[bit.listserv.l-hcap] Handicap Digest # 1087

wtm@decvax.dec.com (Bill McGarry) (02/12/90)

                          THE HANDICAP DIGEST

                               Issue # 1087

                      Sunday, February 11, 1990

Today's Topics:


                         Kicking a Dead Horse?
                  Re: Magazines on Alternative Media?
                    Re: Musings of a demented mind
                           Re: YOUR MESSAGE
                        Re: Lip reading on TV.
                    N F B VERSUS MY REHAB COUNSELOR
                           FOOTING THE BILL
                            Re: A New Cane


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Subject: Kicking a Dead Horse?
Written by: Ron.Rothenberg@f460.n101.z1.fidonet.org (Ron Rothenberg)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:101/460 - VI/BUG, Holbrook MA


Sorry to bring up the question of language and names and labels again,
but I came across this yesterday, and it seemed worth posting?


                              Watch Your Language

As minorities and women have worked for their rights, for equality and jobs,
it's understandable that language has become an issue.  It's hard to be taken
seriously when people think and talk about you in derogatory and undignified

The result has been a gradual weeding out of such terms in our language, with
one major exception.  This was blatantly exemplified by James Watt,
ex-secretary of the Interior, in his swan song about "blacks, women, Jews and
cripples."  Although people were outraged and the incident cost Watt his job,
offensive language is still out there, and accepted, mainly because awareness
of the disability rights movement is still at a devastatingly low level, even
among those with disabilities.

Below are some of the terms that we have begun to think about, and would also
like you to think about before you use them.  They may be more disabling than
our actual physical limitations because they reduce us to objects of pity,
making us appear undignified, incompetent and helpless.

                             How Not to Refer to Us

   The disabled or handicapped - This makes a physical limitation the most
   important part of a person.  We are more interested in being seen as people,
   as journalists, musicians, architects and lawyers.  These things are more
   important to us.  Our disability is only a part of us.  We'd generally
   rather have a disability.  That puts it into perspective with our

   Cripple - Just thinking about the way in which this word is normally used
   makes many of us cringe.  It often implies that a plane, or a government
   policy has been incapacitated.  If we have a disability, it usually limits
   our mobility, our vision or our hearing.  Unless people's attitudes toward
   us prevent them from taking us seriously, we are not crippled or
   incapacitated.  We are still capable.

   People with "special" needs - Ah, that word "special," usually said in the
   same way that you'd say "interesting" or "unusual" when referring to a
   terrible musician or an incomprehensible piece of artwork.  It's a pat on
   the head, belittling, something for which we should be grateful.  Yes, we do
   have specific needs.  Every body does, but please, not "special."

   Handicapped - Many us still use this word when referring to people with
   disabilities, but in looking at some of the implications of the word, maybe
   it's one that we should think carefully about.  It is derived from "cap in
   hand" meaning to beg.  Its use in sports implies a disadvantage.  Many of us
   would rather not be disadvantaged beggars.

   Physically Challenged - Maybe if someone asks us to run a marathon, we'd
   accept this, but our disabling conditions aren't a challenge.  They are a
   day to day reality, usually not exhilarating, as we imagine a challenge to
   be, and sometimes made more unpleasant by those who try to turn our
   disabling condition into something "special" or heroic.

   Invalid - Simply breaking this word down into in-valid says a great deal.
   It is like an expired drivers licence, or an uncalled for remark.  As human
   beings we are all most certainly valid.

   Bound or confined to a wheelchair - Most of us would say that we use a
   wheelchair unless we are in a situation where someone isn't allowing us to
   try other options.  Otherwise, a chair is like a car is to people who rely
   on a vehicle to get to and from work or shopping.  Are we "bound" or
   "confined" to our cars?

   Victim - This one usually goes with "crippling disease," implying
   contagion.  Victim also tends to dredge up pity.  Now we may be "victims" of
   pity or prejudice, but unless people make life difficult for us, we are not
   victims because of our physical conditions.  (The same goes for

   Overcoming his/her disability - We have never quite understood this one.  We
   have disabilities, and we live with them.  We can't wrestle them to the
   ground in one easy battle.  We organize our lives around them and are always
   trying to draw lines to let people know that we can't drive, but can edit a
   newsletter, we can't read the phone book, but we have read Shakespeare (and
   a lot of less inspiring material).  It isn't a one shot deal.  The obstacles
   are still there, and the prejudice is still there, and they aren't going go
   change because of one superhuman effort on our part.

