. Here’s a profile you guys might want to consider: there’s this one dog who was a breeder, and after she bred two or more litters of successful working guides, she became a diabetic alert dog for her custodian breeder, Jim. I believe her name was Charity, but I forget the name altogether but wait, Trinity. How appropriate. Trinity might be her name, but I know it had a y at the end, that’s all I remember. This dog had also bred a son, Jenkins, who also went on to become the breeder stud behind several chocolate labs. Chocolate labs are adorable dogs with brown coats as brown as, well, chocolate. German shepherds are highly responsible dogs with high intelligence, but the dogs frequently chosen by guide dog schools these days include labs and golden retrievers, beautiful dogs with great devotion to their masters and they are highly intelligent and responsible dogs. Goldens are known for being good family dogs, but I think their spirits can be a bit high, and they can sometimes be class clowns. That’s just my observation for me of some guide dog users and their guides.

When you first meet a guide dog user, don’t be alarmed. If you’re a Muslim imam or cleric in a mosque, you may recall that the nose of a dog is dirty, I get it, but think of this. The dog has its own natural way of doing a kneeling pose, the sort of pose you do when you pray. When a dog is lying down, it looks so cute with the legs all done that way. My ex said something about that in a riddle. Anyway, if you’re Muslim and come across a guide dog user, don’t be alarmed. The dog won’t lick unless your hand is right underneath their nose, but keep your distance from the team as they work, and they will follow you if commanded. That is, the handler may tell the dog to follow you to a seat. Let the team do its job. The dog will be content lying down on the floor, so the brother or sister handler will be happy to go off and pray in the center of the circle. For Christian and Jewish establishments, don’t be afraid to bless the guide or service animal. My choir director goes to a Mennonite church, and dogs are a frequent love of hers. I have a guide dog handler friend who comes in to choir, barring the pandemic, and sometimes she gets a break at the church. Even animals need to relax too, so when you are able, for all religious areas, let the team play together and designate a guide or service dog relief spot. Tell your congregants with dogs for service exactly where they can and cannot relieve their animals, and this will assure your congregation is safe. Don’t be alarmed if the dog is lying on the floor, but dogs make great conversation starters when they greet people, wag their tails, and do their work with grace and dignity, and with a sense of animal humor. Don’t forget about the guide and service dog retirement stage. Your congregant will want to retire their guide or service animal at a certain age. For example, some guide dog schools recommend retiring your dog at age eight or nine. That is, in human years. Dog years is different in calculation than those of humans for some strange reason.

What should you not do with a service dog? Well, don’t encourage anyone to pet the dog while they’re in harness working. Most service dogs will only respond to their master in harness while working, and they don’t need doggy distractions. Do not ask for ID’s or papers for your potential congregant’s dogs because they don’t usually provide those. However, you can also ask where the dog was trained and contact the guide dog school. GDB and Guiding Eyes are amazing schools, to the most highest degree I can think of. I’ve heard that Pilot dogs is okay. Some prefer Leader dogs. But think about the dog and its training. GDB does have specific requirements for dogs, evaluations being done on the pups till they reach maturity and some are even cut well in to the guiding training. some dogs don’t make the cut, but others who do are lucky. Guide dog training also requires that the dog learn to effectively intelligently disobey their owner if the command could put the owner in danger. Examples of this include if there’s a car rolling down the street, I tell the guide dog “forward” while the car is going on the street, and the dog doesn’t move. I have to wait until there’s a deep and definite lull in the traffic, then tell the dog to go again. The command is usually a forward, and if you want to speed up, there’s a command for that. You want to ask as many questions as you want to ask, but they have to be good questions. Now, how does this relate to spiritual matters? Guide dogs can do just about everything guide related for their owners. For the wheelchair companion dogs, be careful of things that fall on the floor. Such dogs can be trained to pick them up, and ask first before attempting to pick up a dropped item for a service dog user. For dogs that assist the deaf, their job is to alert the person when someone is talking to them, when the phone rings, and sometimes to paw the owner if a fast moving vehicle is running down the road. Psychological service dogs count too, and so do diabetic alert and medical service dogs. Jim’s dog has had training to alert him when his blood sugar is too low or too high. Respect when the dog is alerting you to something, especially in the case where an epileptic person with seizures is using their alert dogs. Seizure dogs are great, but please note that such dogs are trained to lick their owners in the face. It may look like they’re giving them doggy kisses, but when I saw this one dog doing that, it stimulated the brain of the seizing woman on the floor. Also, dogs like these are supposed to alert the average Joe citizen for help if their owner is on the floor. I love dogs, as one can tell, and the amazing things they do for people. If the service dogs for veterans pop up, don’t be afraid to ask. But remember, veterans with PTSD service dogs should get no less than the guiding service dog for the blind. My cousin has a dog that helps him get over stuff, and he’s an army vet. My best friend from high school has a brace and balancee and PTSD service dog and … well, dogs are good for just about everything. Some dogs can predict seizures, so if the dog is alerting you or the owner to a seizure, please note that this is a natural occurrence, and if the person falls, get help immediately. That’s my story on service dogs and spiritual centers.

