National Federation of the Blind and Four Blind People File Suit Against RideCharge, Inc. and Three Taxicab Companies in California

I know Tina Thomas. I’m sorry, but Ridescharge and other cab companies are not accessible completely for blind people. That’s so stupid.

Cheryl Echevarria Advocate for the Blind Blog

Los Angeles, California (April 2, 2014):   The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) , the oldest and largest organization of blind people in the United States, and four blind people residing in California—Rick Boggs, Geraldine Croom, Rochelle Houston, and Tina Thomas —filed suit today (case number: 2:14-cv-02490) in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against RideCharge, Inc. and three entities that manage taxicab fleets in Southern California: Administrative Services Cooperative, Inc., LA Taxi Cooperative, Inc., and South Bay Yellow Cab Cooperative, Inc. The taxicab cooperatives have deployed RideCharge’s self-service, touchscreen payment terminals, which are inaccessible to blind taxicab riders, in taxicabs throughout Southern California. The complaint alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Disabled Persons Act.

The self-service terminals utilize an entirely visual, touchscreen interface mounted on the back of the front passenger…

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A CCB resolution on changes to have certification for service dogs‏

This is long overdue. Service dogs need to be certified and trained in such a way. In such a way that they serve, not distract people by being cute and barking and growling. That’s the thing. And fraud related to such animals is foolish.

Cheryl Echevarria Advocate for the Blind Blog

Dear All,

A resolution that would call upon the Department of Justice to
implement certification requirements for service dogs will be introduced at the California Council for the Blind Convention next week. Below you will find my response to this resolution. Please circulate it as widely as appropriate.

Fraternally yours,

Marion Gwizdala, President
National Association of Guide Dog Users Inc.
National Federation of the Blind
(813) 626-2789 (Office)
888-NAGDU411 (Hotline)
President@nagdu.org
http://www.nagdu.org

The National Association of Guide dog Users and the National Federation of the blind is opposed to any effort to certify, license, or otherwise regulate the service animal industry. Such regulation would only
serve to centralize more power with the service animal training programs and this coalition which would likely have the ability to self-certify their animals while adding another layer of governmental interference into the lives of those who owner-train. Though most guide dogs are program-trained, not…

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My Boring Day

I’m sorry, folks, but I had a rather boring and kind of a sad day. It boggles my mind how anyone could hog the time of the day that I’d rather spend with my boyfriend, and worst of all, it boggles my mind that Rehabilitation agencies can tear this relationship or whatever we call it apart. I have no things against Blake that he can name, but he almost wouldn’t forgive me without force or coercion because I told him I didn’t care for his mother’s grief. Look, her grief is my grief too. Ok, I better flash back a bit and tell you the truth: my boyfriend’s own mother is suffering because her younger son was taken from her in a horrible way. I won’t say who did it or how it happened because I don’t want anyone to say anything.
I was there online with Blake on February 7, this year. Blake and I were talking, and then a phone call came in. Maybe it was God’s grander plan to show us what we were supposed to do that day. Unfortunately, I heard later that Cathy, Blake’s dear mother, was sobbing. Only a mother’s sobs could echo as hers did, and I could make out the words: “Why did you do this to me?” An investigation revealed that her youngest son, a working man in his early twenties, was the victim. Not the person who was also involved. Article coverage revealed two bodies in the house, but poor Blake couldn’t read it. Surprisingly, he only broke down once. But now, cooking is hard for Cathy, and she sometimes asks for her late son, who sometimes is hard to live without. Blake says he will do what he can for his own mother dear, but at least Cathy treated Blake like a treasure. I honestly thought she had the Golden Boy syndrome, where there’s a favorite in the house. That happened to me.