   Courageous and inspiring - If what we have done is inspiring or courageous
   all on its own, thank you.  If it is only inspiring or courageous because we
   have "overcome our disability" then it makes us into super heroes, making it
   seem fantastic that a person with a disability could make a normal success
   of things.  Courageous and inspiring  also allude to a certain amount of
   choice.  We did not choose to become disabled.

   Patient, sick, bedridden - There are a whole host of medical terms used in
   talking about disability.  This is odd, since most of our conditions are
   stable.  We are disabled, not ill.  The medical model tends to hospitalize
   us, hide us and dehumanize us.  many of us haven't spent much time at all in
   a hospital, but people talk as if we should be committed right away.

   Clients - This term is used by a social service system that has an image of
   us as people to be taken care of, people who take, and need, and have
   nothing to offer.

This list could go on, but this give you an idea of what we have in mind.  A
lot also has to do with the attitude behind the language.  We are also in the
process of learning about language, how it can empower us or limit us.  This
piece begins to give you an idea of our search for our own dignity, strength
and independence.  If you have any questions about language or referring to
disability, please feel free to give us a call and talk about it.  We certainly
don't have all the answers, but would be glad to share ideas.

    Prepared by the Vermont Center for Independent Living, 174 River Street,
     Montpelier, VT 05602, Phone: 229-0501 or 1-800-622-4555 (Voice or TDD)

... Most Improved BBSer (1989) American Sighted BSers' Association.

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!101!460!Ron.Rothenberg
Internet: Ron.Rothenberg@f460.n101.z1.fidonet.org


Subject: Re: Magazines on Alternative Media?
Written by: Ron.Rothenberg@f460.n101.z1.fidonet.org (Ron Rothenberg)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:101/460 - VI/BUG, Holbrook MA

 BM> You mentioned the 1988 edition of "Magazines on Alternative
 BM> Media". This sounds interesting.  What is it and can you give
 BM> an address?
 BM> Thanks,
 BM> Bill

Answer 1: It's a booklet.
Answer 2: Of course I can.


(only kidding, I'm in one of those moods)

It is a list of periodicals available in special media to blind and
disabled people throughout the country.  Part 1 lists all magazines
produced by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically
Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, for its free reading program.
Those mags are available at no charge through cooperating libraries to
persons who are unable to read or handle conventional print materials.
Eligible persons must be residents of the U.S. or American citizens
living abroad.

Part 2 lists magazines that are not part of the NLS reading program.
They must be ordered from their producers.  Some are free, some are by
paid subscription.

The magazines are arranged alphabetically, by medium (braille,
cassette, disc, large type and Moon type, most Braille mags are grade 2
and most discs play at 8 rpm.  Cassettes at 15/16 or 1 7/8 ips.)

The only address I can find on the booklet is CMLS, P.O. Box 9150,
Melbourne, FL 32902-9150.

I got mine from the Vision Foundation, 818 Mt. Auburn Street,
Watertown, MA 02172.  They'll send you their catalog free, then you can
order this and other nifty stuff.  There is a charge for some items and
a $3.00 shipping and handling fee for up to 10 items.


... Most Improved BBSer (1989) American Sighted BSers' Association.

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!101!460!Ron.Rothenberg
Internet: Ron.Rothenberg@f460.n101.z1.fidonet.org


Subject: Re: Musings of a demented mind
Written by: Laurie.Wilson@p0.f5.n119.z1.fidonet.org (Laurie Wilson)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:119/5.0 - Lazarus, Chico CA

 > The ridicule of others is not a reason not to teach a
 > person a useful skill. Therefore, I don't buy your argument
 > that one should not teach a deaf person to speak because
 > his voice produces strange sounds. Let's educate his hearers,


  We also need to realize that only small percentage of deaf people
succeed in speech to a varied degree.  However, there are really many
of those who can only produce uninteligible sounds.  The point is
that most of them have already been trained in speech in their early
years.  No matter how hard they tried, they just couldn't produce
good speech enough to make it worthwhile.  Really, in my personal
opinion, speech is not the most important part of being human, especially
when the deaf people already have their own language.  They feel that
speech is not natural for them because they can't hear it themselves.

We all know from the history that it is human nature when some unusual
minority groups are being ridiculed for being different from the majority.
I called the "ridiculing" attidute as a racism.  Look at how the Chinese
immigrants who came here in California back in 1800's and how they
were harrassed by the majority.  And remember there is a saying that
a powerful and dominating majority tends to impose their language
upon those minorities---in such as education, public, and politics.
Sociality is the place where the minorities seek each other in their
common language and heritages.