Beth

Overview of Inclusivity and Religion: Making Spiritual matters a Thing of Inclusion for Disabled Congregants

Dear readers,

I shared Ellen Stumbo’s post from the Mightete, a disabled news org, and she has a lot of things to probably unpack. Thank you for those who saw that story and wished to be a part of my spiritual life. I looked through this blog, and I saw some mistakes I might have made, identifying one man as Somali and another man as not. Who knows, but I want to truly open a timeline and a dialogue with all faiths and religions, notwithstanding the mistakes I made, but I want to put all the stuff I wrote prior to this post in one big summary timeline, and here it is. It includes what you should do with disabled congregants, and this is based on experiences I’ve had with churches.

1. First and foremost, your parking lot and door entrances have to be wide enough for wheelchairs, even if the building is rustic and old. Make some accommodations in your restrooms so that disabled people can use them. Place bars on the walls of each stall, and make the stalls wide enough so that a wheelchair user can use the stalls. Blind people should be able to ID the bathroom with a Braille sign. Place such signage above the door, or by the door on a wall in the alcove’s outer side. That’s how the signage can be easily seen, and I look for signs there. Also, make sure your Braille is proofread by a certified NLS Braille proofist, even if it’s the word handicapped. here’s a funny Braille story to show you why: The Braille sign for “and” is written with dots 1-2-3, then dots 4-6, all put together. it’s a letter y in Braille but written a bit backwards. So the dot combo is 1-2-3-4-6. However, there was a sign that was written with the “ing” sign: the dot 2 was missing from the “and” sign, so the sign that my cane teacher interpreted was the following: “Girls hingicapped.” Be careful with Braille contractions and lettering, and make sure you have a Braille cheat sheet on you to make sure all signage is correctly Brailled. The architecture of this building should reflect inclusivity. For Muslims, make sure the woodoo areas are completely user friendly, and if you insist on women and men being in separate prayer areas, do not use only stairs. Put the women in a place where wheelchairbound sisters can enjoy worship from the same floor as the men, but you must have wider doorways and the woodoo fountains should be at a level that is usable for those sisters who can’t raise their right or left hand to turn on the fountains. Make sure there are places to put shoes where a sister or brother won’t trip. This is something an old friend frequently would talk about while I was present at mosque. For Jewish ceremonies, always include your wheelchair using sisters and brothers, and for those who count themselves as orthodox or Hassidim, always always always have a door open for disabled congregants who want to join in. Even the goyem will admire your inclusivity.

