THOUGHT PROVOKER is an independent web based discussion forum with the purpose to educate the reader to the human potential for living successfully with blindness and visual impairment. Each Provoker covers a specific issue relating to blindness and visual impairment. Issues presented in THOUGHT PROVOKER are encapsulated in a short-short story with a thesis statement demanding a sharing of thought. Responses are compiled and listed within each THOUGHT PROVOKER and posted here for all the world to read and learn from.
Robert Leslie Newman
I Robert Leslie Newman am the author and moderator of this forum and web site. I created this forum and website in September of 1998 and up to March 2010, I operated it non stop, with the result, it basically took up all my spare time and creative juces. However, during that time, I did come up with several new writing projects and most I had to put on the back shelf, waiting until I --- retired and had more time. Well, I've not retired from work, yet, but have so much wanted to get into new writings and so I have put THOUGHT PROVOKER as an active forum into a state of sespention. I am no longer creating new THOUGHT PROVOKERS and sending them out on a four week cycle. However, I am still accepting responses to any of the TPs found on this page; I will put new responses up.
Note: I wrote most of the THOUGHT PROVOKER stories presented upon this page, however some are by guest authors. In regard to writing a response, it can be written to the PROVOKER itself or to the responses of others. Think about it, if you feel that any response is not complete or does not fully convey the right philosophy, write in and give your feelings, provoke thought. There again if you do choose to respond on the comments of another, take issue with the content and not the person.
In regard to a definition of blindness, visual impairment, I am taking the broad view that it is any vision loss which is seriously effecting an individual in their activities of life, be it functional, emotional, social, economical, political, etc. I do insert commentary after some responses, however know that I do not edit any response that I receive other than run them through a spell checker and that's not perfect.
For now it is optional to have your name placed with your response. Though I encourage you to stand up and be counted, I am aware that some of us will speak more freely if we can speak anonymously. In addition, due to the world wide exposure and readership of THOUGHT PROVOKER and to under-score cross cultural learning potential, it would be great if when you respond you add in your city, state, Province and country. Finally, if you want your e-mail address to go out to others, include it in your response.
Feel free to contact me, Robert Leslie Newman with questions or comments concerning THOUGHT PROVOKER or any other material presented in this web site. And, as mentioned elsewhere, feel free to copy and use any of the material found on this web site, though if you do, please do give credit back to its origin.
Lastly, if you feel this forum would be of value to another, pass the address on.
- 154. WHITE CANES AND WINDMILLS- It is the first day for Danny to use his white cane at school and he has to fight his inner-devils and win before he can do it.
- 153. MY SISTER'S KEEPER- Where do you draw the line on the responsibility for fighting your own battles?
- 152. THE CURSED- What, Why and How are we viewed by religious groups.
- 151. THE BRAILLE PRINCESS- What is the importance of learning to read as early as a child can?
- 150 . VIRTUAL BLINDNESS, TRAINING THE TRAINERS- Exploring the value of requiring a sighted professional in the field of blindness to experience learning to function non-visually.
- 149. FRAMING BLINDNESS- Framing blindness is in how you phrase what it is that you are saying about blindness.
- 148. REALITY CHECK- What is the tolerance limit for seeing disabled people on television or in the movies?
- 147. DON'T LOOK- An over protective mother gets good advice.
- 146. BLINDNESS MAKES YOUR OTHER SENSES STRONGER-
Will blindness cause your other senses to sharpen and get stronger?
- 145. LOOKING BLIND- Do you look blind and if so, is that good or bad?
- 144. BLINDNESS WITH OTHER CONDITIONS- When blindness comes and if there are other physical or emotional conditions present, you must be up-front with and deal with them all.
- 143. THE VIRTUAL BLINDNESS CHALLENGE, THE REALITY SHOW- What if we create a reality show based upon challenging fully sighted individuals to compete on how well they learn to use blindness skills.
- 142. LITERACY NIGHTMARE- Parents react when the most efficient method of reading and writing is taken away from their children.
