Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Are the Blind Better At Politics?

Jay Krieger points out very briefly an example how the Blind is able to navigate through our government system and politics to get them better benefits.

This is one of several examples Jay hopes to point out in the near future that will lead us into a discussion on the Deaf "voice" (or lack of) within our the government system and politics.


Oscar the Observer said...

Before I start watching...


Karen Mayes said...

Ahhh... glad to see you back from AWOL :o)

Oscar the Observer said...

Interesting :). I wonder too now.

B.A.D. said...


WOW! This is why LOVE V/Bloggers, I learn so MUCH from all of you!

I never thought about that w/blind, I didn't see that??

That is so true -what can be done?

ASL said...

They dont have it! In Canada, we have it on Tax forms.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that we should follow blind people. They have their own needs and assist in order to help them to be independence.

1. We can drive and we can do self-service except a translator for both hearing and Deaf.

2. I prefer us to be catalog as foreigners that require having a translator.

I check on the pagers and phone’s bills and they do surcharge people for 911 and relay services. Why can’t we surcharge for interpreting service since both of hearing and Deaf need to translator to communicate each other? It is two-way streets.

It is NICE to see you coming back here. We sorely missed you... Don't get away too long.


mishkazena said...

Welcome back, stranger :)

I recalled hearing some time ago that the Deaf people wasn't interested in having this tax deduction because they didn't see themselves disabled and didnt want to be treated differently. How accurate was that, I honestly don't know.


Squ65 said...

LoL you sign System with S and Y ... lol smile on my face. lol .....

Jay said...

Look at page 2 line 39a on 1040 form

Aslpride said...

My respond

Jay said...


I agree with you, and I will expand some of my viewpoints along that line soon.

Patty said...

I've heard that the major blind organizations have powerful government lobbyists working for them. I don't see a government lobbyist working with NAD, do you?

Anonymous said...

ASLPRIDE: VERY GOOD POINT! Thats why we need to unify so that way we can become strong group. That's my next vlog.. SMile Aidan

Barb DiGi said...

Hey Jay,

From what I understood, Deaf was originally placed in the same bracket as the blind for tax deduction but NAD fought to have this removed since they want to be perceived as taxpayers, is that right?

Joey Baer said...

Let's find out!!

Wow - we are much empowered to figure out the system and how it can help us to become a strong & vocal group!

Thanks for sharing...

todos la vie said...

Maybe I'll just poke my eye out cutting strawberries/ signing and claim partial blindness.

Anonymous said...

Todos - you're hilarious. Like Barb, from what I heard back then that deaf people didn't want to be considered or labeled disabled. NAD jumped in and advocated for us. Deaf people didn't have to pay for postage, but that changed for the same reasons (didn't want to be viewed disabled)>

Jay said...

Well, as other vloggers pointed out, we need to play dirty to move ahead in this crazy world with mixed up priorities.

Suppose, we set aside our prides, and let there be a box for the Deaf, and we all contribute the "savings" to a national level foundation to be used toward advances in Deaf Education or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Jay, you certainly opened a can of worms here :)

What I believe the main obstacles for the Deaf inabilities to receive the same respect for services, government support, and etc. as the blind ... is the Deaf are NOT UNITED.

The Blind have strong networks among each other and fight for common cause. I am always amazed to what the Blind organizations are able to do in politics. There is a strong sense of UNITY. One simple example is ... the National Federation of the Blind have 50,000 plus members while NAD has about 2,000 t0 5,000 out of approximately 50 to 100 million Deaf/Hard of Hearing/latened Deaf adults.

Fighting Foundation for the Blind raises over 100 million dollars a year based on fundraising alone.. walkathons, blind wine tasting events, golfing, and so much more. People are more than willing to work with the Blind due to no barriers in communication and the Blind does not take much for GRANTED.

