Can't Get There From Here

THOUGHT PROVOKER 112

Can't Get There From Here

     "I am pleased to meet you, your department is very impressive and if I am chosen, I would be thrilled to work here." Said Rebecca, shifting her long white cane into her left hand in order to properly greet the marketing department manager. Though nervous, she was flying high with excitement, this was a second interview for her first professional job. She knew she was on display, being judge, compared to two other candidates under consideration.

     “I understand that we would need to make an accommodation in respect to our computer system with a special type of software.” Said the manager.

     “Yes, it is for screen enlargement.” Rebecca explained, knowing that though during her discussions of her educational and prior marketing experiences with the initial interviewing team she had made a point to bring up her blindness and the alternatives she would use, giving examples to highlight how she had successfully carried out her job duties, but she knew it would be this gentleman she ultimately needed to help understand that she a blind person could fulfill the requirements of the position he needed to fill. “what I try to get others to understand about my blindness is that I’m essentially extremely near sighted. So for me to comfortably use the computer I need enlargement of what appears upon the screen.” Bringing her cane around drawing his attention to it, she said, “Then in traveling about in unknown territory I use this travel tool to assure myself that I’ll not trip on things in my path.” Giving a short laugh, “Before I accepted the use of the cane I could tell you what my shoes looked like, but not much else.” She had weighed the decision to bring the cane or even mention it during that first interview, but had decided to lay it all out there; later, at some point she knew she’d have to use it in their presents. One weird and scary little fear she had had, was in finishing her interview, turning, she’d stumble over a low object that she had forgotten was in her path. She recalled the long and painful struggle she had before finally accepting the cane and that now she took it everywhere; not taking it was a gamble she wasn’t going to accept any more. “And for reading hard copy, I would use an magnification device called a Close Circuit Television or in some cases, what would work is just print out my copy in 18 font.”

     “I’m sure that enlargement of our occasional in -house memos would not pose any difficulty.” Said the department manager.

     Two days later, Rebecca received a call from the marketing department manager himself. "Rebecca, I have Good and bad news.” He said, his tone conveying a note of promise that made Rebecca take in and hold her breath. “For the position within our main office, we have offered it to another applicant. I am sorry to have to inform you of that. However we were so impressed with you we took a good hard look at how we plan to expand our business and have decided to push ahead with one of our future needs and are creating a similar position within our New Town office and would like to extend that offer to you; same responsibilities and salary. Would you be interested?”

     Letting out her breath, Rebecca’s heart leaped, then dropped. She knew she needed to give this gentleman an answer, but…her initial research of the company had revealed the addresses of all their offices and she knew the location of the one he was referring to and there was no public transportation out to it. She also knew about the housing scarcity in that new area of town and its lack of sidewalks. A cab from her present home would be prohibitive and at the start of her serious job search, she had networked with her family and friends for car pool options and knew that for right now their wasn’t any one going that direction. It was the job she wanted, a company she respected and she wasn’t going to be able to get there from here.


RESPONSES

e-mail responses to newmanrl@cox.net

**1. This is a hard one. It sounds like everyone did everything right here, but this might not work, even though Rebecca is obviously very interested, is probably quite qualified, has done her homework, is honest about her blindness, and the manager obviously likes her. Why might it not work?
Because of this nasty little issue of transportation, which all of us who are blind struggle with. I myself am in a prolonged employment search and have faced it in another way, that is, that so many counseling jobs here seem to require a valid driver's license and the powers that be don't seem to think taking the bus to visit clients is feasible here.

Okay, enough griping. How might Rebecca solve this problem? Is she on Social Security Disability Insurance, or Supplemental Security Income, in which case she might be able to hire a driver and pay that person as a Blind Work Expense, or an IRWE, Impairment Related Work Expense, thus allowing her to possibly keep part or all of her benefits and still work and get her salary, thus making the cost of such an expense less prohibitive? Now, this next idea seems less likely, and she might think twice before even considering it, but let's look at this from a logical point of view. The employer has told her that even though Rebecca's job, should she take it, would be in the new town office, the responsibilities and salary would be the same as the position she was not offered in the main office, the one offered to the other applicant. Why not have the other applicant, assuming this other person can drive, work in the town office and have Rebecca work in the main office, which is more accessible? Why couldn't the employer do that? But again, if I were in Rebecca's situation, I would be extremely hesitant about asking for that, especially since she is already asking for an accommodation regarding computer software.