- 141. A NEW ERA COMING- there have been four identifiable eras for how the blind have been treated: Extermination, Persecution, Institutionalization, and Normalization. Is a new era coming?
- 140. Magoo'd- when blindness is portrayed in the mass media, does it have an effect upon how blindness is viewed by society, and to what extent does it influence, guide how we are treated?
- 139. IS THERE REDEMPTION FOR A BLIND CHICKEN- Adjusting to blindness can make it difficult to accept some of the unavoidable changes and even make us timid.
- 138. IN A CROWDED PLACE- How do we handle ourselves in a loud and crowded place; communicate, locate friends, etc?
- 137. FOLLOW THE LEADER- A high school student gets some bad advice from her school career counselor.
- 136. THE BLIND KITE RUNNER OF TURKEY- A teacher of the blind in Turkey tells a story of one of her students successes.
- 135. YOU WILL FALL- Should you use your cane or dog guide around home?
- 134. MOVING FOR A CAREER MOVE- A job seeker faces the realization he must move to further his career.
- 133. WHAT IS FACIAL VISION- A blind traveler explains what facial vision is to a sighted person.
- 132. STAGES IN ADJUSTING TO BLINDNESS- A counselor feels a newly blinded man is holding back his emotions.
- 131. WHITE CANES AND AMERICAN IDOL- A blind contestant on American Idol uses his long white cane while performing and receives the judgment that he should "lose the cane."
- 130. TO BRAILLE WITH LOVE- Parents of a blind child face the decision as parents, if they should learn Braille in order to support its importance in their child's life.
- 129. BLINDNESS FOR DUMMIES- A very Competent blind woman and her sighted daughter speculate on a need for a "how to do " book for the sighted public.
- 128. THE BELLS TOLL FOR WHOM- It is holiday time and a blind man struggles with helping with the solicitation for money.
- 127. IMPROVING READING BRAILLE- A Braille reader wants to learn to read faster; the teacher will find him suggestions by more experienced Braille readers.
- 126. ON STAGE- A THOUGHT PROVOKER specifically written to be used by Blind Corps staff (http://blindcorps.org) during their training seminar to rehabilitation professionals and blind citizens of Turkey.
- 125. THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME- Is it possible that going blind can be the best thing that has ever happened to a person?
- 124. BLINDNESS OR TREASON- A blinded terrorist is taught blindness skills and escapes.
- 123. EYE ROBOT- Are the blind ready for an artificial eye?
- 122. DEAR BLIND JOHN- What can happen when blindness comes into a marriage?
- 121. LITTLE HELPERS- A blind adult is out with her sighted child and they have to deal with the public's notions of who is helping who.
- 120. WHERE THE BLIND WORK- A blind guy is ready to go back to work, but needs to figure out where.
- 119. SHOVELING SNOW BLIND- In the carrying out of some activities in life, there are some perceptions and realities about a blind person's ability to participate which need to be examined.
- 118. THE MENTOR- An elementary age girl, a high school girl and an elderly woman are involved in mentoring.
- 117. WHY MY TYPE OF CANE- Blind people tell why they use the type of cane that they do.
- 116. HOLIDAY COLORS- A very young blind girl begins learning her colors.
- 115. WHY DARK GLASSES- What are the reasons for why a blind person will wear dark glasses?
- 114. WHERE DID MY FRIENDS GO- Friends also have to make an adjustment to our blindness and this PROVOKER looks for solutions to helping them.
- 113. SPEAKER HAS A QUESTION- Does environment influence the adjustment of a newly blinded person?
- 112. CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE- A job offer is made and there isn't transportation to get to the job site.
- 111. YOU DO IT YOUR WAY- A Vocational Rehabilitation counselor meets up with a newly blind person who self-medicates with drugs.
- 110. PAY ATTENTION- Two blind travelers, one with a cane and one with a dog, have a potentially dangerous encounter.
- 109. BLIND DRIVERS- A legally blind driver has a problem; a discussion on the blind driving.
