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Aerden
aerden
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November 2017
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Aerden [userpic]
The TAER Conference, Unitarian Jihad, and Royal Wedding

This morning, I was a co-panelist with Jef (with one 'f') Henley at the annual Texas Association for Education and Rehabilitation Conference, which was held in Greenway Plaza. It was a very interesting experience as Jef and I discussed various aspects of living and looking for work with a visual impairment. Jef became blind two years ago from a head injury, and I have had my eye condition since birth, so we were able to give different perspectives on our lives and how we had handled things related to our vision problems.

The thing that interested me the most about this morning's panel was discovering that, just like the deaf community, with regard to sign language versus speech training, visually-impaired people and those who work with them have their own set of factions, too; we're just not as out for blood as the deaf factions can sometimes be.

I was asked during the panel if I had ever learned to use Braille. I said that I had not, because I had always had enough usable sight that I had never needed to learn anything but print and had not been interested in learning it, save as a curiosity. The lady asking me the question suggested that learning Braille would be a good idea for anyone who is legally blind, because the younger you learn it, the easier it is to pick up and retain. While she had had decent sight in her youth, now that she was in her sixties, her sight had become much worse, and she wished she had learned Braille when she had the chance.

So sure enough, after the panel was over, another lady came up to me, saying, "Oh, you shouldn't worry with Braille if you have usable sight. Braille is very cumbersome, and if you want to use it to assist your consumers, you can use a typewriter that will work like a normal one, except that it embosses Braille instead of printing letters."

Next to me, Jef was talking to another lady. Her main topic of conversation was pretty much, "You get around really well, but why don't you have a dog?"

Fortunately, no one brought up the folding cane versus straight cane controversy that is currently raging. The people who use folding canes love them because they can be tucked away into purses. The people with straight canes prefer them because they are much sturdier than the folding variety. I have never had my folding cane fall apart on me, but I imagine I'd be very disconcerted if that ever happened. It is also becoming the standard to use very long canes--53 inches long or more--because they give you a greater sweep radius as you swing the cane in front of you.

Apparently, though, a lot of blind people have poor cane technique; they either don't use their canes very often, or they hold the cane close to them, straight up, instead of sweeping it before them. I was surprised to learn that.

Anyway, all very interesting. In two weeks, I am to talk to a group of children in another panel, as part of the BVIC (Blind or Visually-Impaired Children) program. I'm trying to work out ways to simply some of the things I said today. I suspect a lot of it will be working it out as we go, but I look forward to it.

God Granted His Wish: Jef, my co-panelist, was told something interesting while he was in training, learning how to adjust to being blind. Someone in his class made some remark about God and Jef snapped at the guy. His teacher then took him aside and said, "I don't care if you believe in God or not, but I am seeing some hostility here. You tell me that you have a wonderful wife and two children yho you love. Well, I'm here to tell you that God has granted your wish."

"And what wish is that?" Jef retorted.

The teacher replied, "If anything had happened to your family--if any of them had lost their eyesight, you'd be praying to God and asking, 'Why them, Lord? Why not me?' Well, God has granted your wish. It's you, instead of them. So shut up, and start dealing with it."

I thought that was a darned impressive thing for that instructor to say.

LMAO!:

My Unitarian
Jihad Name
is: Sister Katana of Compassion.


Get yours.



I think my favorite so far is 'Brother/Sister Hand Grenade of Loving Kindness.' Hehehehe!

Royal Wedding:

Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles today, finally capping a 35 year-long relationship. I wish them both every happiness. After 35 years, I think they deserve at least that. According to a news article I read, Diana blamed Charles' affair with Camilla for breaking up her marriage. Personally, I think what doomed their marriage from the start was the presumed need for Charles to marry a 'suitable' wife.

Admittedly, I don't know very much about Charles' and Diana's courtship, but it seems to me that expecting a man of Charles' age to marry a woman he didn't love simply for religious and political reason was a disservice to Charles and to Diana. She should have had the chance to marry a man who loved her for who she was, rather than a man who had already given his affection to someone else.

But what do I know?

Actually, I'll tell you what I know....