Other than these two ideas, I am not sure what else is to be done. It seems to me that this is an example of why blindness is not simply a nuisance, there truly are issues such as transportation, related to the blindness, that make it difficult for some blind people to find suitable employment.
And, this is one of the reasons, among others, that the unemployment rate among qualified, working-age blind people, has remained so appallingly high, in spite of all the technology that has become available in the last few decades, and in spite of well-intentioned laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. There are other reasons, reasons having to do with self-esteem, which can be related to not having worked for a long time and having had negative employment experiences making one uncertain whether he/she can really compete in the sighted world. And, in fact, in spite of the laws, there is still discrimination, which is very hard to prove.
Frankly, I could write a book about why we have such a high unemployment rate, but I think I will spare our readers. But what Rebecca is experiencing is a prime example of why, even though she did everything right, and even though the employer liked her, her blindness got in the way of her working for this company.

What would I do if I were in her shoes? I really don't know. I would like to think that I would accept the offer and work like the devil to find a solution, even if it meant dealing with the scarce housing availability in this area, but I am really not sure. Sometimes, one must be practical, and it would seem that in this case, the practical thing, disappointing as it would be, would be to say thanks but no thanks, but try to explain why this would not work, so the interested employer would have an idea of the practical reasons she couldn't take this offer. Who knows, maybe this employer would be willing to work with her, but I wouldn't count on it.

Mark Tardif 216-621-1854

**2. I find this thought provoker so timely, as I'm in the process of find a new job.
Though not as comfortable as Rebecca with my cane (totally blind at that) I do think that it is an important process to lay it out plain what challenges could be expected and how to cope with them.
Earlier this year, my present office was moved to a location further from my home. I used to take taxis home most evenings and a friend gave me rides to work.
With the new location, the friend still drives me to work, but the taxi fare
is prohibitive. A family member gives me rides most days, but alas I now
leave work 2 hours later than I used and I'm often the last to leave and am always the first there.
However, its always been my belief that my blindness is my challenge and must not be anybody's burden. Thus, if I were in Rebecca's shoes, I think I'd ask the manager if I could think about it for a day or two. If that didn't work, I'd agree to take the job and explore my options more fully.
If the worst happened and I couldn't take it on, there would be little harm done as there were two persons being considered for the position and they'd still have another candidate to select.

Problems are often not as insurmountable as they may seem and you may be pleasantly surprised at the solutions that can come up.

Kerry

**3. Well, I wish I had a dime for every time something like this has happened.
The funny thing is - the longer I hang around people, the more I realize this happens to sighted people a lot more than we might imagine.
But, to Rebecca's plight - What she says or does, at least for quite a long time, will be attributed to blindness; job search let-downs, transportation glitches, unfamiliarity with locations - it doesn't matter if sighted people go through the same things; if you're blind you kind of just have to smile and realize people will attribute all to blindness issues. (I know I’ve made a generalization here, but assume it's read with the intended caveats in mind).

It's time for her to hire a driver; she could start with asking for volunteers from clubs, committees, religious organizations, interest groups with which she's familiar. But if a driver or reader or any kind of assistant isn't paid, pretty soon they'll begin treating the work like it's the freebie it is.
(I, too, read the article in, I think it was "The Forum" about getting volunteer readers and drivers, and though it can work, I disagree that blind people should count on it, especially where our own work is concerned).

It's unclear from this story why a para-transit system wouldn't work, but it might likewise be worth her while to get with the local transit people and see what can be worked out. She could also lease a car of her own and there's little I know of preventing her owning a car. I happen to be the person who's name is on the registration for ownership of our family vehicle. My husband drives but I bought the thing while he was traveling - (his knowledge of course, should anyone think I just go making big purchases while the guy is away).
Anyway, I love how blind people are continuously challenged with finding creative solutions. I definitely am one to get annoyed about it, but at the same time realize that it keeps me from getting complacent.
Recently I had to work out how to use public transit here, as para- wouldn't go to my end of the island when I wanted to go.
Well, no solution is perfect and she'll probably have rainy days when it all falls through, but she should confer with people, especially others in similar situations.

