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What I Wish I Could See

At the beginning of a recent VIBES meeting, we began by everyone introducing them self and saying what they wished they could see or what they missed most by not being able to see normally. The answers were so interesting, and so varied, that I’m devoting this post to reproducing what was said that night. Appearances to the contrary, this

When I Become President

With the publication of this blog post, I am announcing the beginning of my campaign for the Presidency in 2020. I know I’m getting a late start; I should have started on election night of 2016 but I think I have a compelling message. My candidacy will stand out because I’m not going to focus on the traditional hot-button issues.

Over There

Editor’s note: As a college student, Cathy Anne Murtha wrote the following essay years ago, never dreaming that it would still be reprinted decades later. Her amusing take on some of the difficulties she’s encountered when receiving directions is a wonderful reminder to everyone of the importance of avoiding vision-based terms when giving directions to someone who is blind. Currently,

What Should I Call Someone Who Is Blind?

Several years ago, a couple I knew was going to have a child and were undecided as to what to name the baby. It was fortunate that human gestation takes nine months because they could not agree on a name. She liked traditional names where he wanted something more contemporary. Finally, tired of having all of her suggestions vetoed, the

“Blind Skills” You Didn’t Know You Had

When most people think of losing their vision, I imagine, after thinking of all the things they wouldn’t be able to do, the next thoughts are of how they could never learn to make the adjustment. To be sure, there is a learning curve in mastering Braille or mobility skills; but, believe it or not, some of the basics in

How Does Braille Work?

There are many things about vision loss that society views as negative, but the use of Braille is not one of them. Whether small child or adult, most people are fascinated with Braille and curious to know how it works. I offer the following quick and dirty summary as a public service to satisfy that curiosity. First, think of learning

Carless in a Car Culture

Trying to explain what it is like to live without a car in contemporary American life is like trying to explain what it is like to live without water to a fish. Just as the fish can’t imagine life without water, it’s virtually impossible for most Americans to imagine life without a car. Personally, while I’m firmly convinced that the

The Class Every Blind Student Dreds

Technically, this title isn’t completely true. There’s always an exception, a true statistical outlier, but 99.9998% of all blind or visually impaired students Dred math class. No, there’s not a genetic link between blindness and math phobia. The reason is a bit subtler. Once you get beyond the basic arithmetic of elementary school, the more advanced math classes of middle

When Saying “Yes” Means “No”

If I had been asked, when I was about nine or ten, what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would have said that I wanted to play center field for the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only was I not fast enough and didn’t have a good throwing arm, but I couldn’t even see the batter from center

Lawrence of Arabia and the Road to Hell

Not too long ago, I was struck by a comment I read: “Chinese students are constantly striving to excel, to separate themselves from their peers while Americans, with more privileges than any other people in world history, are often content to just coast.” I’m certainly in no position to testify to the accuracy of the generalization, although years of college

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