by Gary Wunder
In response to our shelter-in-place orders around the country, chapters, affiliates, and our national body have conducted a number of life sessions. Sometimes the subject of these gatherings has been a banquet speech or a well-known piece of Federation literature. Participants on the calls seem pleased to have the opportunity not only to read but to comment on some of these, and a few have expressed the view that our literature should be updated to reflect today's language and circumstances.
I would feel very uncomfortable trying to update pieces written by Dr. Maurer, Dr. Jernigan, and Dr. tenBroek. What I would feel really good about is receiving or helping to write articles with a present-day perspective that discuss the philosophical issues they were highlighting or spotlighting new issues that now get or should get our attention. Can some ambitious writers take on restating the thesis of the “Cross of Blindness” by Professor tenBroek? Is someone interested in offering their perspectives on blindness as a handicap rather than a characteristic? When compared to the writings of Dr. Jernigan and Dr. tenBroek, Dr. Maurer's writings are less likely to use what some will consider outdated language, but perhaps someone is up to embracing one of his speeches and relating it to your present-day experience.
In a recent survey, readers of the Braille Monitor made it clear that they wanted to hear from more authors and that they should be more diverse. This is a fantastic opportunity, so let's see if we can take a few people whose names are not normally seen in these pages and give them the opportunity to write pieces that will one day be regarded as Federation classics. Please understand that you will get all the help you need from the editorial staff. Our job is to make you look good, and, in fact, that is the way we make ourselves look good. So please think seriously about one of your favorite pieces of literature and throw yourself into the task of bringing your present-day perspective to it. Consider issues not addressed and start addressing them.
You can write to me at [email protected] or call at 410-659-9314, extension 2360. Let's not just go build the Federation; let's add a new coat of paint.