Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Travis is of course legally blind. This means he can see to a certain degree.......but really, not that much. He's had his white cane for several years now. We went to the association for the blind for it because his vision issues had reached the point where walking around town was dangerous for him. He might or might not see an oncoming car, might not being the usual case. Figured with cane people would at least spot it and watch out for HIM which is what they're supposed to do.

    Well, that would work out better if more people in this area had a clue that when he's holding that cane he has the right of way and you'd better NOT hit him. That has improved somewhat.

    Travis walks down to the nearby gas station for snacks, pop, or cigarettes. Nearly every time he walks at night the cops stop him. They think he's "suspicious" because of the cane. When he tries to explain to them, when they realize he is obviously not totally blind, that he is legally blind and what the difference is........well let's just say they don't get it. So he gets harassed a bit.

    A while back......he came home after a similar incident, told me about it......made me mad and I told him next time to tell them that they don't hand out such canes for the fun of it.

    Now, they never do anything to him. They just stop and ask him questions and act like they don't believe him. Which upsets him. (don't blame him)

    It peeves me off because 1. I see nothing suspicious about someone walking with a white cane (wth??) 2. they've stopped him so many times over the past several years and have had it explained to them each time 3. because they KEEP stopping him.

    One cop told him it was dangerous to be walking at night if he was blind. Travis' response was what difference did it make? He is blind in the daytime too.

    Now I'm not thrilled with him walking at night either, but he's a grown man. He can walk when he wants. I've explained to him that it's dangerous because cars may not notice his cane until they're on top of him, although it's reflective and honestly you can't miss it. Still.

    But c'mon. You've stopped the kid endless times. You know the story. We're in a small town. The police force just is NOT that big. So it has to be the same cops stopping him over and over again.

    I'll be honest and say it ticks me off. I tried to laugh it off at first.....but it's just gone on too long.

    Either we have the stupidest police force on earth.......or they're harassing a disabled person for no reason. Either way it doesn't make them look good.

    Maybe they're concerned for his safety, but after stopping him so many times you'd think they'd give it up already.....or maybe just stop him to see if he's ok.

    Maybe it's my current stress level but it's really rubbing me the wrong way tonight.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Go to the chief, if the chief won't listen and do something, go to the local paper to "increase awareness." ;)
  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Hound dog - can you contact Clovernook and ask if they have any "suggestions" for dealing with the police? Of course, being right down the street here, I see folks with canes and dogs out at all hours of the day or night. All our crosswalks are set up with buzzers and they have put brick or textured many of them for the convenience of the blind.

    Anyway, maybe they have some type of informational handout Travis could carry with him? Heck, maybe they'd be willing to send a spokeperson out for a training session for the officers!
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I was wonering if you couldn't do a brief educational seminar for the force to explain legally blind (oh, heck, throw in his other diagnosis'es, too)? Then if they continue to stop him, you'll know which it is...
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    How about a reflective vest with a reflective finger on I mean just a reflective vest?
  6. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Go the the police and raise he!! (nicely, of course LOL). Threaten a lawsuit for harassing a disabled person. That might get their attention. And I like the idea of involving the media. A lot of times, the only way to get somebody to take notice is to be loud.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'm gonna sound dumb. What is Clovernook? Sounds familiar but nothing is coming up in my brain with the name. I'll try them and see if they have suggestions.

    LMAO Star. I wonder if we could make our fortunes on such reflective vests. lol

    Thing is.........with his autism, I don't know how much he's misreading their social cues.......I don't know how he's responding to I'm not sure of the social interface going on. I'm never there when it happens. And since it's going on with various officers.....I'm pretty sure not all of them are being jerks. This is why I've really not done anything about it. Last night it just really irked me and rubbed me the wrong way.

    Am I stupid? I thought everyone knew what a person carrying a white cane means. I mean at 5 yrs old I knew what it meant. Everyone in the town I grew up in knew what it meant. But then I think back....and Mom had mother henned a teen blind girl when I was little. She was the granddaughter of one of her patients at the nursing home who would come home from blind school to spend the summers with her grandpa there. We enjoyed her company for several years until she grew up and stopped spending summers with her grandpa. And my Mom dated a legally blind man for about a year in my teens. So maybe everyone doesn't know what it means........I'm just assuming they do? But I do remember being taught in driver's ed about white canes.....and the teacher being adamant about it.

    It's sad when a blind person........who is being honked at by a driver peeved off because he just nearly hit the boy, has to shout that he's BLIND at the driver while waving his cane at them. But, at least that has improved. People are catching on. White cane = blind man steer clear. ugh
  8. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    sorry Hound Dog - I thought you had once commented on perhaps Travis coming to Clovernook. It's a school / work area for the blind in North College Hill part of Cincinnati. They teach those who need the skills how to survive in everyday life (that's why we have so many things around here set up for the blind) but they also employ the blind. A friend of ours worked there many years doing transcription from voice to braille.
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    Hound Dog, since there might be some confusion, you can still go down to the police station, and talk to the chief or whoever, and see what's going on. (kinda like dealing with HS) Some officers might be fine, others might be jerks, Travis might not know the difference. But as a concerned parent, you can ask what the officers motivations are for stopping your son, and go on from there depending on responses. Don't make a big deal out of it. All you are looking for is clarification.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Skeeter, yes, now I remember. I knew it sounded familiar. Sorry I'm dealing with fuzzy brain shut down right now. Memory is toast for the most part. Travis wouldn't go for it at the time. Hmmm. Wonder if he would now? Might look into it again. Thanks.

    keista, that's true and not a bad idea.

    Now that I'm not so peeved off......

    Our neighborhood isn't horrible. Actually ours is quite nice. But not far from us is the druggie street. It's where the dealers live and do business. Ok not all of them by a long shot......but a huge amount. In all the years we've lived in this neighborhood we've never had trouble from them. Well.......ok we had 3 breakins within a month....Molly scared the living hades out of them when she she has a nasty rep and they've left us alone since. Dont' bother that house, they have BIG dogs that will EAT you sort of thing. So I forget they're even there now.

    So hmm. Now I'm wondering if maybe they're afraid that the customers of such dealers will give Travis trouble at night. That just occurred to me. That would be a legitimate concern.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    These men? The ones hassling Travis? . IF their legitimate concern was FOR Travis' safety? I think they would have told him that, or offered him a ride and told YOU that. Nothing like that was said. I think - I would have a talk with the Duty Captain. THAT would straighted EVERYTHING out right now.
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    LOL! I LOVE this! I think it's a great answer....

    I also think, in general, that people have trouble understanding disabilities.

    Marlee Matlin tells a story about taking a flight, and she and her interpreter were perusing the first-class menu and discussing their dinner options. As soon as the flight attendant noticed Marlee and the Interpreter signing to one another - the flight attendant ripped the menu from Marlee's hands and replaced it with a special menu - written in Braille. Yes, that ought to help a deaf person!

    Or a Craigslist ad I saw - advertising the sale of a blind horse. The seller thought the horse would be most suitable for a blind rider - as they would undoubtedly form a natural bond based upon their similar disability.

    Or my friend who trains service dogs. It is her job to take the dogs to all sorts of locations and show them how to behave in all sorts of different circumstances. The dog looks like a regular service animal, but wears a vest that says "In Training" - so she gets a lot of double-takes. She says the most common encounter she has, goes like this:

    Person looks intently into her face and says Hey! You're not blind!
    Then they look intently at the dog and ask
    So is the dog blind, then?


    Yes, it's a special program to allow blind dogs to go to grocery stores.

    Just not at night - that would be too dangerous.