You see late August of 2012 Abby was denied entry into a museum with white cane. Yes that story. I have been thinking a lot about it lately.
I have only posted about it twice on this blog. The original blog (http://visionfora.blogspot.com/2012/08/cane-denied-when-good-policy-fails.html) and a very short follow up posting the link to one of the news stories related to it. That it.. I have remained pretty quiet on the matter. You can find a story I wrote about it in the most recent Future Reflections https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr32/2/fr320213.htm .
|screen shot of the story on Huffington Post|
1. To educate others that it wrong. Legally and morally.
2. To remind parents that it is important that BOTH parents have a basic understanding of ADA and their child's rights.
Search Blind Girl Museum. how sad that the top results on Google and Bing is about THIS story and not something more positive.
This topic is still pretty raw for me. Abby doesn't like to talk about it anymore. The whole story went a little bit out of control. The story was not completely accurate but it never is. I was extremely nervous during the TV interview and you can tell. I don't regret us saying yes to the media inquiries. No child and No adult should ever have this happen to them. The sad thing is it happens every single day. It more common for a guide dog to be illegally denied access into a public location but the same thing does happen with canes. Just a lot less often.
|Screenshot from the Daily Mail website in the UK|
I also realized that while I already knew this I saw first hand how poor some people's view of the blind and visually impaired is. To really get an idea of what I mean visit the Huffington Post article and read the comments. (its an very old article in internet time so its not wise to make comments to them) I saw comments about why would any blind person want to go to a museum. Who would let a kid bring a 'stick' into a museum. That the museum was justified because blind kids (and blind people in general) could damage the exhibits. There was good responses to but it didn't soften the blow for ignorant ones. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/31/museum-apologizes-to-blind-girl_n_1846645.html
I get asked sometimes ..What was the result? What did the museum do? They pretty much didn't respond to this story at all. The executive director talked to the media but never called or wrote us. I realized that they were posturing themselves in case we filed a formal complaint. That was never my intention. I just didn't want it to happen again. Abby is still very upset with the museum. It is over. We have moved on. I hope some parents and others were educated by the incident. I could write many more blogs on this topic. Like how Abby's cuteness had a lot to do with why the story spread and other topics but I simply can't talk about it anymore. Its over. So much good is going on. Now why couldn't my blog post about the braille summit get as much exposure? The future of Braille is so much more important.