The Deaf community have a long way to go. At a recent training I attended to in regards to learning about polical system with other disabilities. I found it very ironic how the general people with disabilites considered the Deaf to be one of the worst "disability" due to lack of ability to speak English without an interpreter. Some of them pointed that out to me as when my intepreters arrived late for a speaker to start on the next topic and how we need them at our side to communicate fluently. Some claimed people who grew up speaking other languages still can learn to speak English because they can hear and pick up English or other languages while the Deaf is still stuck with ASL or foriegn Sign Language which still create barriers to communicate with the hearing folks.. This was a true eye opener for me as being a strong and culturally Deaf person. This is why ... our government, education systems, and etc will always look Deaf as a disability group because we have a loss of the 5 senses. They will use the example I just explained above. How do we argue with that logic in a political way by demanding they accept us as a language and culture minority. I would be interested to hear your input here.

Perhaps,, we may need to take a good look at ourselves and think of ways we can come across all kinds of Deaf people to fight for common cause or ... go the other way ... BE ISOLATED with your "THIS IS HOW DEAF SHOULD BE.. MY WAY or NO WAY" .. a wise person said to me..

Rene Visco said...


It's very true in another countries like Italy and Japan. The blind organization in Japan is very powerful, even more effective than the Deaf political groups (it's subjective - but even Deaf drivers get free GAS coupons from the government!). In Japan, everywhere you will see yellow strips serving as the guide for blind to navigate, meaning they don't have to memorize locations, just following the yellow strips.

In Italy, the blind receive "SSI" twice as much as Deaf receive from government.

Why? They are damn effective at applying political pressures at various political levels.

That's why I strongly believe we should invest in "Deaf" lobby office in Washington, D.C. to push for the laws to be passed in Congress.

We can afford a building in Washington, D.C. (GUAA members already spent 1 million on renovating Ole Jim building.)

Let's put all the organizations in one place like: GUAA, NAD, and Deaf "lobby" in one building on East Captiol so it'll serve us better in the long run. Why? We can network with other lobbyists which will help us better for our gains. With their support, we'll become stronger.

Deaf lobby organization will push for better captioning laws for HDTV media. Deaf lobby would be effective in pushing increased captioning for online web clips. How many times do you hear that NAD is working with FCC? Go to the top level and get the 'damn' laws passed so FCC will enforce the laws, so we'll not waste our time dealing with FCC.

The truth is that we need to invest more time and energy to get ourselves more skilled at politics, activism and of course, leadership.

The other thing about Deaf lobby is that it will relieve burdens from NAD so it will not consume their time focusing on political issues, so they will have more time focusing on important issues: rebuilding the youth base, reaching out to the local organizations, finding ways to use technology to their advantage, etc.

I would suggest Marvin Miller to head the Deaf "lobby" group and I think he's a damn good candidate (I never meet him)!

Chuck Baird said...

Hi Jay,

You read what Barb DiGi said in her comment. That is what I learned.

And If I remember right, back to the year when the federal income tax was first using, the NAD wanted the public to know that we weren't second citzen but full citzens, paying the taxes as much as others, the voting right, etc.

Isn't it still worth, I wonder?

Jean Boutcher said...

First of all, it is good to see you back.

Now to tax exemption: the NAD made
a decision based not on the majority but on a small number of
Deaf elitists who deny that deafness is a disability. A hearing lawyer who studied at Gallaudet in 1994 said that the NAD made a blunder and would face more problems down the road.

Deaf Europeans are much more logical. NAD Board members need to meet with Deaf European leaders
at the World Federation of the

Teri said...


Welcome back to the vlogland! :) It's nice to see your face again.

Umm... what an interesting musing!

Let's get some hard facts on NAD and tax issues. I am really interested to know more. Barb, can you do the homework for us? ;)

One thing . . . I feel we ought to prove the society that we can pay taxes. That way we can ask for an equal access.

Good example . . . captioning films!?! I believe we have more power in that area than the blind. I do not see many films or TV shows with descriptive services.

That's something to ruminate.

Thank you for bringing it up! Let's see how it's going.

Stephen J. Hardy said...

It boils down to an old terminology, "disabled." Many Deaf people refused to be labeled as "disabled." The blind welcomed that label and money keeps flowing in. There is very little money for cultural grants and LOTS of money for disabled grants.

