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Governor of New York speaks about his blindness

category international | disability issues | other press author Thursday April 22, 2010 02:09author by Robbie Sinnottauthor email robbiein at gmail dot comauthor address Dublinauthor phone 086-3572670 Report this post to the editors

I hate hierarchy, but I like this guyh's honesty.

Among other things, Richar Patterson says that Black liberation is more advanced than the liberation of Visually impaired [hear here]; that he was never ashamed of being black, but was ashamed of his visual impaierment. [interaction with the 'normal' people' is a strange nexus]

He also describes some of the practical difficulties in processing information with a visual impairement.

Richard Patterson (Governor of New York is visually impaired.

He gets his information read to him; e.g., instead of reading newspapers, he has his staff break it down into 25 mins for his voicemail.

He says that generally, it’s three times slower listening to information than reading it; also comprehension in listening is far less.

He remembers much better when readig. [i.e., he’d prefer to read visually, but this would reduce his volume of info to be read].

His sight: zero in left eye, 20/400 in right eye (5%?).

He recognixes that technology has changed the landscape for blind people, but he hadn’t the chance to learn much about it yet.

He went to school in the 60s in mainstream education; the less difficulty caused, the least difficulty there would be, since many would wonder whether he should be there at all. A little bit of that remnant is still with him. The sqeaky wheel didn’t always get the grease then;

You have to stand up for wha’ts right; you have to stand up for what you deserve…

Immigrants have to learn that you have to act as the majority of people do; same for blind….As such, he was better able to interact in 3rd level education than those who’d gone to special schools.

He admits, though, that he was iving in denial because most of the people around him were sighted. He was even afraid to talk to blind people; but someone told him; you don‘t seem to deny that you’re black…but you do seem to forget where you’re coming from as a blind person.


He doesn’t find braille helpful.
It takes a long time to ‘digest’ [erad] braille and to get stuff printed into braille.

Listenening is best for instantaenous information.

You should be proud of who you are as much as you are proud of your heriatage or your country. You’re not going to be measured as to whether you overcome your disability, but who you become with it.

He identification with those with socially imposed disabilities, especially in the economic downturn.

Black emancipation further advanced than blind empancipation.

Characterisation of him as someone who bumps into walls…wouldn’t be tolerated if it was a slur against black people – institutional response.

37% of disabled in america are unemployment, and 60-70% of blind people are unemployed. Disabled further ridiculed as a result.

Would like to leave as a legacy that his disability never got in the way of his running of the state.

Re television: His fear of falling or bumping in front of the media. If there’s an excess focus on a disability, you can’t be the individual you have been you’re whole life.

He still feels secure enough, but he compares it to a woman going into an all-male board-meeting and hearing some comments – you feel more self-conscious…

Kinship means that if he’s not performing for disabled community, he’s letting himself down.

Related Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00ryk66
author by Robbie Sinnottpublication date Thu Apr 22, 2010 02:31Report this post to the editors


in Ireland we're second-class citizens (e.g., we don't have secret ballot (1884 Act), and tá an chothrom in easnamh fós i lán chaoieanna eile.

author by Four Eyes.publication date Thu Apr 22, 2010 09:15Report this post to the editors

One of Britain's top radio broadcasters,Peter White, has been blind since birth:


He has no concept of what colours are, or of the horizon.


That doesn't stop him.

His attitude is "No Triumph No Tragedy" :


Most of us would say that his life is a triumph over a personal tragedy.

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