ComputerWorld Article

From: Curtis Chong (
Date: Mon Oct 07 1996 - 15:33:46 PDT

Hello Kelly:

On Sunday, October 6, 1996, you wrote:

     "...both Daryl Shandrow and Curtis Chong are members of
     the National Federation of the Blind. It should also be
     noted that Fred Shroder, Commissioner of the
     Rehabilitation Services Administration was the former
     president of the NFB of New Mexico and his predecessor
     was the former NFB state president of Tennessee."

     "so there we have it. We have big contracts being
     awarded to recipents who then defend the status quo and
     high-salary jobs going to those who know the issues and
     do little to make concrete change."

When I wrote my original posting on this subject, I had no
intention of defending the "status quo," as you put it. I
certainly don't receive any "big contracts" from the rehabilitation
system. Moreover, I fail to see what association with the National
Federation of the Blind has to do with the discussion at hand.
Adding a political dimension to this discussion only diverts
attention from the real issue at hand.

I said that technical support from the rehabilitation system was,
at best, inconsistent--meaning that in some states, it seems to do
well while in others, technical assistance from the system is
virtually nonexistent. I was merely stating what I considered to
be facts--not advocating for more involvement from the
rehabilitation system to, as you put it, "get us up in the morning,
find a job for us and fix our dinner." What I was saying is that
whether we like it or not, for the average blind person, the
technological issues are so complex that most of us, on our own,
would have great difficulty dealing with the technological issues
with which we are inevitably confronted when seeking employment.

I agree that not enough blind people are aware of the Freedom of
Choice provisions in the law--provisions which the National
Federation of the Blind worked very hard to achieve. I also would
add that there is a definite lack of service providers in the
technology area around the country. While some states have very
competent and dedicated technology specialists who can work with
blind job seekers, too many others do not.

Kelly, please do not demean this discussion by engaging in
diatribes against individuals and organizations. Help us to come
up with solutions--for solutions are what we really need.


Curtis Chong

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