August 17, 1992 |
On a warm day this spring I was walking back to my office after getting some cash at the bank. While waiting for the traffic light to change so I could cross the street, someone suddenly grabbed both my upper arms from behind. Another violent street crime in the big city? No. I am blind and it was a man who wanted to help me cross the street. He didn't say a word. I had no warning. He just walked up from behind and grabbed me. I jumped, spun around and said, "What are you doing?"
December 1, 1994 |
A blind couple here have filed suit in federal court, charging an area bus company with discriminatory practices. The complaint, filed in Philadelphia, charges that Werner Bus Lines refused to allow Barry O'Brien and Sharon Burk-O'Brien to board a company bus to Atlantic City in 1992 because they are blind and rely on guide dogs. The driver, the complaint alleges, told the couple that blind people with guide dogs were supposed to take a separate bus - and that he would request such a bus if they desired.
May 8, 2012 |
Already singed by the state plan to downsize Philadelphia's branch library for the blind, the Free Library of Philadelphia has now been sued by four blind patrons who cannot use the library's new electronic book readers. The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, said that the e-reader lending program, begun in November at the main library off Logan Square, uses devices that are not accessible to the blind. And that violates the rights of blind people under the federal Rehabilitation Act and Americans With Disabilities Act, the lawsuit contends.
January 6, 2003 |
In a small, drab office in Paoli, Nazir Ali, 59, has been working full time on the same invention since he was a 20-year-old student at Spring Garden College. His business, Nurion-Raycal, has almost no revenue. His only employee is Earl Bennett, a product engineer who has been working on the same device with Ali for 23 years. The LaserCane has been purchased by fewer than 400 people during the last two decades. But now, things are looking promising for their special cane for the blind, which uses lasers to detect obstacles.
March 4, 1986 |
Every so often it is necessary to tie up some loose ends. Loose ends can be defined as stories I have done in this column that have not been resolved. Therefore, for the sake of harmony and balance in the universe, and for the sake of my own propensity for personal order, I can report on the following stories, which have come to favorable conclusions: Steve and Nadine Jacobson will not be going to jail after all. The Jacobsons are the blind couple from Kentucky who refused to move from seats adjacent to an emergency exit on United Airlines Flight 869. On July 7, they were taken off the plane, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
August 29, 1987 |
A group of about 25 striking workers, many of them visually handicapped, drew support yesterday from other Philadelphia unions and a national advocacy group as they entered the fourth day of a walkout against a company that produces Braille texts. The strikers, members of the Associated Services for the Blind Employees Group, continued to picket yesterday in front of the company's offices at 919 Walnut St. They walked off the job Tuesday when company officials refused to withdraw a letter of reprimand from the personnel file of an employee accused of threatening a supervisor with bodily harm.
September 28, 1988 |
About 20 minutes into "The Concert at Saint Ovide Fair," the opening play of the Wilma Theater's season, I found myself thinking about dwarf-tossing, even though this is not a drama about dwarfs. The subject is the blind - specifically six blind musicians who live in Paris in 1771. They make a meager living by begging in the streets and sleep in a shelter run by nuns. One day, a wealthy cafe owner offers them a job during the Saint Ovide Fair. It sounds like a good deal, but it turns out that the cafe man is interested in them only as objects of ridicule.
September 25, 1998 |
If you're blind, the second grader asked stage performer Renaldo, how come you wear sunglasses? It's a question that might have seemed rude to an adult listener. But Renaldo welcomed it and answered without hesitation. "I can't see faces or read printed material, but I can see shadows," Renaldo answered. "The dark glasses help me to see the shadows better," he said. Renaldo can answer the most difficult questions without having his feelings hurt because he is a puppet member of the Kids on the Block, a musical show designed to teach children about diversity.
October 18, 1989 |
Michael D. Laciopa, 88, president of the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind, who over more than 30 years brought his courage and his living programs to thousands, died Sunday at St. Clares-Riverside Hospital in Denville, N.J. Mr. Laciopa, blind since his early 20s, founded the organization in 1942 with several blind associates and had served as president for most of the years since. It was 1955 when Mr. Laciopa undertook the creation of a training facility for the blind on the site of the old Diamond Spring Inn in the North Jersey community of Denville.
April 4, 2002 |
Despite months of preparation, the guests of honor were fractious. Daisy, a soulful bloodhound, sang off-key during the longer speeches. Paris, an imposing, playful German shepherd puppy, kept pawing Esther, a more diminutive shepherd, and the girls had to be separated. Perhaps worst of all was Eileen, a trying-very-hard-to-be-good golden retriever-yellow Lab mix. Sixth grader Lauren Udell loved cuddling her, but she couldn't hold back a comment: "Woo-hoo, this one's got smelly breath," Lauren stage-whispered, rubbing the wiggly 6-month-old's soft, floppy ears.