- 108. TIGER OR THE LADY- A dog guide user is faced with a hard choice.
- 107. MORE THAN ONE WAY- An older woman learns to identify her currency; methods for preventing being cheated are also shown.
- 106. IT'S NOT THE SAME- A blind guy with other disabilities feels that a person who is just blind does not understand the effect of blindness upon people like him.
- 105. FROM A DIFFERENT CULTURE- A group of visually impaired high school'ers have a discussion on why a new girl from a different culture does not appear to be joining them.
- 104. YOU DON'T NEED THAT- A partially sighted/blind woman who is learning to use a long white cane, makes a doctors visit and is told she doesn't need it.
- 103. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU ARE BLIND- A story of encouraging a young blind child to disclose her blindness to new friends.
- 102. ASSISTANCE OR NOT- A blind traveler needs to decide what type of assistance is okay to expect and/or to accept.
- 101. CAN YOU STILL SEE- A blind veteran is tempted to go back into the war zone.
- 100. WHEN I HAVE CHILDREN- A parents extreme measures to protect their daughter from having blind children.
- 99. BLINDNESS AND PREJUDGING- We look Fat that old stereo type of the blind not being people who will prejudge another individual.
- 98. NOT PRETTY ANY MORE- A teen loses her sight, makes a great adjustment, but isn't quite finished with all the changes which come with change.
- 97. THOUGHT PROVOKER SURVEY- A survey I put out to TP members, 15 listservs and here on the WWW. I asked: Who reads THOUGHT PROVOKER? What do people do with it? What has it, if anything done for you?
- 96. MORE TO LIFE THAN A PICTURE- What does a blind person get out of traveling, of sightseeing?
- 95. ALL IN A DAYS WORK- A blind guy provides a learning situation and perpetrates a crime.
- 94. REHABILITATION SERVICES AGAIN OR NOT- a blind person who is successful in employment, is confident in himself and is planning to change careers, questions if he needs to go back through rehabilitation services.
- 93. A 3 WAY PERSPECTIVE- A blind boy meets a new friend, the mother says he is imagining things, the father thinks otherwise.
- 92. BLINDNESS, GOD AND HEALING- When religious belief is presented as a cure, a healing for blindness; what to think or do?
- 91. FACING THE NEW WORLD- A group of colonist who are about to arrive at a new world are found to be blind, the question is how to train them?
- 90. PROUD BLINDNESS AND RACE- Are there similarities in how a culture treats a blind person, to how a person from a minority racial group is treated?
- 89. WORKSHOPS AND THE BLIND- The blind community is notified that a workshop hiring the blind is coming to town.
- 88. SOMETIMES BLINDNESS SUCKS- A blind guy goes through a day and shows where blindness, sometimes causes frustrations.
- 87. I CAN'T WORK- A person with recent vision loss seeks out a blind person with a cane; what is his story?
- 86. WE AS ROLE MODELS- The question is, are all blind persons good role models?
- 85. BE ALL YOU CAN BE- One partially sighted teen struggles with learning blindness skills and another one doesn't.
- 84. BLINDNESS AN ASSET- A competent blind person goes to a job interview an is asked if blindness can be an asset.
- 83. LOVE, BLIND SIGHTED- Examines how the sighted public views a sighted person being married to a blind person.
- 82. I'M BACK, MR. WILSON- A blind youngster learns blindness skills, returns home with regained independence and he and his neighbors need to make further adjustments.
- 81. PRINCIPLE OF THE THING-
A blind man's principles are sorely challenged.
- 80. SELF FULFILLING PROPHESY- Parents and teachers, when raising a blind child, watch out for what you ask of the child.
- 79. RESTRICTIONS OR FREEDOM- A man feeling restricted by vision loss realizes blindness doesn't have to rob you of freedom.
- 78. BLIND SAVIOR- Presents the possibility that somewhere in this universe, there may be a blind person who is responsible for his world having given up violence.
