[Missouri-l] speaking as MCB or on behalf of MCB for all blind people
dauidr at juno.com
dauidr at juno.com
Fri Feb 10 06:28:35 CST 2012
I wanted to raise a discussion that, yes, is based on the language we use. Do we in our advocacy speak for the good of MCB or for the good of blind people in general.
All we need to do for looking at the mission of our parent organization, ACB, is glance at the front cover of the BRAILLE FORUM. Does that mission statement only include “for the good of ACB” or “pertaining only to MCB?” No. It speaks of the independence and well-being of blind people.
AS we approach the bills we will discuss with Representatives in Jefferson City, March 6, we need to keep this focus in mind. We are not looking out for our own good alone.
People have wondered why certain bils, SB592—which puts a stronger burden of proof on the discriminated-again, the employee instead of the employer or the renter over the apartment or householding leasing office.
Because don’t just speak for MCB, we do want ot stand for the good of all blind people in employment, in housing, in general livelihood, etc. Is the non-Guide dog user going to complain if they have to present an argument for HB1413? I hope not. WE all know the importance of service dogs. We all know that maiming or injuring such animal affects our whole community the perception thereof.
One of the questions that many of the representatives have asked me as I schedule appointments with them is whether I’m coming as a lobbyist or whether I am coming on with representation on behalf of an organization.
If we speak as if arguing for the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of MCB, we appear as lobbyists. When we express ourselves from the point of view that we desire the well-being of all blind/physical disabled people, we come with ACB’s mission in mind.
I know my discussion here may sound like a matter of semantics. It’s not. I know I may appear to be taking a sidebar conversation and making it public. I am not. I’m simply taking lessons learned from conversations and discussions to remind us to speak as whole for blind people as whole, not only for what’s good for our organization. AS one of the other representatives going with me to Washington reminded me, we are just one group who is coming. We are all carrying the same message to our individual represesentatives on behalf of all blind people.
Okay, game on! Maybe, I’m full hot air. Maybe, we can discuss this so we learn from each other as we approach our legislative endeavors.
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