Open Letter to Donald Trump. One Blind Guy
Throwing my hat in the ring!
Well, I'll say up front that I'm a registered Democrat. And, I didn't vote for you.
But, neither do I believe in the political spoils system.
Plus, I have no public service employment history. Unless you include my draft-hitch in the military and a six-month stint with the United States Postal Service. Well that's the extent of it. Education? A BA in History and a BSBA in Business/Marketing. Now, that out of the way. I continue.
In case there is any response to my twitter message to Mr. Donald Trump.
I read, along with others, the news that Sarah Palin is on the list for recommendation for Secretary of the Veteran's Administration.
Now, wait a minute! Qualifications? Well, here's mine!
Communication? No problem. Catch me on Twitter, FB, Email, zoom and Skype. Plus more! And, if that isn't enough. Think of the savings using digital magic and working from home!
Not to say I live in a desert. But, I am in a small community smack-dab in the rust belt of Ohio. Nevertheless, not only do we have internet, but, also, an airport! So, access to the world at large isn't impossible.
Furthermore, it's about time the disabled got a place at the table. You know, or maybe you don't, that the disabled community faces an unemployement or under-employment rate of over 80%. Yes, you read that right. Who is speaking up for them? I would.
Here's some more cred. I have been helped by the VA system. In fact, I have worked through the VA in Columbus, Cleveland and now Toledo. I have also been provided blind personal skills, adaptive and computer access training through the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center in Chicago. It's a tremendous life-changing resource! The president-elect should take a tour and find out what the VA is providing veterans instead of listening to those, with little or no experience, that continually tear down the VA.
Central Blind Rehabilitation Center: http://www.hines.va.gov/services/blindrehab.asp.
Not only have I been helped by a system that I have great respect for, but, I have met many highly qualified and responsible paid staff and unpaid volunteers. Yes, volunteers! Someone has to learn how to find good in this remarkable organization. I'm the one!
I'm computer savvy. This website? It's not only mine. I built it. It's not just fun-and-games. I live and breathe it.
Digital access has and can change the lives of the disabled. For the blind, I have direct experience through the National Library for the Blind (Library of Congress) and their Talking-Book BARD system. Folks with their sighted senses intact read visually. I can, through adaptive technology, read audio books using players offered by the National Library for the Blind (free) and other products offered by other manufactureres such as the Humanware VR Stream audio book player.
There are also other book readers and digital tools offering much more in the way of possibility. I have both a Kindle EReader and Fire tablet. Both use the Voice View screenreader and text-to-speech. But, it is more than reading books. Digital technology, screenreaders and other tools allow the blind-disabled to read, write, visit and read websites, read and write email and manage many other tasks offered by the digital world! We are not left out in the cold. So, don't leave us out of the loop!
I can go on-and-on, but, the reality is, with the proper training, the disabled can function at a high level in the marketplace. So, even if I am not on the short list, at the least, I hope I have opened the eyes of those who see the disabled as less-than-able. That includes our veterans who have paid, in many cases, costs that the general public has no idea the depth of that reality.
The Veteran's Administration? It takes more than talk. It takes understanding what outcomes are needed for actionable change resulting in making a responsive system even better!
Thanks and regards ... William Brandes ... @oneblindguy