Technology, assistive tools, serving my community, helping others, volunteering, learning, educating myself and others, that is my main focus for 2018 and forward. But when you are disabled and not tied to a"big" money, or a big fish in a corporation how do you get a seat at the table for others to listen to blind wants and needs?
I have found it very challenging and have learned a lot over this past year and a a half. I had to learn that not all people have the same passion and motivation to make an idea for the blind to come to fruition. I learned words like; "return on investment", "shelving projects", and all other corporate jargon.
I am frustrated with the political red tape who who would even listen to you. I have been the recipient of the "pocket veto" more tines than I can count. What is a project veto? When you try to communicate via email, or phone by leaving messages with no response and in turn to prevent from becoming a nuisance; I stopped communicating. A passive veto of having to say no or yes or even having to listen.
2017, was a challenge and a growth opportunity for me to understand me and how I handle that. 2018 it was worse and I am still trying to deal with it. I wish in the business world, that when talking about something emotional, that I did not have to get emotional. But it is hard to separate the two, and I will not.
I think of others like me. The gentleman that lost his sight later in life who has a caregiver that comes and goes to his apartment. This gentleman has not left his house in three years, a prisoner enclosed in his own walls.
I think of the kids graduating from school being taught janitorial duties and like tasks as their next step in their lives.
I think of the people that to their eye doctor and do not know what to do with the new diagnosis given to them.
I think of the people that want so badly to work, be employed and respected.
I think of the people that have to be berated, patronized and people being condescending too.
Because of that, I do not give up. No I do not have a lot of money, but I persist.
No I do not have a flashy title or a big fish in my industry but I persist.
Because, one day someone will actually open that email, one day someone will answer that call. Will every idea be a success? No, of course not. But at least I will have a seat at the table to see what the possibilities are and taken seriously.
Without my conversations and connections to OSU, OSSB, BSVI. OOD, FTS, PBO, Pilot Dog, Inc, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, ACB. NFB, Lions Club, and so many blind friends I met along the way I would of been lost.