June 30, 2007
I was at a wedding in Boston, rather in Massachusetts. I should tell my readers who was there, and who was getting married. It was my father’s cousin, a guy by the name of Jonathan, and his longtime love, Kristen. Both got married that day, and I had to witness that darned thing in Cohassett. My family drove for a long while to get to the beach where the wedding took place. I had to wear either a spaghetti strap dress, which I felt would make me look like a whore, or the sundress my mom bought for me. No complaint about the dress, but the worst thing that came to me was the way I couldn’t present the wedding gift to Kristen and Jon. I felt like I wasn’t the oldest in the family, and was given too little responsibility due to my disabilities. My parents favored Danny, my younger brother, who would later go on to work for Embraer Jet firm. Lucky dog. Who would present the gifts at my own wedding, I thought? Who will dress me in white? Who will be my groom? The answer would be clear as my life progressed: nobody. I hate that word. Nobody.

Work Adjustment Training and Other Matters

It’s something to go to work and get paid for what you do, but it’s worse to go to work bonded to a state rehabilitation agency who enslaves the blind and makes you do things that are out of the way to succeed.  As much as I care about my boss at the Work Adjustment Training I do three days a week, it’s worthless to look at the curriculum.  What with the office curriculum and stuff that I have to do in order to prove stuff to her and my rehabilitation counselor–what a weird title for someone working with blind people–I have to do more.  Social skills groups so I can be “focused.”  What?  I’m sorry, but if any blind person reads this, they oughta know something about state Rehabilitation agencies.  My Blake is going through hell with Arizona’s because of their “shortage” of counselors.  Bull.  I”m sorry, I won’t write the other syllable in there for fear that someone might think I’m nuts.

Like I’m already nuts.  Blake says his Rehab agency is driving him nuts.  They didn’t call him three weeks in advance so he could tell his dear mother about stuff around that.  She teaches tai kwon do at a studio in her locale, and she also worked.  Well, due to extenuating circumstances not covered in the blog, she went away from her dispatching work.  Oh, dear Miss Cathy, I pray that whatever circumstances hit you, you’re strong against them.  After all, I’ve had worse.  Imagine losing your rights, losing your mental sanity, losing the door that opens to the world.  Imagine being thrown in an iron door room with a sign on it marked INCOMPETENT and a second thing in the window with a picture of me as a baby.  Ok, imagine being thrown out of the living room so that your mother’s golden babies can have all the attention.  That happened at a younger day, but also imagine those golden boys succeeding before your very eyes, and there you are, labeled LOSER, INCOMPETENT, STUPID, IDIOT.  This is something that happened to me.  You are lucky to have sons, even if you might have lost one of them.  So what?  You are lucky to have a husband who can stand up and support you in any circumstance.  CAn’t you say that Blake can have that stuff?  We’re both bogged down, but I always make time for Blake, but if he goes to work, even so, I make time for him.  People who are truly in love make time for each other, always and every day, no matter what.  That’s a healthy relationship.  Why take that away from me?  Why?  I need that because of my illness and because of other issues I won’t discuss here.  Oh, … this is just the beginning.  I could go on for hours about it, but dear friend, I can’t.  I love you.

Ok, I could get pretty teary eyed about it.  Ok, I’m going to do a review of Mockingjay but I do know the first few chapters talk about Katniss going crazy.  Well, imagine you were the ones who saw your friends or peers die around you or try to kill you.  Imagine losing a twelve-year-old friend.  Imagine being told that you are the threat that your country doesn’t want.  Imagine your fellow district tribute falls in love with you.  Then, imagine your city burning in ashes.  Oh yes, Katniss went through all of that, so I can imagine her life with flashbacks, nightmares, etc.  I feel for Katniss because she has to take medications and drugs, but she suffers from a lot worse mental problems than I do.  At only seventeen, she has flashbacks and nightmares and all kinds of hallucinations and such, all signs of situational schizoeffective disorder.  Yeah, weirdness is a part of it, but she’s almost broken down.  Peeta is there for her, even if he has the same issues.  Hey, if anyone had to watch their peers die around them, that would cause such a disorder to haunt them forever.

That is all I have to say, I’ll write more about Mockingjay, and maybe I’ll say something further about why Katniss and I are almost the same.  We’ve had far different circumstances, but the same stuff occurs.

