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Bruce, Caroline

Blind and Not Ashamed of It

Well well well, Recording for the Blind and Dislexic, formerly just Recordign for the Blind, has changed its name. In so doing, they are the latest sighted-person-led organization to take the word "blind" out of its name. CNIB started it, as far as I know, though there may well have been others. When I was working for CNIB, and they rebranded themselves, we were told to never, ever, ever, under any circumstances use the word blind. Yes, the B in CNIB stood for blind, but we were never to own up to this fact, and refer to ourselves only by acronym. True, the head of CNIB was blind at the time, but they fixed that minor inconvenience shortly after I left. Seems to me that, with all these organizations trying to take the word "blind" out of their names, we blind people are being told that it's a bad thing to be blind. I'm not visually-impaired, there's no vision to impair; I don't have vision loss, you can't lose something you never had; I'm not optically challenged, luminarily disadvantaged, retinally-disenfranchised, nor do I have pupil envy. I am blind and not at all ashamed of it, it just happens to be a part of me. If these organizations can't get this simple fact through their politically-correct heads, then my prognosis for the intellectual future of the human race is dim.

Back when I was at the CNIB ... oops, I mean when I was at CNIB, we were told never to put "the" in front of our name, I approached one of the people in charge and said I felt discriminated against, and I felt sidelined as a blind person. "Go soak your head" about sums up the response I got. The money flowed through the cooler, bigger, partially-sighted market, I was told, and it was necessary to dissociate themselves as much as possible from the notion that their purpose was to help blind people. This was being all-inclusive, you see. Well thank you so gosh darned much. Let's forget why we were formed in the first place, the market we came into existence to serve, let's look for the money and throw mud in the faces of those who helped bring us to where we are. Hey, they're eyeball-decommissioned anyway, they won't see it coming.

Thank you, world. When you start excluding in the name of being all-inclusive, then I really start to wonder.

Comments

My views on the blind question

Hi, Bruce! I totally relate to your disgust at this political correctness which forbids the use of certain terms, one of those being "blind". Luckily, not all countries take the same view as Canada: for example, the RNIB in the UK still uses its full title, although this title has changed from "the Royal National Institute for the Blind" to "the Royal National Institute for Blind People", this perhaps being another way of showing inclusiveness. The problem with the sighted world's view of blindness is, that it tends to fall into two camps: either they feel blindness is too dreadful a thing to be mentioned or even thought about, or it is a handicap so bad that blind people are incapable of doing anything, which means that everyone must feel sorry for blind people and make them live on charity throughout their lives. OK, I'm generalising here, but there are far too many sighted people who fall into both those camps that I don't feel my generalisation is totally wrong. Unlike you, I have never been totally blind,; but my sight is so bad that I mnearly always do things like a totally blind person would, and I am not the least bit ashamed of being considered as blind.