Braille Monitor                                                                           November 1986


From A Recent Letter From Gertrude Ward

(Note from Kenneth Jernigan: Gertrude Ward, who is a long-time Monitor reader, is a deaf-blind senior citizen. She has successfully raised her children, who in their turn are successful, contributing members of society. Gertrude has been writing to me for more than a dozen years, and as Monitor readers know, she has very definite opinions.

Sometimes her comments are caustic, sometimes witty, and sometimes nostalgic--but one thing is certain: You never have any question about what she means or where she stands. You may not agree with her, but she wouldn't care if you didn't. She believes it. Otherwise, she wouldn't say it. Here are some comments from one of her recent letters.)

My son Cameron is training to be an airline pilot. He said the stewardess is supposed to know how to open the emergency door and is supposed to sit there. Well, she doesn't do it. She seems to spend her time harassing the blind. I would tell her to mind her business and let me mind mine or else.... There should be specially trained teachers for the blind in lower grades. Mainstreaming has resulted in poorer education for blind children. Blind children are held back in public schools by people who do not know how to teach or train them. . . .

I have been thinking that when a blind person (just because of pride) pretends to see things he cannot, he is doing untold harm to the cause of the blind. . . .

Kidnapping is a federal offense. Is NFB going to do something about it? There is no law that says you have to feed your baby in a highchair. I hope NFB brings that doctor to book. Personally I think the baby she is referring to the article in the August-September, 1986, Monitor was far underweight for her age, but they could have helped the mother instead of snatching her baby. I would like to tell that doctor what I think of such highhanded conduct. . .

There is no law that forces blind people in this country to place themselves in custodial workshops. So is it not the blind's own fault that such places still exists? The blind do not have to obey the rehab (or is it "rehash ') people. They never roped me in. I gave them hell more than once. After World War II the counselors analyzed a job and then trained the blind person to do that job. This was more effective in placing the blind in employment than what is being done today. Let's do it that way again.

Cokes and burgers are not among my favorite foods. How about a good roast beef and salad ?