2. When a congregant walks in, make sure you are welcoming to them. For Christian churches, please make sure you have alternatives to hymnals that a disabled person may use, and as a blind person, I wish I had been able to read the words to worship service songs in detail. Give the blind congregant access to the lyrics at worship services ahead of time, or let them hear a recording of the hymns you will be singing in services. For Jewish folks, same sort of thing may apply to shabbats, and for those who hate tech during shabbat, please note that an exception should be made for blind folks using Braille. Braille displays should be used in Hebrew services so they can follow along with the rabbi or congregation cantor, and make sure that the persons leading the choir and rabinical folks know about this stuff. Your Jewish blind congregants should have as much access to Hebrew scripture, Hebrew chorale pieces, and so much more so they can sing and follow along. Of course, young Jewish students should be included in Hebrew school as well, so for teachers of such, make sure your texts are written in appropriately hebrew Braille. it is in my opinion the best way to get a student familiar with the Hebrew language. It’s similar to Arabic, and I’ve seen Arabic Braille written down, but face it, the letters are pretty similar to both Roman and Hebrew script. For religious educators in Catholic circles, you need to consult the publishers of your books. Make sure the Catholic faith textbooks are written for children in Braille, and if you’re a teacher, beg the publisher for the teacher’s edition in the same format. If not Braille, kids and teachers who are blind should be given access to the same materials but in electronic format. If they use a pc or mac with screen readers, the formatting should be excellent, top quality, arranged so that pictures are captioned and labeled accordingly. This also applies to Muslim folks. Sadly, I wasn’t able to participate in Qur’an classes with my sisters in islam, but for the young folks in TAQI, or Tasir Al Qur’an Institute schools, they should be given Braille copies or electronic Arabic and English copies of the Qur’an. This way, as the prophet said, you can still gain knowledge, even if you can’t see it.

3. For all religious centers, babies should be baptized or blessed with the same dignity and pomp as with normal babies.

4. When a kid grows up, and with adults growing in faith, let the person experiment or teach them the science behind the choices they make with procreation. While i’m not a fan of the Catholic or Christian ideological senses of don’t have sex until marriage, please note that disabled children and adults face the most poverty because of that very thing. Disabled men become predators sometimes because they are not taught how to keep their sex organs to themselves, and disabled women get objectified. We need to create a welcoming and safe space for all, including disabled people. All religious centers and community churches should include a consent class, a code of honor and consent for all congregants and brothers and sisters. While islam has strictures of family honor tied right into the religion itself, I would encourage Muslims to research and understand the rules about consent in modern culture. islam must conform to let females make all choices, and even in cultures where this is not the case, females must be able to say no if they see something wrong or abusive about a man. This definitely includes disabled females. I left islam because I didn’t want to have to marry a stranger, and I wasn’t about to get barefoot and pregnant with someone i hardly understood how to please anyway. I would have also had superiority games played on me if I married a sighted guy, which the Muslim brothers suggested. Unfortunately, for these brothers, I married a non Muslim blind guy, and I won’t be coming back. I love my sisters, and I understand if the sisters insist I walk back, but I can’t do any such thing because islam has become a contested religion here in this country. I’ve been disrespected by a doctor who swore i was “pretending to be Arab”, and was trolled on Facebook for this very thing. I don’t subscribe to religious views that contradict my own core beliefs about me, and that should be what matters.

5. When a bride and or grooms and brides or couple comes to you and your religious center for marriage, get their story. If a couple wanting to wed is disabled, offer the commitment ceremony option first. I want to shout out to Jenny, my minister from Jefferson unitarian Church. I wanted a woman minister to lead my wedding commitment ceremony because I was not, I repeat not, going to submit to a man in everything, and I was just about done with the patriarchal … dare I say it? Bullshit. patriarchs like some of the priests that abuse women and boys should never be allowed to do weddings anyway. If a bride or groom is not supported because of financial disability, physical disability, or anything else, offer to pay for everything. St. Bernadette’s Catholic church paid for the catering of the wedding of a dear friend of mine, but the bride also had the support of her family. Since Trenton and I did not have the support of church and family, and the pandemic had ruined all churchgoing plans, jenny came by our apartment and we had no ring bearer. We also had a guy doing camera angling for the phone. I recorded my commitment ceremony on Facebook Live. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I honestly wish I had more support, but it was true to us. We had a biblical reading of course, but we also had a wisdom reading from another spiritual source, something I really wish other Christians would consider. Weddings are an important part of life as a human being, and even if the bride is incapacitated, offer the support she needs to fight back and marry the man she loves. I had no support, and now I’m having to sue my own family for damages related to the guardianship. They are very hostile if confronted, but they don’t get it. They never wanted me to legally get married, and I didn’t, but I’m still committed to Trenton and will stay that way for life. Anyway, i’m glad I did my own wedding, but with church supports and no pandemic, it could have been better.