When deaf people immigrated here from other country, they already
had their own sign language. Laurent Clerc was one such guy. He was
a French man and a deaf teacher who brought his French Sign Language.
According to the history of the deaf, there was an old American Sign
Language prior to 1820's.  Eventually, both FSL and ASL combined together
into modern ASL.

I really believe it is important to give all deaf children a chance
at learning speech in school, but not forcing it on them if some of
them fail at it.  There is another way they can communicate well by
learning English as second language. With that they can write and
read well.  I know from experiences that if we teach only English
to them without sign language, they most likely will not do well by
falling below the average age reading and writing skills.  This has
been proven too often. I am amazed that no one is doing anything about
before!! Well, I will say one thing for sure...the deaf education
really sucks!  We should hire more deaf teachers.


Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!119!5.0!Laurie.Wilson
Internet: Laurie.Wilson@p0.f5.n119.z1.fidonet.org


Written by: Laurie.Wilson@p0.f5.n119.z1.fidonet.org (Laurie Wilson)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:119/5.0 - Lazarus, Chico CA

 > Hey, you know what? I don't know about youse guys, but,
 > I am getting really tired of that expression "The hearing
 > world!" Damn it, this is everyones world, tough as it may
 > be on some of us!

Sorry (grin).  It is just that it is how I look through my perspective
of the "other" world.  Even though I have spend most of my life among
the hearing society, I still feel to this day that they are "aliens".
This is not meant as offensive, but as my personal statement of fact.

 > this world, how a deaf person might cme to resent hearing
 > persons. In short, the isolation factor can be understood
 > as a phenomena, but there comes a time when walls have to
 > come down and bridges have to be crossed if there is ever
 > going to be any understanding and progress.
Yes, it is also my heartfelt goal.  I think the time is coming soon
as I have noticed more poeple are taking sign language course as a
foriegn language.  And at Chico State, we have a meeting for the sign
language students and deaf students at least twice a year.

"Isolation" is not always by the deaf's choice.  It is the language

of the majority that isolates the deaf. How can we expect the deaf
to keep up with the hearing if they can't hear the spoken language??

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!119!5.0!Laurie.Wilson
Internet: Laurie.Wilson@p0.f5.n119.z1.fidonet.org


Subject: Re: Lip reading on TV.
Written by: Laurie.Wilson@p0.f5.n119.z1.fidonet.org (Laurie Wilson)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:119/5.0 - Lazarus, Chico CA

 > I wish the quality of captioning was a bit better controlled
 > tho.
 > The quality of captions we get, even from the networks,
 > ranges from
 > excellent to awful.  ABC does the best job, then PBS and
 > CBS, with
 > NBC having a lock on last place.  The trouble is, some


   This is an understatement!!  You know, there are times when I'd
be watching a good movie, then at the last half hour of the movie,
the closed captioning would stop. Just that! For a few minutes, I
would be sitting on the edge of a chair and straining to read the
lips on TV. Unfortunately, the lips were not always readable. I would
go nuts!  It happened too often lately.  CBS, NBC, and ABC probably
know my name by now because I have called and chewed them out pretty
often. (grin)  Like you say, the quality of CC is dubious at best.
And it sure needs more improvement!


Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!119!5.0!Laurie.Wilson
Internet: Laurie.Wilson@p0.f5.n119.z1.fidonet.org


Written by: Vixen.*@f11.n203.z1.fidonet.org (Vixen *)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:203/11 - S.I.R.E.N. NET-MAIL, Sacramento CA

Hi Carla,

Yes, I understand the points you make regarding the school in San
Rafael.  Also, I really don't know the woman who was complaining
about being told she could'nt make it. So, I keep in mind that it
could be nothing more than sour grapes on her part. As I mentioned
in my previous post, there was another woman there who did not
share the same opinion of the school at all other than agreement on
the point of San Rafael being overly custodial. But this custodial
stuff, I think, just always seems to be a part of being blind or
visually impaired.

In my case, I have said myself, if I would be more of a liability
to myself and the dog because of my hearing problem, then it is
probably better that I stay with my long cane. Although, my feeling
is, that I could handle it well.

Well, as for being treated like a handicapped person or in
custodial manner, the way I feel is that hey, if I have to put up
with being babied a bit to reach my own end, then I simply tolerate
the baloney to a certain extent. Hell, it is only for 28 days
anyway. Besides, I am the type who would, just as you did, gently
remind those in charge that I am not a child and that my intellect
is not stunted.

