Very interesting post. Yeah, that was my impresssion as well. some of
these larger more well known agencies tend to stress the blind image as
a hard working, respectible, better than average person a bit too far. A
good case in point is one of the rules I saw in the Seeing Eye's dress code.
A couple of years back I was looking into getting a guide dog, and I was
going to apply at the Seeing Eye. The thing that stopped me from
applying there was when I read that for dinner I was to show up in
formal dress clothes. I felt at the time that they were trying to push
the definition of respectable a bit too far. I'm there to get a guide
dog not to show up at dinner dressed in a suit and tie looking like some
wealthy businessman. Whatever the case they have their high standards of
dress code, and self-image to keep.
Anyway, I know what you are saying. These agencies do want to present
the blind as hard working, respectable, well dresssed people and some
times they push that image too far. Some times to the point that their
clients do work too hard, become over achievers, and don't know when to
relax and just be cool. When to hang out at the office and pal around
abit with the other associates. When it is ok to put games on his/her
home computer and just relax with a good game of Aliens in the Outback,
Blackjack, or Uno.
David Chittenden wrote:
The belief of some the blindness orgs seems to be that the only way to
make blindness respectable is if blind people are seen as always
working. This ignores social connections and the fact that if one is
able to relax better, one can work better.
I remember my first job in a mid-sized office. I was the most
efficient worker there. After a few months, my supervisor took me
aside and told me to become a little more sociable with the rest of
the staff. I could not understand what her problem was until I
returned to school. During one of my HR management courses, I learned
about how the over-achievers can be as much of a problem on office
moralle and good office functioning as under-achievers. All of the
blindness training which focuses on work to the exclusion of
everything else ignores this, and thereby performs a disservice to
David Chittenden, MS, CRC, MRCAA
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