6. Offer support for disabled adults wishing to integrate kids into the mix. Whether the family is getting started or has been started, please, please welcome disabled people’s kids. Baptize them or commit them or dedicate them as above, if they consent. In most Protestant churches, baptism must be given if faith is strong enough and if you’re eighteen. Also, scriptural abuse cannot be tolerated whether it’s committed against the parental couple or the kids themselves. For parents everywhere, disabled or not, always have an open line of communication with your kids about sex abuse and spiritual abuse. If your child is abused spiritually by a church, leave that congregation immediately.

7. If a parent with disabilities wants to know how their kid is doing in spiritual circles, they need to ask about it. Churches should be a welcome and safe space for all kids, including those with disabilities and colored folks, any stripe and color included but not limited to black, brown, polka dots, purple, etc.

8. If the parent of a disabled congregant in your church dies, be with the person and show them the grieving process. Give them bereavement resources in your spiritual center, and let them come to you for guidance. As a minister or cleric in your spiritual center, you should be a good ear to bounce off all the stuff the child or young adult is facing in the death of their loved one. If the disabled adult is facing terminal conditions related to their disability, give them the hospice resources they deserve. Give them a good sendoff whether they are nonbinary or otherwise. Islam insists on strict gender conformity, but to those who practice Native beliefs, the two spirit people should be honored above all else. For those who are nonbinary who were shunned from communities for being nonbinary or LGBTQ+, please note that there are people who won’t condemn you to hell, so if you’re on the heaven bound train, find the right person for your funerary care. It will be worth your while.

9. Never put any sort of discipline in place that would disfavor disabled adults who are living in houses outside marital status with someone of the opposite sex. Trenton and I were abused and frequently targets of sin related comments from my former church. I feel that all churches should discipline anyone who abuses a disabled woman and calls her a whore, not blame her for being a whore at all. Churches must if anything have a discipline system in place to keep predators from working with youngsters, but above all, they should never define marriage as between a man and a woman who is able. Ableist marriage practices in churches make marriage difficult, along with those financial penalties from SSI. Please beware the issues we disabled people face.

10. Never tell someone they can’t come back because of their disability, and don’t make them confess sins they didn’t commit. I can’t fess up to sins, I didn’t commit the sins of being sexually abused. that’s not a sin. A sin is what my exes have done. Not my living with Trenton, not my commitment to him either.

Thank you all for reading this, and I hope you enjoy the blog further.

Beth

Can’t Say I Told you So

Dear readers,

I can’t say I warned you all ahead of time about the abuses of some blind men, within and without the National Federation of the Blind. Unfortunately, my story had a bad ending, and I was banned from the NFB National Association of Blind Students Mailing List, so I dropped out of college twice. I hate being a dropout, and I wish I could get more support from the disability community, but alas, that was not the case. With people such as Wes D. and Bill B. harassing and intimidating people like me, it gets a lot worse. They rallied around Jason and hee has been known to be a predator since he started dabbling in dating young girls. I don’t know if he was a member of the Georgia NFB, but it pains me to write that the patriarchy’s days are over. It’s time for women to band together and stand up for what has to happen next. Here are the reforms I will suggest to the higher ups if I must, but I want all of you to write these things down in your notes on your phones or tablets for safe keeping.

1. We need a female leader in the NFB, someone with passion and power beyond a white person’s understanding. I think that delegation should go to Monique Melton, my former travel instructor at Colorado Center for the Blind, if she still does things with the NFB. She’s a no nonsense woman who would say, “Enough of that lady crap.” She’d make us repeat the same damn routes, certainly, but with greater precision she’d map out what we needed to do. I was one of her star students, I knew the address system, and funny I can still repeat it back if asked. I nominate Mo because not only will she represent blind people and females, but those of color as well. If I’m not mistaken, she will represent all of us, color or no color. But we desperately need a female who can rule the federation with an iron will, someone who can do the equivalent of Margaret Thatcher, sort of, but it might offend some Irish folks if I wrote that. Thatcher was a tyrant to some poor Irish folks, so I don’t know what to use as an example, but Mo wouldn’t put up with men and their bullshit, not at all. She’s a powerhouse that I think works at DVR but she’s doing great things wherever she works. She should be given the leader position over any of the remarkable Marks or whatever because that’s who she is. She’s a born leader.