As for having a man visiting in the dorm room, I really can
understand the potential problems there.  Those restrictions are
really not hard for me to accept. Afterall, I may be a Vixen, but I
have too much class to be a floozie! No problem there.

Actually, my only real concern is whether or not it's true that the
school has become overly paranoid regarding clients with multiple
problems and just whether or not they wil be accepting me. Of
course, I will survive one way or the other. I feel that I do very
well with amplification devices and aids and A L D's and whatever.
I will wait and just see what happens.

Keepin' the faith!

.                           Vixen

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!203!11!Vixen.*
Internet: Vixen.*@f11.n203.z1.fidonet.org


Written by: Vixen.*@f11.n203.z1.fidonet.org (Vixen *)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:203/11 - S.I.R.E.N. NET-MAIL, Sacramento CA


My counselor teacher from Voc rehab was here yesterday and when I
told her that I had joined the N.F.B. she didn't seem particularly
enthusiatic about it all. I got the distinct impression that she
felt that the N.F.B. was too militant. I thought it was kind of

Is this common among other blind or V.I. here that belong to such
organizations and also have rehab counselors or is it just me? I
really have the feeling that N.F.B. people and Voc Rehab people are
not very fond of each other.

Keepin' the faith!

.                          Vixen

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!203!11!Vixen.*
Internet: Vixen.*@f11.n203.z1.fidonet.org


Written by: Vixen.*@f11.n203.z1.fidonet.org (Vixen *)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:203/11 - S.I.R.E.N. NET-MAIL, Sacramento CA


Well, rehab and medic-cal are still fighting over who is willing to
pay for my hearing aid and FM system bill!

Medi-cal, it seems, is getting so they don't want to provide aids
unless they are practically useless to you and rehab won't provide
them unless medi-cal refuses! So, the client gets to wait ten weeks
or more while this agency ragtime goes around and around.

Rehab already told me that they won't go for the FM system that was
recommended because it is too costly and they don't consider my
loss profound enough to justify such an expenditure. At first, I
became a bit upset by this until I found out the system that was
recommended costs about seventeen hundred dollars! I thought the
clinic was talking about something like a PocketTalker, which costs
under two hundred dollars. So, I can see rehabs point here. The
PocketTalker works fine for me. But rehab says "no way" on the
seventeen hundred dollar system.

My counselor says that they will probably foot the bill for hearing
aids and would probably go for an A L D like the PocketTalker. For
awhile though, I thought my counselor was going to leave me footing
the bill!

I love it, I love it! And she'll have fun fun fun 'til rehab takes
her T-switch away!

Keepin' the faith!

.                        Vixen

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!203!11!Vixen.*
Internet: Vixen.*@f11.n203.z1.fidonet.org


Subject: Re: A New Cane
Written by: David.Andrews@f89.n129.z1.fidonet.org (David Andrews)
Organization: FidoNet node 1:129/89 - BlinkLink, Pittsburgh PA

V*> Well, when I went to my first NFB meeting, I decided to get a
 V*> new long cane because my aluminum folding cane is rather bent
 V*> up and was sticking quite badly.
 V*> My new cane is an NFB cane and is made of fiberglass and is a
 V*> rigid cane and I do like that it is very very light and my
 V*> wrist doesn't tire as quickly on long walks like it did with my
 V*> aluminum cane.
 V*> Also, they decided tha my last cane was too short because I

 V*> still stumbled too much while using it, especially considering
 V*> that I do have some usuable vision.

What you say does my heart good.  I used to have some vision and
used a short folding cane.  I started using a NFB cane in 1982 and
wouldn't give it up at gun point.  It is light, durable and has an
excellent feel.  Further, most people use a cane to short for them,
and overstep it.  I have also taught a little cane travel at the
Orientation Center here in New Mexico and have observed these same
things.  We require that all students learn with the NFB cane while
at the Center.  What they do when they get home is up to them,
however, we want them to learn with the proper tools in the first
place.  As you use the long rigid cane more, you will develop safe
places to store in testuraunts, stores, class etc.  It is mostly a
matter of what you are used to.

Keep up that good tapping.
David Andrews

Uucp: ..!{decvax,oliveb}!bunker!hcap!hnews!129!89!David.Andrews
Internet: David.Andrews@f89.n129.z1.fidonet.org



             End of Issue # 1087 of the Handicap Digest