My Other Half: Poem

My Other Half

Tall, dark, and handsome–
No, I mean literally–
He stands at my side, even when the tide
Turns against us.
Were always together in more ways than one way,
Never fading from our view, from Arizona’s sky so blue.
Blake, you are my other half.

There’s something special about you in my life.
You say you need a wife? A sedative? A date?
I can be all those just for you, babe.
I’ll be ever true, Babe.
I will never stop loving you.
Not till the day I drop dead,
Till I can’t move my head,
Till I can’t move my arms, and my heart stops
And my blood pressure tops 180 over 50 or so. I don’t know.
Blake, you’re something else,
But most of all,
You are my other half.

My Day complete

My day was so boring.  Melaina, the lady that does my cleaning, came in and did her stuff, but ah, Blake isn’t home.  How can I drink a thing if he’s not around?  It’s like, every time I hear a cracked can of soda, I think of Blake.  Like earlier today, I heard some lady crack open a diet Dr. Pepper, and I thought to say, “You suck.”  Yes, she had a moment where I thought of Blake, where Blake must’ve thought of me.  I don’t know why, but it’s part of me now.  I hard the crack of the soda, and thought of the many nights Blake would do whatever.  He’d do whatever it takes to make him happy.  I want to do whatever it takes to make us both happy.  Now, I’m talking to some folks on Skype.  I’ve got a longtime friend on here, Carrie, and then my friend Ali from Texas.  We’re hanging around and stuff.  It’s pretty cool having friends around online, but I know for a fact that some of those friends can’t assert themselves, and then, guardians and parents can take advantage.  I’m probably the most assertive, but I sometimes get aggressive.  We role played in a psych group today about assertiveness.  I justified the stupid Braille display stuff for R.J., one of my friends.  R.J. is awesome, and I told him that it is important to spell things correctly.  That’s me though.  I’m not a bad speller.  Thirteenth place in my county’s spelling bee.  But I didn’t do anything with the honey.  A spelling bee?  Whoa.  Ok, a bee that spells.  I can hardly imagine!

Well, I better find out where Blake is, so talk at you all later.

 

\Some hours later: Blake comes home, and I’m so happy to see him.  HE calls in to my Skype, and I was inspired to write a poem for him.  See next post.

My Day so far

So my day went good so far.  Except for two things: I wake up right?  And the driver calls me up at like 7:45 AM, and I really wish Blake were on with me at that time because we won’t get to talk till like six my time, which is like 5 PM Arizona standard time.  I wish that I could try and do something about not seeing Blake.  IF I didn’t see him, then I’d be miserable.  But not talking to him would be worse.  My life’s been the hellish stuff that some people might call Indian mush mixed with sour cream.  I have been prevented from talking to people as a child, but as an adult, I have to assert my needs clearly.  I was sitting with a group of people today, and talking about asserting ones needs and “I statements.”  Well, my parents might have felt that such statements do not present themselves well.  They were, in all truth, aggressive with the “do as you’re told” mantra that most parents would follow.  “Do this” and “Do that” do not work for me at all.  I’d rather my kid be able to assert his’her needs first so that he’she can grow up learning how to do that and know the skill I have to know as well.  In truth, my upbringing wasn’t the best, and I have to make it known later on as to why.  I mean, there was a time I would have to agree to eat pepperoni pizza, which is why I hate pepperoni pizza now.  I hate pepperonis altogether, and pizza’s fine, but not pepperoni pizza.  I will never eat pepperoni pizza EVER AGAIN!

As for me being such a complaint addict, I won’t agree to something someone else says about me because of my disability and the fact is I have to know myself.  I want for instance to be able to see my boyfriend.  He lives out of state.  I don’t know when I’ll ever see him, and here’s Cathy, his dear mother, saying I have to “change.”  WHat?  Change what?  I’m sorry, but there’s nothing to change at the moment or ever for that matter.  You can’t prevent an adult from seeing his girlfriend or her boyfriend, Ma’am.  And Ma’am, you have to remember, your son is not exactly the “Golden Boy” of your family.  He never worked, though he was probably a better fighter on the floor than he was.  Whoever He happened to be, I won’t mention here in the blog.