Hmmm said...

This topic made me think, is there any strong culturally Deaf person in the political light that is considered a household name? (I do not consider Deaf actresses/actors among them) The only one I can think of is I King Jordan and the 1988 DPNers, they have paved some roads but somewhere down those roads, there seems to be a dead end?

What are your thoughts?

I was thinking about how well known Helen Keller is.. and she was Deaf Blind and is known practically world wide for her advocacy, leadership, and political skills. If you take a good look at our Alambama state quarters, Helen Keller on it. I often wonder most culturally Deaf people will not associate with the Deaf Blind (those who use ASL). It is a challenge to get the Deaf to come to Deaf Blind functions.

Martin Luther King, Ghandi, John F. Kennedy, Abe Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey,Bono, and many more names, I wonder if we will ever see a culturally Deaf person at their status? It is probably another issue yet it is amazing how they can bring people together for political aspirations with their influence. I can only dream.

What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

nad tried to get a law passed in 1970's that would give deaf the similiar funding as blind but nixon vetoed it. he said it cost too much. more deafies than blindies.

Deaf socrates trail said...

Well, Deaf Community has trouble with identity themselves. NAD does not want Deaf Community to be kind of second citzens and want all of us to be equal to Hearing who pay the same tax but we never have same advantage what hearing taxpayer do. Blind people know they never have advantage over many things, yet Our Deaf community still confuse themselves! We are the same disabled in the eye of Federal law as Blind people are also! Deaf Community need to make up their mind about equality or opportunity. In fact, NAD really hurt our Deaf community in a long run unless Deaf Community do something about NAD.

drmzz said...

Have we met before? Welcome back. Oh, your topic... that.

Anonymous said...

Then it is time for the NAD, to get off the pot and do some work for the deaf ??
As some one said , the deaf folk are not UNITED,, there are too many followers, not enough leaders ??
My son teaches the blind, and he said he was completely impressed with the strong lobbyists that work for them to make sure they have every thing they need, now we could use the same sort of strong lobby group the blind have, BUT are the deaf willing to swallow their misplaced pride and admit they are DISABLED ???
Jay thanks for opening a can of worms but it needed to be opened cos it has been sitting on a shelf for way too long.
AGAIN WELCOME BACK TO THE LAND OF VLOGS,, I missed getting notices from you in my e mail


Anonymous said...

I am glad that we refused to label ourselves disabled and NAD removed tax deduction. We are not taxpayers impaired...We are not a second class at all.

I rather us focus on Black/ Spanish/ Asian organization how they succeed with their organization. They came from a long way.

It is not about pride. It is about the fact. I notice this lot when we say we are not disabled. Then people point at us that it is because we are shame or it is because we have bad pride, or it is because we are denial our disability, it is because... Oh pluz....

It reminded me in woman era where everyone thought they were witch, too aggressive, and many more because they wanted to be independents and not let men control our lives. Women were labeled as PROPERTY. We were second-class. But Women fought and fought. Now Women are being treated as a first class. Hillary runs for the president.

We should do the same. Please stop reasoning us because we chose not to label ourselves as disability.


IamMine said...

There's a "Deaf" checkbox on the Michigan State Income Tax Return.

It is a HUGE difference when checking and NOT checking the box.

I get a substantial return.

SSI/SSDI requires us to claim ourselves as disabilities.

If I tell them I ain’t disabled, then I can’t get SSDI to survive.

Sorry…until things get better, I am playing dirty with politics.

I doubt the Blind give a damn they are considered “disabled”, even though they can get around just fine.

They care about getting what they need and so shall we – we should care more about the education itself FIRST because I believe education will solve most of our problems within the Deaf Community and from there, we can focus on reducing the SSI/SSDI.

IamMine said...

Oh, and I forgot to say...



Karen Mayes said...

