As a blind person growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, I did not have real access to libraries. Instead I, like most blind persons, received borrowed books through a program known as the Talking Book program funded by the Library of Congress. Under this program professional actors and readers were hired to record books which were then transcribed onto records. If I wanted a book I could call my local talking book library, 65 miles away, and, if the book happened to be recorded, it would be sent to me. Also, often, library staff would send me what they thought I should get, especially if my requested manuscript was not available. Usually books I wanted were not recorded. Only a few hundred and then a few thousand books were transcribed nationally. Sometimes books were even made available in Braille, the only true reading and writing language available to blind persons. Continue reading
The National Federation of the Blind is committed to exploring how technology helps blind students live the lives they want. Exciting new technologies are fundamentally altering the ways in which students succeed in and out of the classroom. If you’re an incoming college freshman, you could have the chance to try out a new technology from Aira that may help you as you start this important chapter of your life.
The National Federation of the Blind is partnering with Aira, a company that uses smart glass technology, live agents, and artificial intelligence to assist blind people in understanding and navigating their environment. You might use it to help you explore your college campus and new community, for example. Continue reading
Last week I wrote an article discussing the decline of customer oriented services by airlines in the United States. I promise to tell my own personal story of a recent trip I took involving an airline. Now it’s time for me to tell the tale. You won’t believe what happened.
On April 23, 2017 I flew on American Airlines to Gulfport Mississippi to attend a meeting the following day. While I had planned to fly back in the evening of April 24 I was unable to do so as, at least from my computer searches, American Airlines, my airline of choice, had no flights available for me. I decided to take the first flight out from Gulfport on Tuesday morning of April 25. At 6 AM I left Gulfport Mississippi on AA flight 5788. We arrived in Dallas-Fort Worth right on time. I went to my gate for my second flight, AA 1241, which was to leave at 8:44 AM Central daylight Time. Continue reading
The recent execution of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe by dentist Walter Palmer has created a media firestorm and a general outcry of anguish and anger throughout the world. If you were to ask most people they would like to raise Cecil from the dead and put him back in his protected reserve to live out his happy life. Unfortunately such is not to be the case. Continue reading
Yesterday, February 24, was my birthday. For those who want to know and haven’t done the research on my age the answer is that I am 65 years old this year. I was born in Chicago, Illinois, (South side). I have been blessed to have lived in various parts of this great country from New Jersey and Massachusetts on one coast to California on the Right Coast, (no strong feelings here). Continue reading
Earlier this week I wrote an article in which I discussed the changing world in which we live from the standpoint of terror and uncertainty. I suggested that one of the things that each of us can do is to relax and go within ourselves to overcome fear and terror. I realize that this is easy to say and many will feel that it is hard to accomplish. Continue reading
It has been almost 13 years since the terrorists attacked us in the World Trade Center on 9/11, 2001. On that day my life changed as did the lives of so many of us in the United States. For me, it meant a return to California and a new career in public speaking. One of the things I am most often asked to discuss is “Change.” We’ve seen a lot of changes in our world and in our personal lives over the past 13 years. Major hurricanes, natural disasters, the economic crises in our country and in our world and major political divisions and upheavals have affected us all, some more than others. Continue reading
I have always regarded myself as a pretty normal kind of guy. I am 64 years old and have been married for half my life. I have a Masters degree in Physics from the University of California at Irvine which I received in the usual timeframe. Following in the footsteps of most normal people after college I obtained a full-time job which for me happen to be in sales. I sold high tech computer related products for over 25 years. Sounds pretty normal so far? Continue reading
Every expectant or new parent anticipates getting only the most “perfect baby in the world.” If the newborn child looks in any way different, or if the doctors find “something wrong” with the child, all joy and enthusiasm can come crashing down around the new parents and their families.
A perfect example of this is what happens to any mother who gives birth to a child which happens to be born blind. In my case, for example, the blindness was not diagnosed until four months after I was born, and the blindness was not technically there at birth, but it was caused by me being given a pure Oxygen environment right after birth. You see, I was born two months prematurely and the Oxygen-rich environment was necessary in order to keep me alive. The condition which caused my blindness is known as Retinopathy O Prematurity. Blindness is not always the result of a pure Oxygen environment for newborns, but it can be a condition that results. Continue reading
Dear Fellow Federationists:
We wanted to share a video with you that supports our call for fair wages for workers with disabilities. We asked American workers at an event outside Johns Hopkins Hospital what they thought of the fact that Americans with disabilities can be paid less than the minimum wage. Their reactions are powerful. Continue reading