[AI] independence and mobility

Vamshi G gvamshiai at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 08:31:11 EDT 2010

Hi Jean Parker,

Very rightly said.  I fully support your opinion.

In the 2008 Access India convention, Mr. Vinod Asudani said, if a blind
person wants to go out, one escort is enough.  But if the prime minister of
India wants to go out, atleast 50 escorts should be there.  That means PM of
India is more dependent than a blind person.  He added that being effective
is more important than being independent.  

Ffull marks to your opinion.

Vamshi G
M: +91 9949349497
R: +91 877 2243861
Skype: gvamshi81
>From darkness unto light
-----Original Message-----
From: accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in
[mailto:accessindia-bounces at accessindia.org.in] On Behalf Of Jean Parker
Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 1:25 PM
To: accessindia at accessindia.org.in
Subject: [AI] independence and mobility


Being independent in one's mobility does not mean never utilizing the
assistance of others.  Actually, it means quite the opposite.  To be
independently mobile, one uses one's mobility skills which might include,
cane, listening, asking for and using information about one's location,
having back-up plans in case the first plan doesn't work, employing
strategies to get where you want to go and, at times, requesting and
receiving assistance from others.  The thing that makes you independent is
that you make the decisions about where you will go, when you will go, who
else will go, what you will do when you get there, and how you will get
there.  It doesn't mean, nor has it ever meant, never asking for assistance
from others.  
It does mean gauging one's environment based on what you know about it and
employing the mobility skills and available assistance that best fits the
situation.  But the key is that YOU decide, no one else decides for you.

It might interest you to know that while blind people in the United States
often pride themselves on using good cane technique and navigating to
unknown locations "by themselves,"  this does not mean not asking for and
receiving assistance.  The environment there is much different than it is
here.  You should also know, that many blind people in the United States
find themselves in the difficult situation of attending large events and
having no assistance available to them at times when they really need it.
This is both a practical issue and a cultural one.  It asks the question of
how each person defines independence and how do they implement their beliefs
in everyday life.  It also raises the question of how we judge each other's
mobility skills and/or preferences.  This is an ongoing debate among blind
people which will probably not be completed in any of our lifetimes.  

We can not always apply the mobility strategies used in the west here in
India or in most other developing countries.  But we can adapt much of the
philosophy that has emerged in the west and adjust the techniques to meet
our individual needs.

Finally, having traveled widely in many parts of the world, the strategies I
use to get where I want to go are always flexible as to the environment,
language, time of day, culture and a million other factors that are beyond
the scope of this list.  The strategies I use in India are often different
than the one's I use in America or Europe but the end result is that I still
get where I want to go and I am in control of the process.  

Voice your thoughts in the blog to discuss the Rights of persons with
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