I agree wtih several commenters and I nod at iammine... I don't think the blind give a damn about being disabled. Whenever I have a chance, I'd ask a hearing person if he/she'd rather be deaf or blind and so far the majority say BLIND... because they don't want to lose the ability to hear and speak. I am not bemoaning about our deafness, I am just stating the fact... they can hear and speak, so they are not viewed as "disabled" in the public. In fact, when I was at college, I took Red Barn Rope Courses as a PE course and a blind man headed the class. We were to jump high and far to grab the trapaze bar from the height, with ropes attached. The blind man was down there, ready to balance us. All we needed is to yell or "belay" and he'd do it. He did a great job... for a blind person (hearing.)

Blind people can speak and hear, so they have an advantage as they face government. I am sure they use excuses (the expenses of hearing dogs, Braille, etc.)

Think about it... ADA requires that the businesses provide the interpreters and I understand that the businesses have tax-write off (last time I heard... I could be wrong.)

Seems to me that the hearing has more savvy than us deaf when it comes to politics. Let's educate ourselves more about lobbying...

Anonymous said...

Iammine and Karen:

I MUST DISAGREE with you even I love you gals...

Blind people are so oppressed like we do. They accept the label. Why don't we inspire them and see that we stand up and not allow the SYSTEM label us as disability?

I grew up with a very good friend and her mom was blind. WOW.. I had seen her going through so much. She is very frustrated how the society look at her.

I will call the organization for the blind and see
what they say about disability.

Why do we do things that they inspire us even in wrong way?

Why don't we inspire them?

Once we label disability, the education will not care about us... What do we contribute this world if we are disability? They figure out how to delete us on the earth... THey rather funds to organization where they can come up the idea how to terminate us.


Anonymous said...

I would like add on to share in my recent comment.. I believe it was 25 or 26 (blogspot) .. about the Deaf folks not being UNITED, I completely left out the fact, the Blind are the leaders in the National Foundation of the Blind. when it comes to testifying their arguments and debates. The National Foundation of the Blind are all run by the Blind. If you go on their website, WWW.NFB.com, you will find the great tools they use for their successes. Sure they have their battles but if you want to compare the Deaf and Blind .. the Blind are in the top notches in the political skills and sense.

The Blind have more powerful and moneymaking accessible jobs than most Deaf have due the communication access.

The Blind do not consider themselves as 2nd class citizens. The only obstacle they really have is not driving otherwise, they get along with their lives just fine. If we think about this, lots and lots of technologies are voice activated and they are way ahead of us Deaf due to the abilitiy to hear. At the airports, the blind would know immediately if their planes are delayed via using the PA system and on the planes .. if they are being diverted, they know immediately.

I suppose what I am really trying to say here is .. Jay, YES (feeling a bit unfortunate) the Blind are far much better at politics than the Deaf.

Maybe, we can also learn a few pointers from the American Association of the Deaf Blind where there is a strong sense of UNITY. If you ever go to one of their conferences, I believe you will be amazed how they can pull off a week conference, banquet, outings, and etc all run by the Deaf Blind leaders. What is more, there are no battles on who is the "cool" or "political corrected" Deaf person with a particular vision loss instead they embrace all sorts of Deaf people with different communication needs.. ASL, PSE, Signed English, Cued, Spoken English only (oral), Cochlear Implants, and more. All skin colors, appearances, sexual preferences, education background, and religions are warmly welcome. I wonder if the Deaf communities are the blind ones with their own pride when it comes to Polical Avenue?

Anonymous said...

It is a fact that the blind community has more power than the deaf community. Do you know why?? Blind people speak for themselves while hearing people speak for deaf people.

We, deaf people, rely on hearing people to fight for deaf people. Deaf people should approach the lawmakers themselves without using interpreters. Lawmakers tend to think interpreters speak for deaf people ( that is not true but lawmakers happen to be ignorant). Same with relay operators. Lawmakers receive the second hand information.

Deaf people should face lawmakers themselves by writing back and forth. We can sit in their office to communicate through the computers.

Some deaf people can speak for themselves but they confuse lawmakers who think deaf people cannot speak.

There are so many factors that deaf people are less powerful than blind people.