- 77. CHANGING WHO I AM- A teenager is faced with changing how she feels about her sight and her blindness.
- 76. GOT TO BE MORE BLIND- As a person experiences severe vision loss, at what point are they ready to accept alternatives?
- 75. FOUR TYPES OF BLIND JOB SEEKERS- Are blind job seekers different than other job seekers?
- 74. ADOPTION AND BLINDNESS- How are the blind being judged and treated when they ask to adopt a child?
- 73. BLINDNESS AND RUDENESS- So you have all your blindness skills and you are confident, then what part does your behavior play in your success in life?
- 72. ELEMENTS OF SUCCESS- If the emotional adjustment is there, good blindness skills too and also tolerance to how the sighted public may treat you, what else is needed to be successful
- 71. THE ROAD BEST TRAVELED- Two friends discuss the blind working in the blindness field versus in the general work place.
- 70. I CAN SEE BETTER THAN YOU- A young blind boy is faced with handling other children that can see better and are not allowing him to do all he can.
- 69. BLINDNESS AND CARRYING- Should a blind person be allowed to carry a concealed weapon?
- 68. TO OUR MOTHER-- A family is faced with the welfare of their aging mother who is experiencing significant vision loss.
- 67. BECAUSE I LOVE HER- A family is investigated for possible child abuse of a blind child; what are the limits to be placed upon the activities of a blind child?
- 66. CALL ME BLIND- Should all persons with vision loss be called blind?
- 65. BLINDNESS AND LIFE STYLE- A blind person chooses not to work.
- 64. THEY ARE STARING- Why do people stare and how to cope with it?
- 63. TO MY BABY- What parents might say, feel and do when they first hold their blind child.
- 62. ADJUSTMENT TO BLINDNESS- Can you still have emotional ups and downs and be well adjusted to blindness?
- 61. RIGHTS OF PASSAGE- When is it right to stand up and fight for your rights as a blind person?
- 60. BLINDNESS AND GENDER- Is blindness easier or harder for the female or male of your culture?
- 59. DOGGY TREATS- What does a dog guide user say when the public misunderstands the use of the dog?
- 58. CONFIDENCE AND BLINDNESS- After rehabilitation, do you get your confidence back immediately?
- 57. BLIND AND IN A WAR ZONE- What adjustments must be made if and when you live in a war zone?
- 56. OLDER AND BLIND- What kind of an adjustment can an older person make to blindness?
- 55. DIVERSITY BLINDNESS JUDGMENT- What about this stereo type?
- 54. CAREERS AND DREAMS- How should dreams and blindness work together toward a career?
- 53. NOW YOU SEE IT; NOW YOU DON'T, BLUES- How do you help others to understand what you can see and what you can't?
- 52. TRAFFIC SIGNALS AND TRUNCATED DOMES- What are the pros and cons for having them?
- 51. NANCY'S SECRET- Should we teach our blind youth to hide their blindness when they can?
- 50. GOING BLIND FAST OR SLOW- What differences are there in going blind fast or slow?
- 49. HAVE TO BE BETTER- Does a blind worker have to be better than his/her sighted co-worker to be accepted?
- 48. SIGHTED SPOUSE BLIND SPOUSE- What are the concerns in this type of relationship, skills needed, level of support required, etc.
- 47. DATING AND BLINDNESS- A discussion of dating issues for the blind.
- 46. BLIND KID AND SIGHTED KID- What can a blind kid do to gain acceptance and develop relationships?
- 45. BLINDNESS AND EAGLES- the question is, how is blindness and risk-taking effect one another?
- 44. DISCLOSURE EMPLOYMENT AND BLINDNESS- When and how is it best to disclose your blindness during the job seeking process?
- 43. REHABILITATION TRAINING, CENTER OR HOME- What are the differences between receiving rehabilitation training in a center program versus at home?
- 42. BLIND OR SIGHTED COUNSELOR- Who might be the better counselor for the blind, a blind or sighted counselor?