2. We need a survivor’s panel to discuss matters of the conduct code investigation, and no tribunals should be done at all in the org itself, rendering any defense of the accused null and void. IF someone gets accused of sexual or other misconduct, please report this to the NFB Code of Conduct people, I’ll post an email address below for those who want it. There is a phone number but I don’t want to be blindly accused of posting phone numbers in the blog, so I’ll do an email address instead. In any case, we need a survivor’s panel and an advisory board on this matter to investigate and interview victims with empathy and all the things that come with gentleness. We need to gently get the stories out of people who are abused, whether in or out of the organization. This may include some children in the summer programs, Buddy and Step programs included, and some in our Earn and Learn High School program in Colorado. I’m serious, this is something near and dear to my heart. We need to make these changes soon.

3. Any man who is accused and adjudicated by local authorities, including those in Louisiana and Colorado should be thinking about what they did wrong. They should be placed behind bars, under armed guard for a few years. Then, when they are released on parole, they need to be on probation, under strict controls just like nondisabled offenders. They need to be in psychological counseling and group therapy with nondisabled and likely other types of offending persons. IF they are male, they go to a men’s group. If female, the same. I know for a fact that there are pedophiles in every aspect of the world, including the disabled community. Situational molesters should be taken a lot more seriously though, and that’s because pedophiles are more often caught. We need to educate all our young people to watch for the Five Stages of Abuse, something I will write about and talk about later in the blog. Stay tuned.

4. We need to make consent classes mandatory for all students, regardless of gender identity and sexual preference. LGBTQi+ peoples are not exempt from bad behavior, and. pedophiles are not a sexual orientation, let me be clear. It’s a mental disorder that harms children. Situational molesters are harder to spot, more cunning in their seduction and the moves they make, so can easily go under the radar. What we need to do is do consent classes for all future students and staff at all live in training centers for disabled people, including the structured discovery places for blind people. Poor behavior should not be an excuse to dismisss a girl who’s going through shit, and if catcalling is detected in the halls, let the men who do it be called out for their actions.

I’m sad to say that the NFB did not take people seriously, so if you have a story to tell, please email them at the following email address: code@nfb.org

Please email your story to the email address I just provided and let them hear you. Vote out all the males in the top leadership positions, and we also need to nominate the right peeople to run the organization. Monique, if you’re reading this, I hope you forgive me for nominating you if you don’t want the job, but we need something other than a white privileged or white male leading this organization. There is so much intersectionality within the disabled community, and the indigenous peoples of that community are hurt most of all, especially because of lack of access to healthcare, frequent sexual abuse, and so much other crap. Minorities like Hispanics and Blacks are frequently targeted, but speaking out should not be a means for punishment. Please, Julie D.and others who are reading this, call on your staff to make reformatory decisions regarding the Colorado Center, and if Pam in Louisiana reads this, do something fast. To those who are at the training centers currently, I haven’t forgotten about you. BLIND Incorporated also needs to be a part of the conversation, and this may result in a firestorm, hopefully not too bad of one, but one of change and reflection on why the organization failed to protect its young people. Thank you for reading this blog, and for those who support the NFB, please do better. Fluffy press releases and codes of conduct must at all times be reevaluated, and they won’t do enough. Don’t just cover yourselves, and I don’t want to see death threats aimed at me. I don’t have the money for extra security for a building with a gated area. So please, if you’re the Karen in Avilar who thinks it’s funny to make death threats on me, don’t. Anyone who makes death threats will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement, I won’t bother publishing your number anywhere. But do know this: sexual abuse survivors I am on your team. We will march together as women, banded together by determination to dismantle the male privileged society that we can’t live with anymore.

Sincerely yours in service,

Your sister,

Beth