The contents of this column reflect the letters we had received by the time we went to press, Nov. 15, 2007. Letters are limited to 300 words or fewer. All submissions must include the author's name and location. Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
Regarding 'Tilt!' and McGregor's Response
I grew up being told: "To succeed in the world, you must be better than everyone else." That's a myth. We're people -- like all the other humans on the planet! We encompass high achievers, non-achievers; strong and weak; capable and helpless; challenged and unmotivated.
Success can be the satisfactory completion of a thing or the gaining of wealth or power. Most will never achieve the second. I certainly won't, but I have succeeded at many things.
I'd had my job only eight months when, because I was the "new kid on the block," I got a layoff letter. My supervisor suggested I move into a different job and do less work than everyone else. I wouldn't accept it. I told her, "If I can't do the work, I don't want the job." I feel now as I did then. To be successful, I must carry an equal share of the load. I've been able to do that by using blindness techniques and reasonable accommodations. This makes me as good as -- but not better than -- my sighted peers.
Problems occur when we demand or rely upon more help than we truly need. Special techniques and accommodations compensate for our vision impairments. When we make demands for more accommodation than we need, or when we accept more help from sighted people than we need because THEY think we need it, we hurt the blind community. Those who realize major achievements honestly deserve accolades and benefit the blind community.
The rest of us do our parts when we do as best we can with just enough accommodation to keep us even with our sighted peers. That's as it should be because we, like all other humans on the planet, are unique in our individuality.
- Nancy Johnson, Topeka, Kan.