[AI] behaviour of my superior

Geetha Shamanna geetha at millernorbert.de
Fri Sep 24 11:05:07 EDT 2010

Hi Mahesh,

Please do not get me wrong for asking you these questions, but how 
independent are you? Do you travel to work and move around within the office 
on your own? Do you use a white cane? Do you travel independently outside 
Pune on your own, be it for official or private purposes?

The impression colleagues at work have of us blind people is to a large 
extent dependent on the way we conduct ourselves. If a blind person requires 
assistance to move around within the office or to commute to work, 
colleagues will always assume that blind people are dependent. It is not 
their fault entirely; that blind person in their office might be the only 
blind person they have come across in their whole existence.

Instead of going to the press and publicising this issue, what is probably 
required here is for you to have a long and candid talk with your superior 
and try and convince him that you are capable of looking after yourself 
during the US trip, and that you will not be excessively dependent on the 
colleagues traveling with you. You can also ask him to specifically list out 
his reservations; you can then  address them individually. If you have 
traveled alone previously, tell him how you did so and how independently you 
dealt with the situation. It won't be easy, but each of us will have to 
fight this battle on our own.

Finally, if he is not sufficiently convinced and does not agree to send you 
to the conference, do not give up. Whenever opportunities to travel to local 
conferences or other events within Pune or other parts of India arise, be 
the first one to apply. He may not be averse to sending you to local events; 
so make full use of it and try to be as independent as possible during these 
events. You will then notice how your superior's impression of you changes.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mahesh Shah" <mss447 at gmail.com>
To: "accessindia" <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2010 5:45 AM
Subject: [AI] behaviour of my superior

Dear Friends--

I am writing to this list after a long time. I wish to tell you an
incident happened in my office , which shocked me.

Every year, a delegation goes from my office, C-DAC, to participate in
SuperComputing conference in USA. This year I put my self-nomination
for this. I am the most qualified and most senior person for the job.

But my boss called me for a one-to-one discussion and informed me that
it will be 'embarrasing' to send a person (VI) like me in . the
delegation. Because I will require someone's support and will hold
someone's hand. Also if some accident happens to me because of my
disability, he and office will be hold responsible for why they sent
such a person.

I was really shocked and upset with the behaviour. Then I withdrew my
nomination for participation in the conference.

Friends, I want to show you that how these learned so-called superiors
fail to understand the VI peoples aspirations and behave in such a
nonsense way.

Thanks for sharing my concerns.

Mahesh Shah

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