Some deaf people do not consider themselves disabled. We, deaf people, are invisible disabled. Just communication barriers for deaf people.Blind people are very noticeable disabled with white canes, sight dogs while deaf people look like normal people except to come to communicate.

Sandra Goldstein

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...


The mission of the National Federation of the Blind is to achieve widespread emotional acceptance and intellectual understanding that the real problem of blindness is not the loss of eyesight but the misconceptions and lack of information which exist. We do this by bringing blind people together to share successes, to support each other in times of failure, and to create imaginative solutions.


The real problem of blindness is not
the loss of eyesight. The real problem
is the misunderstanding and lack of
information that exist. If a blind person
has proper training and opportunity,
blindness can be reduced to a physical

National Federation of the Blind

I don't see anything they use disability on the website... MMMM interesting....

Karen Mayes said...

Aidan... hmmm there are schools for blind. I wonder if they also face the same problems that deaf schools face? In fact, I am sure the majority of us do not know much about blind people (they should create a PBS show called Through Blind Ears, so that we'd have a better idea of how they live.)

From reading the comments, it strikes me that blind people have more savvy when it comes to organizations and politics. Their first language is English which is another advantage for them. I am not putting down deaf people... I see that the blind people are more heard than the deaf people.

Let's educate ourselves more... learn the tips of blind lobbyists.

I am curious. On the average, are there more blind people or more deaf people here in America?

Look, I don't know squat about blind people, other than my experience with rope courses instructor and seeing a few times blind people with canes and seeing dogs. :-/

Karen Mayes said...

I am checking out ISB (Indiana School for Blind) http://intra.isbrockets.org/public/ and see what it says about blindness.

IamMine said...

Sarah, that's right.

We have ONE lobbyist for the deaf/hoh representing ONE county here in Michigan and she's hearing.

BUT she's an interpreter and ALWAYS encouraging DEAF people to go up to Lansing and always tell them to go WITHOUT interpreters...writing on paper.

She said NAD is very important, but much more important on the STATE level.

Two deaf people that I KNOW OF reported positive outcomes out of this – said that they are really interested and seems concerned.

But need MORE deaf people learning the ropes of politics, not lead by hearing people.

Deaf people need to find out who their local representatives are and meet up with them when they are locally.

Many times they would be in coffee shops, etc... they can be found in your newspaper where your representative would be.

The interpreter who is a lobbyist told us NOT to bring an interpreter... be YOURSELF and ASSERTIVE.

Preferably with a petition from your deaf community on selected issue(s)(ahem, the deaf VOTERS - the more reason they SHOULD be registered voters, too many of them are NOT here in Mich....how many times have you Michiganders heard, "Why should I? Their issues have nothing to do with OUR deaf issues!!" I'd be rich earning a penny every time I get that)

Another friend who is also being taught the ropes of politics here told me that her ASL bill would take four years of planning committees, etc… I don’t know the full details of her proposal but it’s only been over a year, I think.

I need to learn more about the system and how it’s run politically…but yes, UNITY is a major factor.

Aidan, I know where you are coming from and that’s where we deafies would like to be at with you! I was just stating the reality.

We are a special “interest group” (I know that’s a poor label) out of millions of people who do consider themselves disabled because THEY did lose their hearing at a point of their lives while WE, deafies, did NOT. It’s like we are in a double minority. Yes, some of them joined us while others don’t. Not to mention, as of now, we are economically retarded (oh please don’t make a vlog about this).

It seems like we are outnumbered by them and placed in the same category as them to get what we need – SSDI or grants. VR is one of them to service our needs. Deaf programs – same thing.

But that does not mean we can’t change it. We just need to get our asses moving and learn how things work with the system.

Karen Mayes said...

All right, ISB website is not very informative. But iammine makes valid points... we need to understand the system.

Anonymous said...

I am aware that Schools for the Blind got a lot more budget than the Schools for the Deaf. Wondering the ISD Supt could be able to have more time by finding out with more information from how that systems works so well for the Schools for the Blind?