Honestly, it always happens this way with disabled people.  We are favored less than the nondisabled siblings.  Siblings get all the stuff: ipods, the latest tech, etc., iphones, androids, yeah yeah yeah.  But we as disabled people are often on a fixed income.  Shouldn’t WE be getting all the stuff too?  No, it’s too expensive and too bulky?  Good excuse, parental units, but I really need to have an Ipod 5.  Which reminds me, I wanted the WordPress app for IOS, but can’t download because it doesn’t have compatibility with my ipod.  I already spoke to a friend who said he’d try and help me buy an ipod, but still, I have to do something about accessories.  I wish I had money so I could buy things like a new phone–my old one is falling apart all the time and the charger’s on the verge of breaking–and a new set of clothes.  I need a new wardrobe, but if I don’t lose weight, my dressings will likely be too small and always that way.  Worse, I don’t have all my pajamas in my drawers.  Somehow one of the tops got lost in the laundry and somebody jacked it.  A caregiver did stuff in the laundry, but she swore she didn’t see the pajama top.  Damn, I wonder where it went.

There are a few things I must add further.  My day is about to get weirder.  I so wish that I as a disabled person could assert my needs better.  But the government won’t give you any more money than is allowed “because you’re blind.”  AS a senior citizen one day, I might need more.  If Blake and I are married for seventy years and we’re retired and old, we need all that money to cover medicines and life advancing stuff–stuff that could help us live in the hundreds or longer.  Ideas are filling my head at the moment.

But alas, nary a day goes by that I don’t think I’m not the favored child.  I was going to say how I could assert Blake’s need to see me to his own dear mother, but she’d never listen.  IF I said, for instance, “I feel like you’re doing something illegal by preventing me from seeing Blake.”  Ok, does that really work?  I want to say those things, but I’m afraid to because I’ve heard her stance on mental illness.  It’s horrible.  She had no illnesses like that in her family, and that could mean the end of things if I write further on about this.  Then again, the reasons my family has illness are the following: childhood molestation and sexual abuse, abuse of different sorts, abandonment, etc.  Yes, I kid you not, and I’m not about to say that my family is a completely messed up family.  I”m lucky I’m not in a dysfunctional Muslim family like that of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, or Hirsi Magan.  Her sister and dad were fine, but Haweya, her little sister, died because she was obviously abused in such ways by her mother, Asha Artan.  Asha wasn’t a good mother, and her late husband was almost no better by forcing Ayaan to marry a guy she didn’t like or know.  I would do the same thing she did, but worse, if it happened in the United States, I’d go all overboard and put a “no contact” order between my parents and me.  I’d restrain them from contact with me, and I don’t think … well, I’m afraid I might have such a thing placed on me for talking to Blake.  Blake is the best friend Ii’ve ever had, and yes, best boyfriend and most supportive man in the whole world.  I hope that you see this, hon, I want you to see that you are the most I’ve had in a humongous lifetime of … well, neglect should I say.

This is just my thoughts, people.  It’s not something that I mean to say, but after the talk about such things as assertiveness and I statements, said things still rolling around in my head, I went home and checked my email.  YEs, my email.  Email is the best invention since I can’t believe it’s not butter.  Or should I say, “I CAn’t Believe It’s Not Jason.”  Yeah, you’ll learn more in a later post.  Jason is a previous boyfriend I had, and I make fun of him all the time.

I’d be pressed to say more, but I want to give you all some info about me.  I”m a nice lady, but if you cross me the wrong way or steal my money, I”m the kijnd to either get passive or yell at you like, “you sent me an email with a passed due balance on it.”  Shut up, I don’t think that’ll work, I don’t want that past due balance.  Why is that there?  Did you even manage the automatic payments, you dumb corporation?  Laughs out loud.