The World Just Changed

A changing world,

of yours or mine,

to me it’s all the same

 

Renewed, restored or altered,

dismantled or reset

Normality will never be

as before, by change beset

 

By some memories

I am tainted

By some

I’m coloured in

The outline of my changing path

Contains it all, within

28/10/2014

The Thorns of Freedom

The thorns

Of grief and woe

Of trial and misery

Of shame and doubt

Of darkness, hopelessness, helplessness

 

The pain

Of laceration

Of piercing

Of lancing

Of pressure, puncture, sunder

 

The relief

Of baggage

Of irritation

Of criticism

Of angst, distress, mistrust

 

The freedom

Of peace

Of hope

Of faith

Of the scarred, healed, restored

 

26/10/2014

Coaching the Blind

People who use their eyes to receive information about the world are called sighted people or “people who are sighted.”

Sighted people enjoy rich full lives, working, playing and raising families. They run businesses, hold public office and teach your children!

 

HOW DO SIGHTED PEOPLE GET AROUND?!

People who are sighted may walk or ride public transportation, but most choose to travel long distances by operating their own motor vehicles. They have gone through many hours of training to learn the “rules of the road” in order to further their independence. Once that road to freedom has been mastered, sighted people earn a legal classification and a “Driver’s License” which allows them to operate a private vehicle safely and independently.

 

HOW TO ASSIST A SIGHTED PERSON

Sighted people are accustomed to viewing the world in visual terms. This means that in many situations, they will not be able to communicate orally and may resort to pointing or other gesturing. Subtle facial expressions may also be used to convey feelings in social situations. Calmly alert the sighted person to his surroundings by speaking slowly, in a normal tone of voice.

Questions directed at the sighted person help focus attention back on the verbal rather than visual communication.

At times, sighted people may need help finding things, especially when operating a motor vehicle. Your advance knowledge of routes and landmarks, particularly bumps in the road, turns and traffic lights, will assist the “driver” in finding the way quickly and easily. Your knowledge of building layouts can also assist the sighted person in navigating complex shopping malls and offices. Sighted people tend to be very proud and will not ask directly for assistance. Be gentle yet firm.

 

HOW DO SIGHTED PEOPLE USE COMPUTERS?!

The person who is sighted relies exclusively on visual information. His or her attention span fades quickly when reading long texts. Computer information is presented in a “Graphical User Interface” or GUI.

Coordination of hands and eyes is often a problem for sighted people, so the computer mouse, a handy device that slides along the desktop, saves confusing keystrokes. With one button, the sighted person can move around his or her computer screen quickly and easily. People who are sighted are not accustomed to synthetic speech and may have great difficulty understanding even the clearest synthesizer. Be patient and prepared to explain many times how your computer equipment works.

 

HOW DO SIGHTED PEOPLE READ?!

Sighted people read through a system called “Print.” This is a series of images drawn in a two dimensional plain. People who are sighted generally have a poorly developed sense of touch. Braille is completely foreign to the sighted person and he or she will take longer to learn the code and be severely limited by his or her existing visual senses. Sighted people cannot function well in low lighting conditions and are generally completely helpless in total darkness. Their homes are usually very brightly lit at great expense, as are businesses that cater to the sighted consumer.

 

HOW CAN I SUPPORT A SIGHTED PERSON?!

People who are sighted do not want your charity. They want to live, work and play along with you. The best thing you can do to support sighted people in your community is to open yourself to their world. These people are vital contributing members to society. Take a sighted person to lunch today!

Be nice to them, some of my best friends are sighted people.

Author unknown.

 

The Opportunity of Adversity – Aimee Mullins

Aimee Mullins speaking at TED.

Aimee says it all, need I say more?

“Adversity isn’t an obstacle that we need to get around in order to resume living our life. It’s part of of our life.”

Our responsibility is not simply shielding those we care for from adversity, but preparing them too meet it well.”

“There’s and important difference, and distinction, between the objective medical fact of my being and amputee, and the subjective societal opinion of whether or not I’m disabled.”

“We have to be careful that we don’t put the first brick in a wall that will actually disable somebody.”

“By not treating the wholeness of a person, by not acknowledging their potency, we are creating another ill on top of whatever natural struggle they might have. We are effectively grading someone’s worth to our community. So, we need to see through the pathology and into the range of human capability.”

“Adversity is just change that we haven’t adapted ourselves to yet.”

“No prognosis can account for how powerful (could be) the determinant of the quality of someone’s life.”

…And, as others have said…

“I think that the only true disability, is a crushed spirit.”

 

The Line

A line stretched out before me

A line running east to west

A line named grief and sadness

A line I don’t intend to cross

 

A line stretched out beside it

A line running parallel

A line of frustrated anger

A line whose beckoning, I quell

 

A line and then another

A line as far as eye can see

A line I mean to skirt around

A line traverser? No, not me

 

A line running east to west

A line unending either way

A line of infinite extension

A line unskirtable today


Today, one line I’m crossing

Today, when beckoned, I will come

Today, I’ll journey through completely

Today, feel pain and anger, some

 

Today, I crossed a line

Today, I plodded through

Today, I felt the anguish

Today, I’m weary and confused

 

Today, no longer feel afraid

Today, no longer bound to run

Today, I’m whole, embracing both

Today’s grief and joy within the son

 

Today, I live in victory

Today, I live as me

Today, I embrace everything

Then move on, another day to see

 

 

11/9/2014