Will the ISD Supt have more time to investigate and be more helpful to give out more feedbacks to other Supt. Schools for the Deaf around in America?

Welcome back, Jay!

A Deaf Pundit said...

I don't think we need to be tax-exempt on things, but I do think we should get some tax credit for things we have to buy. We do need to buy some expensive equipment, you know.

As for the blind being more powerful politically, I can tell you why. They don't play around. If a problem comes up, they immediately file a complaint about it. They also know how to wage a PR campaign.

I can tell you this, since I've volunteered alongside the blind locally, they don't consider themselves disabled, and don't really pander to that. They just state what they need, and appeal to people's logic and emotions. We don't do that.

Jay said...

Anonymous 7:57am:

Nope, your information is not correct. At least from the State. But sure they get alot more outside funding.

Katherine said...

There are a few things as I understand.

First of all, the whole blind community, in spite of their blindness differences, is able to work together to get what they want financially.

Secondly, the Blind community is made up of hearing people where spoken English is used, so networking is granted. Because of that, the Deaf-Blind community benefits from it although they have some issues that are not of any concern to the general Blind community.

Thirdly but not the least, what users of ASL have that other disabled do not have? Language other than English and ASL users happen to fall under two categories. One is under the disability group and the other is under the linguistic minority group. That may be a struggle that some are dealing with. However, perhaps if it is made clear that by accepting disability doesn't waive their right as a linguistic minority, it'll be easier to accept. I don't blame some people for being skeptical and they have a right to protect their culture (Deaf) and language (ASL) while recognizing the need for disability status.

It is my observation that we need to develop a relationship with hearing people outside of the Deaf community ourselves without relying on an interpreter. Once our relationship with them are established, then bring in the interpreter and hearing people so they'll take us seriously.

Not often found in many other parts of the country, what I like about this interpreter when someone told me about it. This interpreter will stand out of the spotlight and let the hearing and deaf person have a dialogue face to face. The interpreter would stand behind the hearing person. It goes to show this interpreter is selfless without self interest purpose and has enormous respect for the Deaf community. We need more interpreters like that and they might give us a better standing in the eyes of the hearing public.

Anonymous said...

I would like to respond to Katherine's comments regarding having an interpreter behind a hearing person. He or She will crank his/her neck looking at the interpreter.

There are many disability groups...Down's Syndrome ( very strong community), Blind, CP, etc. We, the deaf community, work with other disability groups to take a ride. They would fight for us if we work with them. The more participation, the better!

Too many divisions of the whole disability community such as the deaf community ( too many divisions such as black deaf group, latino deaf group, asian deaf group, etc). One DEAF organization represents ALL period no matter what color of skin, etc.

Look at the disability group... Autism ( not audism, ha!), learning diability, physically disability, blind, etc...We should form ONE disability organization to fight for allllllll. Of course each disability group has different needs and wants.

Off the point... I had a unique experience. When I was called for a jury duty, I was escatic to serve on a jury duty. Two opposite lawyers wanted me to serve on a jury but the judge resented to have me because of the interpreter which would make the 13th juror. The key is IGNORANCE. So I lost the golden opportunity to serve on a jury because of that ignorant judge. The judge assumed that the interpreter spoke for me.

Sandra Goldstein

IamMine said...

Correction, I was responding to Sandra, not Sarah.

My apologies, Sandra. :)

Don't feel bad - people always call me Michelle... sigh. Not my frigging name... ;)

Sorry about the jury duty.

Wait till one vlogger is going to vlog about her experience as a jury recently. I ain't telling!!

Carry on...

Anonymous said...

Sandra G.: Interesting. I will be jury on Monday. It will be my first experience. I tried and tried to get away from being jury. But the judge demands me to come in. Where did you jury?

Well, I understand your point of view about getting people in one group of disability. I disagree with this idea. But we can have them as our allies. What do you think?

What’s more why do we have to accept the society to label us as disability? I HATE this word.

You see the sign in highway saying, “If your car is disabled, please move to a shoulder.” So the society looks at us like a broken car. That is offensive. ...And it tells lot how the society look at us.