Chantal's Commentary on Hat Fashion:

So there I was, watching the wedding guests leave St. George's, and I noticed that many of the women wore hats. At first, I thought I must be seeing members of the royal family. But there were so many of them that I soon concluded that no, these were just ordinary women wearing hats to keep their hair from being blown about, etc. There were a lot of interesting hats to see.

Photo courtesy of VOA News (http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-04-09-voa5.cfm) I thought Camilla's hat, shown in the image at left, was quite nice, one of the best hats I saw. It had enough decoration to be interesting, but it didn't have so much decoration as to look ridiculous. There was this one woman in a yellow hat that looked like someone had morphed Big Bird into a cush ball and stuck him on top of a hat brim. It was just a big ball of yellow feathers, everywhere! Too many feathers.

Then there was the Fox News reporter covering the story. She had worn a pink outfit, and her hat somehow reminded me of strawberry ice cream with a huge, cake icing rose stuck on the side of it. It was just a bit much.

Another hat that I thought was interesting was red with a wide, black band around the crown. Nice hat, but it was a bit large, I thought, sort of like wearing a two-layer round cake on one's head.

The best hat I saw was worn by a woman in a pearl-gray suit outfit. The hat matched her suit perfectly, with a rolled brim, a deep, gray-blue band, and no feathers that I could see. I thought that woman looked very chic without looking like haute couture.

The worst hat I saw...Man, I would not have left the house in that thing. It was burgundy-brown and looked as if it were comprised of two hats, one stuck on top of the other. So wrong. So not the time to be inventive with one's hat.

Ah well. Me, I'm the type of person who, unless I was pummeled out of the habit, would probably wear the same hat with most things I own, simply because it's easier, that way. Pick a hat that will go well with most outfits, have maybe a couple of other hats on standby, and no more. Still, the hat-watching was much fun, and Mark laughed at me all the while for being a hat snob and fashion critic. (g)

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Comments
Wow.

That's a great story, Chantal. And it sounds like you had a good experience at the conference.

Re: Wow.

Kris--I sure did! I enjoyed it immensely; it was lot of fun.

Chantal

Super post, Chantal! I'm interested (and a little amused in a sympathetic way) about the raging controversy in the blind community regarding braille, dogs and folding canes. My overwhelming experience is with the militant faction in the Deaf Community regarding Speech only vs. Total Communication, and ASL vs. Signed English vs. "Pidgeon" (basically signed English with bad grammar *g*). And THEN of course, the advent of the Cochlear Implant REALLY got people up in arms, that by implanting someone (especially a child) you were taking away their "deafness" and by extention part of their identity.

Re: Hats! How much did I love your commentary! Hee! Wedding hats are a HUGE deal for English women. They wear hats more over there anyway, but apparently Hat Fashion at wedding is vastly important, as the bigger and showier the better, because you want to really "wow" everyone with your hat. It's like Oscar Night with the bad fashions, only anyone can play, as long as they have a wedding to go to, and a head.

Anyone can play, as long as they have a wedding to go to and a head.

*giggles!!!!"

Me, I want the black and white hat that Eliza Doolittle wore to Ascot in My Fair Lady.

Chantal

I am very happy that Charles and Camilla have been able to marry. People I know that knew her (Olivia in Ireland) always said they were so in love and just made for one another.

Again with Diana it was his need to marry a virgin and I think so many people saw it was a poor match.

Hi!

Yep, everything I've seen about them seems to indicate a lot of interests in common and a lot of similarity in personality. Neither of them like the limelight, they both prefer the country,, and so forth. When I first heard they were spending their honeymoon in Balmoral, I was surprised, but having seen what they're like, I now suspect that they both like it there and simply want to spend their honeymoon in a private place, away from the press.

Two people whose pet names for each other are Fred and Gladys...This sounds like a very good thing, and I'm sorry they both had to wait for so long. I just hope William and Henry are okay with it. I know they say they are, but I'm not sure if I would be, if I'd always know of Camilla as the 'other woman.' Still, it is so good to see Charles and Camilla able to openly be together.

How've you been?

Chantal