[nfbwatlk] FW: [Blindtlk] Polocies Against The Blind...

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Fri Dec 16 13:15:44 CST 2011

Apparently, at least one of the situations cited by Dr. tenBroek in his "The
Cross of Blindness" speech from 1957 still happens. Read on.

I believe, however, there is one mistake in what the good pastor told the
manager: I don't think any Federal antidiscrimination statute applies unless
a blood donor site is a place of public accommodation, program or service.

Anyone who sees no need for the NFB should ponder the message below.

Mike Freeman

-----Original Message-----
From: blindtlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:blindtlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of James Kelm
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 10:23 AM
To: Blind Talk Mailing List
Subject: [Blindtlk] Polocies Against The Blind...

Dear friends,

    Well an interesting thing happened to my wife and I last Friday, and I
thought that I'd see what you all thought.  It seemed to be a relevant
story, based upon the recent conversations here on this list.

    Wanting to do something good for our fellow human beings, my wife and I
decided that we would donate blood at one of our local blood banks.  We
arrived, filled out the necessary paper work, and waited in the waiting room
to do our duty.

    After a few minutes, a gentleman came out and requested that we follow
him to his office.  I am assuming that this gentleman was some kind of a
manager.  After entering his office, he politely informed us that he had
spoken to his corporate office, and learned that they currently had no
policy in place to assure my safety in the case of an emergency, so
unfortunately they did not allow blind people to donate blood.  He then
turned to my wife, who is sighted but like many middle-aged people, wears
reading glasses.  The gentleman went on to explain that unless my wife went
home to retrieve her reading glasses and thereby demonstrating that she was
not blind, they also would not allow her to donate.  I politely explained
that the corporate office should be aware that their company policy violated
Federal anti-discrimination laws, and they did not have the legal luxury of
determining which laws they were, or were not prepared to follow.  The
gentleman told me that he understood, but that he had to comply with his
corporate office's instructions to not allow the blind to donate blood.

    This situation came as a bit of surprise to me.  Of course most of us
blind folks are use to vague and concealed discrimination, but I was caught
off guard to face such an open and obvious demonstration of one's civil
rights being disregarded.  It was rather shocking to be directly told by a
business, that they did not want the blind!

Your Brother in Christ,
Pastor James Kelm
True Hope Church of Duluth
Web Site: www.thcduluth.org
Office E-mail: office at thcduluth.org
Phone: 218-727-4186

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