Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy 20th Birthday to the Americans with Disabilities Act!!!!!!

Today, July 26, 2010, is the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act!!!!! I, along with 54 million Americans with disabilities, are benefitting from the allowances and protections brought forth by this act. I applaud President George H. W. Bush and Congress for passing such important legislation!!!!!!!

No, the ADA didn't erase discrimination, prejudice, and barriers completely. However, it for sure created possibilities that were impossible in the lives of Americans with physical and psychological disabilities. Because of the ADA, people with disabilities can get an equal education, access public transportation, and stay at any hotel, among other personal freedoms.

It is my prayer that this country continues to embrace legislation that would further create barrier free opportunities for the disabled population.

It is also my prayer that people will work hard to decrease their negative ideas and opinions about people with disabilities. As with any population of individuals in a particular subculture, it is imperative that the people outside of the subculture learn to celebrate the diversities present in the differing population. And people within that population need to teach others about their culture, with the hope that the knowledge will discourage prejudice and discrimination, while encouraging inclusion and acceptance.

This is exactly why I maintain this blog. I want the individuals that stumble upon NuVision for a NuDay to know that people with disabilities have stories to tell, have an opinion about various issues, hope to build a bright future, and desire to excel in all aspects of their life.

Happy Birthday ADA!!!!!!!!!!!

Angela L. Braden

"I now lift this pen to sign this Americans with [Disabilities] Act and say let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down." President George H. W. Bush

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"You can't see anything?"

For whatever reason, people are often shocked when they learn that I am completely blind. They seem to find it unbelievable that I can't see anything at all. After talking with me about my blindness, there are some that work up the nerve to ask me the one question I get asked the most.

"You can't see anything?"

Yeah, that's the most popular question that I get asked by curious individuals that have encountered yours truly.

Well, here's the answer for any of you that have wondered, but have not had the nerve to ask.

I cannot see anything at all. I cannot see shapes, colors, hands waving in my face, shadows, artificial light, sunlight, or a flashlight shining right into my eyeball. I haven't seen the aforementioned and anything else since the spring of 1994.

If you have anything else you would like to ask, go for it. If it's within reason, I'll answer. LOL

Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!

Angie B.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Super Power (Revisited)

I can’t number the times that someone asked me, suggested, or even outright insisted that a blind person’s hearing is better than a sighted person’s ability to hear. Well, maybe for some blind people. But for me, I don’t think I’m able to hear any better than I did before I lost my sight. I’ve just learned to use my hearing more effectively.

When you are blind, you must, make good use of the other senses you are left with. Well, if you want to be successful as a blind person you must make good use of those other senses.

Likewise, you must tap into the greatest power that a human has--the mind. Do I have super powers? You darn right I do. It’s my mind. And the other 4 senses I’m left with undergird the power of my mind.

Getting back to hearing… The other day, my love, my doll, my niece, Jasmine, was sitting upstairs with me in the gameroom watching television. She was watching the Cartoon Network. I was busy on the computer, doing whatever it is I find myself doing on the computer. And what did I hear? The sound of a cartoon episode that I will never forget… There were no words, just the sound of music coming from the television speakers.

I asked Jasmine was she watching Tom and Jerry. She said, “Yeah.” I knew it… Then my next question was, “Are those the ants marching at the picnic?” “yes.”, she replied. I was right again.

It was amazing to me that the sound of that particular Tom and Jerry episode has stuck with me all these years. How many years? More than 20… The mind is something else. I can see those ants in my head as if I had just seen that particular episode just yesterday.

I’m so thankful to God that I got a chance to see when I was a little girl. The visual images of so many experiences are burned into the walls of my memory. I’m so glad that I remember the color red, the beauty of the ocean waters, the magic of electricity falling from the sky to the earth, the image of a tiny ant carrying a bread crumb, 5 times its size, the brightness of the sun, a sparkling diamond, a bald eagle soaring in the sky, The smiling faces of the people who stood on the ground as I was flying through the sky on a wild roller coaster, flames reaching for the sky as it consumed a burning house, perfect cursive writing, beautiful, exotic animals at the Houston Zoo, and the darkness of the night sky. And that’s only mentioning a few of my visual memories…

Although I wish that I will be able to see again in my lifetime, I’m thankful that I have my other senses. I’m also thankful that I have my mind. I don’t take it for granted. My mind is my super power. I’m able to choose, daydream, remember, analyze, love, influence, survive, and create thanks to the most valuable gift that God gave me, my mind.

Thank you Lord for such a fantastic gift!

**Written and Previously Posted: April 6, 2007**