Anonymous said...

Just got from Shrimpy's vlog and she did finally put her own comment:


Wondering if we could use the Deaf Tax exempt by supporting the Deaf Education for America and International Schools for the Deaf?

Karen Mayes said...

I served on a jury a few years ago in Rochester, NY and it had been a positive experience for me. The interpreters were great help! The jury worked fully with me, as they noticed that I was a full participant in the deliberations. Aidan, you will find serving on a jury a productive experience... I promise you that.

Anonymous said...

Very simple to answer your question subject: "Are the Blind Better At Politics?"


Anonymous said...


Answer to Aidan's question.... Where was I asked to serve on a jury? Chicago !!!! Tough city ! Illinois is the number one dirtiest politics in USA.

It really depends on individual judge and lawyers regarding accepting the 12 jurors. Some judges are very understandable while others are ignorant.

I resent to be labeled hearing impaired. But in the government statistics include deaf people in the hearing impaired community.

What can you do when people call you disabled or hearing impaired ? Simply put---to express our resentment or educate them. Look at the billions of ignorant people.. once more we are a minority group.... educate each of them not to call us hearing impaired or disabled......?????? Every person is entitled to a right to label you disabled or hearing impaired. Putting that person in a prison or file a lawsuit for labeling you disabled or hearing impaired is not a possibility.

Sandra Goldstein

DeafKathy said...

Hey hey, what a sight of sore eyes to see you, Jay again... Been wondering about you, and it has been a while since your last vlog.. I was so glad to see you and your humble personalities again in John's video about the Poker Run and fundraising for deaf tots.

After reading those 50+ posts.. This got into my attention and I listed all the pro's and con's with the life of between Blind and Deaf worlds.. You may not realize we, Deaf people, have more pro's than Blind people, and the Blind people have more con's...Not even close!!
Let me ask you a question and think about this...
Would you rather to be blind than being deaf? Im sure the answer is 'No', why??
I have thought about this myself and asked myself what if I become blind one morning, how will I feel about this? I will freak out! Despressed! Yet, be grateful to be alive but missed out with everything out in the world!
Is there any Blind president of the University? CEO of a big company? No, not that I know of except for small non-profit organizations. Is there any individual blind people making $75,000/year or more? Ratio? Maybe 1 of 50 (Blind vs Deaf).

Now, about the tax deductible, why need to be inspired for sympathy, inspire the inspiration of the richness in diversity, meaning we dont need sympthy from the government, we want them to look at our assets/talents and potentials.

We drive, Blind people can't (some legal blind people do drive and get tax deductible which is true and unfair...).
I am not saying that people who posted their messages are wrong, I am very proud of you sharing the comments/feedback/inputs, that made my thinking to think twice and harder. Before that comments, I didnt think about this. Thanks Jay for bringing this up and really appreciated it very much!

DeafKathy said...

Oh and one more thing....

Boeing Company have about 135,000 employees. I know there are at least 200 Deaf (I dont count those who have slightly hearing loss, I am speaking of big D, "Deaf") employees (half are white collars and another half (little more) are the blue collars)and there are less than 10 Blind employees working for "B". The population of Blind people are about the same as for Deaf people out there in the world. Now, who get the most independence life? Should we, Deaf people, still need to beg the government to grant us special tax deductible because we are deaf? It will be unfair for the Blinds. If we do get special grants, where will the government get the $ from? and will it affect our cost of living (increase prices on everything because they had to support Deafies)????????

Anonymous said...

To DeafKathy..

You have raised some good questions and wondered if you could do the research? I would not be surprised if you have an eye opener experience with the facts on the Blind if you take the time to learn their facts.

Apparently, it is so easy for us to assume. I find your statements very ironic it is almost like we are hearing people who knows nothing about the Deaf making all kinds of assumptions what the Deaf lives are like..and we are doing this to the blind.. hmmm ???

