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Importance of Participating and Staying Informed

January 19, 2005 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker


Karen, one of our esteemed correspondents, contributes the following urgent call to participation and positive action. You are strongly urged to follow her excellent example!


As blind people we need to be involved & informed of what is

happening around us. Since we lack eyesight to perform tasks

visually, we need to compensate by utilizing our other senses to make

sense of our surroundings.

We need to keep up to speed with what is happening around the world

as well as at home in our neighborhoods and communities.


Most information is not in an accessible format that we as blind people can read. It is in print and, thus, isn’t available to us. We need to devise reasonable methods of receiving that information. There are a number of ways that we can gain access to this

information: audio recording, Braille, and accessible electronic format.

In addition to these methods one can utilize Newsline, TV, radio as

well as access information on their computer.

The net is a wonderful vehicle to locate information on just about

everything. As blind people we need to find the tools & be more

resourceful. It’s very helpful to become computer literate & have

access to such services as the Internet, bookshare and the talking

book library.

This will enable us to be more informed and more on a par with our

sighted counterparts.


The Internet is an extremely valuable

outlet to gain access to printed information. As many of you know,

google is an excellent search engine. On hundreds of occasions, I have used this tool to do research. as Darrell has documented in the pages of Blind Access Journal and elsewhere, it is critically important for us to have access to information and technology. The significance of this need will be more and more apparent for us now and in the future. It is vital for all blind people to be informed, get training in computers, attend classes, and demonstrate our skills and abilities on the job. We must demonstrate initiative in finding a job and participating in our communities.


It is important to speak out & let our voices be heard in such forums as blogs.

Darrell has written several articles on issues that continue to

affect us individually but also as a minority group in this society.

We have noticed that no one has posted any comments or otherwise submitted any material on any of these subjects. I am sure someone has something to say, a point to add,

or a comment of his/her experience on any one of these topics!.

Please, respond! Speak your mind; allow your voice to be heard. If we truly want to “change what it means to be blind”, we need to work together, to unite as one, to shape others attitudes and improve the lives for all blind people. If we sit back & wait for someone else to speak up, then it will be someone else’s actions and words, not yours, that could change society’s attitudes and beliefs about us & ultimately effect our world.

If one does not vocalize their opinion and make their vote known, then he or she does not have the right to complain about the results. We have received correspondence and positive feedback from sighted individuals who have read the articles in Blind Access Journal, but participation has been minimal in the blind community. So, come on! Participate! Get involved! Let’s truly make a difference and “change what it means to be blind”!

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