- 41. WHAT MY COUNSELOR SAID- When and why and how blunt can a counselor be to his client?
- 40. TAKING OUT THE GARBAGE AND MORE- A mother demonstrates her expectations of her blind child.
- 39. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE- We look at the interplay between a blind youngster and this family.
- 38. WHAT WOULD IT TAKE- What would it take to make you change; help with attitude and alternatives to blindness?
- 37. BLIND SANTA AND HATE- An extreme reaction to blindness, but could it happen? How? Why?
- 36. GROUP OR GROUPS- What are the positives and negatives of having more than one group representing the blind community?
- 35. TERMS, WHAT TO CALL US- Respectfully, philosophically, politically what terminology do we want to be referred to by and why?
- 34. TIN OR GOLD- does expectations influence outcome?
- 33. THE ORGANIZED BLIND- Why do some blind folks join an organization and some do not?
- 32. WHAT IS IN A COMPLIMENT- When can a well meaning compliment mean something different?
- 31. BLIND CULTURE- Do the blind have a unique culture and if so how is it significant?
- 30. PUBLIC AND RESIDENTIAL- What are differences in these two educational programs for the blind?
- 29. BUT FOR THE GRACE- A different take on, "But for the grace of God, there go I."
- 28. A BEAUTIFUL VIEW- What is the value in a beautiful view?
- 27. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EQUALS- What does it require to achieve equal opportunity?
- 26. BLIND LEADER- Are there leaders in your culture who are blind?
- 25. THE BLIND SHALL SEE- What are the implications of restoring sight to the blind?
- 24. WHAT SHALL THE BABIES BE- When genetics are involved, what concerns must be considered before having children?
- 23. GUESS WHO'S COMING TO VISIT- When a blind person dates or marries a sighted person, does blindness effect the family?
- 22. THE STORY STORIES TELL- What influence does the mass media have upon attitudes concerning people with vision loss?
- 21. WITH THE FLOW- When and how does that defining moment come in adjustment to vision loss which tells you it is going to be okay?
- 20. CANES AND DOGS- Why does a blind person choose one mode of travel over another?
- 19. WHEN DOUBT COMES- What do you do when you are feeling a lack of self-confidence?
- 18. WHAT DID I SAY- When some one doubts your ability what do you say?
- 17. SLEEP SHADES AND BLINDNESS- Is blind-folding a student of a long White Cane a useful tactic to enhance the learning process?
- 16. THEY DON'T SHOOT BLIND PEOPLE DO THEY- Are the blind and visually impaired any more or less safe from violent crime?
- 15. BLINDNESS AND MILITARY SERVICE- Should the disabled be allowed to join and even be drafted into a countries military service?
- 14. WHAT'S HELP-
When is it too much or not enough help?
- 13. LET'S TELL THE EVALUATORS- What does it take to make testing for us; how about norming?
- 12. DEAF OR BLIND- Which would you rather be and why?
- 11. BLINDNESS CONGENITAL VERSES ADVENTITIOUS- What are the similarities and differences for these two types of blind persons?
- 10. WHEN I REALIZED- What does a person think when vision loss, blindness comes into his or her life?
- 09. BLINDNESS AND SHOOTERS- A killing, right or wrong, how does blindness figure into the aftermath?
- 08. LITERACY BRAILLE PRINT- When is Braille and/or print to be recommended?
- 07. TO BE OR NOT TO BE- Who needs a cane and can a blind person teach travel?
- 06. BLINDNESS AND BABIES- How can we effect positive upbringing to a blind youngster?
- 05. BLINDNESS BEAUTY AND THE BEAST- Does blindness effect relationships?
- 04. BLINDNESS AND PINE NEEDLES- How does blindness relate to an old American Indian saying?
- 03. BLINDNESS AND HOT RODS- How Does blindness effect us across the age groups?
- 02. OFF TO WORK WE GO- Does blindness effect employment?
- 01. BLINDNESS AND SHARKS- Does blindness restrict our lives?
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