Braille Monitor                                                                                March 1986



Public Education Works: Letter from Twin Cities Police

For several months we have been distributing the August-September, 1985, Braille Monitor and other material to members of the public and decision-makers. We have been doing it to inform people about the problems we are having with the airlines. Among other things, Federationists have been going to airports to carry our message to arriving and departing passengers, as well as to airport officials and police.

Sometimes (especially when there is resistance to what we are saying) we are bound to wonder whether we are getting through--whether (regardless of the reasonableness of our message) anyone cares or is willing to listen and understand. But public education (when it is factual, honestly motivated, and calculated to solve problems and meet real needs) pays off--not just sometimes but always. The effects may not be immediately apparent, and we may not get everything we want (at least, not all at once), but the momentum builds.

Federationists in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have been working especially hard in this push for public education. Recently they received clear-cut evidence of positive results. In the future perhaps it will be more difficult for airline personnel in the Twin Cities area to persuade the police to make illegal arrests of blind persons who ask nothing more than to be treated like other passengers:

Saint Paul, Minnesota
December 20, 1985

National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dear Sir:

I would like to thank you for sending to our department the Braille Monitor publication for August and September of 1985. I have reviewed all articles in the publication that deal with the difficulties encountered in air travel by blind travelers.

In most cases I was somewhat familiar with these particular incidents, and had received some information on them. By reading the Braille Monitor I have been given a whole new dimension to these problems.

I again would like to thank you for sending the Braille Monitor to us, and if at any time we can be of help to you, please feel free to call us.

Sincerely yours,
Eugene E. Sheridan
Patrol Division Commander
Minneapolis-St. Paul
International Airport Police