The answer to your questions.. yes.. there are blind CEOs, lawyers, teachers, authors, actor/actresses, singers, ...
Yes, there was a Blind president of a university though there is not a Blind University as the Blind does not need a special university since they are able to adapt and have full access to language. They will use accomodations and assistant devices, Yes.. the owner of Cleveland Cavilers is blind (he was the owner for many years and stepped down to take upcon another role within the Cleveland Cavilers organization but nothing to do with his being Blind).

Yes, you or any Deaf person will freak out if you ever become blind but you will learn how to adapt and still can lead a fulfiling life. As if you did not know.. there are Deaf Blind individuals in the Deaf community... I know many successful Deaf Blind individuals who are leading productive lives. They are not just twidling their thumbs either.

It is okay if you just want to be Deaf and not want to compare to the Blind. The needs and experience are apples and oranges for the Deaf or Blind. I have met many Blind people ..and they would say they cannot imagine being Deaf as it would be tough to be independent without an intepreter in the society. Just as we would say .. I cannot imagine being blind ... our eyes are so precious as the the blind their ears are so precious ..

The whole issue .. is The Blind are better at Politcs?? I say YES

DeafKathy said...

To Anonymous June 6, 2007 10:36 PM ....

You are right that Gordon Gund is blind and was the owner of Cleveland Cavaliers (and is still the owner but very small portion). He had the advantage of stepping up the ladders because he started to losing his sight when he was about 25. He expreienced what the real world looked like. He and his wife started a non-profit organization for the Blinds around that time. How/where did he get the money to buy the team?
The comment I posted was mainly for those who were born blind or deaf (or became blind at a younger age - toddler), I am sorry I wasnt being cleared at first place.
Yes, the Blinds are better at politics. If there are two people with same race (ie... white), type of clothes and hairstyle standing silence in front of you and you dont know who they are, one of them have cane in front of them, who will you offer luxury service to? A person with cane probably get more noticeable as a disabled person than the other person who may be Deaf. So, Politics easily support the needs for Blinds.

hmm said...


I am playing a devil's advocate here.

Suppose if the blind person folded his/her cane and put it aside standing next to a Deaf person (without an interpreter) and a hearing lobbyist wants to ask both of you the same question, who is more disabled the blind or the deaf? The blind will have full access to communication while the deaf will stand clueless there clueless of what they are talking about. An interpreter with the deaf is considered the "blinds' cane". A blind's cane costs only 20 - 40 dollars for ten years of use. While an interpeter costs .. 90 dollars for two hour time frame?

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one with an open mind and heart.

DeafKathy said...


Good question! ;D
Will the Blind person expect (know) when someone is coming toward to them with noisy background going on before the hearing lobbyist start to speak something? Deaf person will notice this instantly at a far distance. We, Deaf people, dont rely on interpreters everywhere we go, we rely on paper and pen (or use the PDA device for communiction), they can be found for FREE or borrow it almost anywhere. Playing guessing game called "Read my Lips" is another way that cost nothing and is more fun that way.

Gotta tell you story I experienced when I was in community college. I was in lab doing my homework, at that moment I was the only person in that room. A young Blind man (hearing) walked into the lab room and said something, he knew there was someone in the lab because I made lots of noises shuffling the pages of book. I see his mouthmovement. I walked up to him and informed him that I am deaf: I put his hand on my hand and I signed "Deaf". he nodded and showed facial expression with frustration of desiring to know something. I moved him toward to the PC with keyboard. He typed his question "where is the lab assist", I slowly typed back with answer "the lab assist has stepped out for few min and will be right back" while his hands was on top of my hands. He smiled and sat down waiting for the assist to return. Without PC, I would be more creative finding another communiction solutions, gesture/body language along with his hands on top of mine just like DeafBlind normally do. How did I know the assist has stepped out for short time? The assist left a note on whiteboard.

it is very rare to see Blind person fold away their cane when they are alone out in public, they will fold their cane when they are with someone guiding them. We, people in Seattle area, see alot of Blinds, Deaf Blinds people everyday due to high quality service system for them and one wonderful company that have lots of blind employees working there.

hey, I love those discussion! Keep it coming...