Yes, precisely my point. When I first lost my sight I was sent off to
a school for the blind that handled mainstream students as well as a
handful of students with various disabilities, and I absolutely hated
it. Not because they were trying to mix mainstream and disabled
students, but because of exactly the reasons you pointed out. Do to
the fact they had disabilities for the blind, wheel chairs, mentally
disabled, etc they ended up creating the rules and regs for the lowest
common denominator, and they were not necessarily benificial to me
personally. Although, I'm sure they made sense to some official who
dresses up in a three piece suit every morning.
I ended up talking my parents into pulling me out of that school, and
placing me in the local high school were I was pretty much the only
disabled student. I remember the day before I left my former teachers
etc told me I'd never make it on my own in a public school, I'd be
back in a few months a total failior, and that I couldn't be
independant with out their help. They were completely wrong. Not only
did I make it on my own as the only blind student in an otherwise
mainstream high school, I made better grades, was more active in
school activities, and was a much happier person for it.
One reason as the only blind person at the school they pretty much had
to form their opions, impressions, and general attitudes about me from
me. They didn't have what I would call poor exampls to judge me by. If
someone asked me how a blind person does this or that I'd give them a
fair overview of my life, and by all means kept a low profile. I never
drew attention to myself in a negative way that would make myself or
or any other blind person look bad. No eye poking, picking my nose in
class, picking wax out of my ears and then licking my fingers, or any
of the dozens of other wierd and disgusting behaviors I had been
exposed to when sheltered under the special education program. I set
out each and everyday to just be me, and let people see I was a person
just like them.
Second, by pulling me out of the special education program I was
forced to sink or float on my own initiative. I am, and have always
been, an independent sort of person. I really don't like being
compared to or judged by others standards. I want to set my own
standards, and be judged by my own standards and let my actions speak
On 3/8/10, Darren Harris <darren_g_har...@btinternet.com> wrote:
> Hi Thomas,
> Yes but you see that's where I think social integration falls down and it
> fails so many people. It fails us because of the reason you've just
> outlined, it also fails the person in question because they aren't gaining
> anything by being in a mainstream environment.
> I think that mainstream is good when it works but for the retarded lot it
> doesn't work far from it. I came from the specialist education system in
> England which is fading out now. But the amount of people with mental
> disabilities we had at these blind schools really did create a problem
> because whether you like to admit it or not, if you are exposed to them 24
> hours a day 7 days a week, you start to be affected by them. The rules and
> regs of the school become set up in favour of the people with mental
> disabilities and inhibit the natural ability for social and emotional
> development in the rest of the population. Yes social integration fails big
> time if you ask me.
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