best,
kat Guam

**4. Well, unfortunately for Rebecca, this one is simple. If there's no transportation, there's no job. She has two options, and neither is attractive. 1) Turn down the job, either specifying the reason, or not. 2) Tell the Marketing Director that she would like to work for the company, explain the transportation dilemma and ask if he would consider giving her the HQ job and the other person the new office location. I would consider that one to be a long shot, but it sounds like she would have little to lose at this stage. The problem with taxis and family member carpools, etc. is that they're all much less reliable methods for transport than is public transit. Even paratransit is typically about as reliable as a taxi, and it costs less. But in this neighborhood, there's neither transit nor paratransit, so Rebecca is in quite a tight spot. But how many times have any and all of us who have lived past our twentieth birthday had to turn down a job, or a cheaper or nicer home, or a night with friends, or any other number of things for the same reason--you can't get there from here?
It's as much a part of blindness as is Braille, text to speech software, the long white cane or the dog guide.

Ron Brooks Phoenix, AZ
ACB-L listserv

**5. This is a typical case which is happening more often than not, had Rebecca not thought of contacting Access to Work or any kind of scheme which her government
had in place.
It seems all too familiar, a small company can't deliver due to the high costs or they think costs will be higher if someone with a disability was employed
by that organization.
The company needs a lot of reassurance and Rebecca needed to contact her job broker.
I know all about this as I am in a similar situation although haven't been for an interview for two years now so that tells you that there seems to be a
lot of companies who can't seem to be able to comprehend how a blind or partially sighted person could be useful to their organization, it seems that things
aren't on our side.

kind regards
from
Jane Sellers

**6. New THOUGHT PROVOKER 112- Can't Get There From Here
Transportation options, or lack of them, can be very frustrating. However, in Rebecca's case it sounds like this is her dream job and the company wants
her on their team. A better match would be hard to find! Rebecca could explain her situation to the manager to find out if anyone would be willing to
carpool, with the understanding that she would pay her fair share.

Jan L. Brandt NCBVI Program Specialist

**7. I think that she needs to look in to hiring a driver since her options regarding transportation are limited. Maybe if she hires a driver she will be able to get to her knew job. I also think that she should looked in to that possibility of transportation when she was performing her job search.

Rania ismail NABS NFB listserv

**8. During the interview process the job seeker should talk about transportation and options available. The job seeker should have to negotiate with the manager about the complexity of travel and ask if there are carpool options available.
I work in one building but have meetings in other buildings. I find out if anyone from our building is going to the meeting and get a ride with them. If I know that someone is coming from another location, I call them and ask if they can pick me up.
I would ask if I could have job at the location where I can get to and send the other applicant to the other location.

Yasmin Reyazuddin
Information & Referral unit
Department of Health & human services
401 Hungerford Drive (1st floor)
Rockville MD 20850

**9. Another option, though it's a long shot, is a company van pool. If there are people who live in the same neighborhood as our protagonist who will be going to the new office, she could join, and instead of taking her turn driving, pay more for the gas.

Abby Vincent ACB-L listserv

**10. Good Afternoon Mr. Newman

It does take a long time to get use to using a cane and not to be afraid to use it.

It is also a nervous situation to be in a job interview situation when you are trying to educate the sighted interviewer in front of you that you are capable to do the job with some adaptive equipment to make you equal with the sighted co-workers.

What I think she should do is ask the marketing manager if she could do a lot of the company's work out of her home and just have to go to the new town office when she really has to do important work for the company.

She should still look into para transit to see if they have special employment runs to her new place of employment. And she also should keep looking into a ride share plan in her community to help with her transportation issues.

Cordially yours

Bobby Burke ACB-L listserv

**11. In my humble opinion, Rebecca's response to the "good news-bad news" phone call should have been, "Sorry, Mr. HR Person, but I cannot accept that position. Because of the transportation problems in getting to that office, my dependability would be seriously affected, and it would not be fair to you or to me."

She is apparently a well educated, attractive prospect for this company or any other, and the problem she faces about transportation is no greater than that which a sighted person just starting out in the job market would face.
Once she explained this to the HR person, it is quite probable that he would have made concessions if he wanted her bad enough, or if not, his true colors would come through and tell her that she probably did not want to work there anyway. She is applying for a marketing position, so get to marketing! Sell herself!

James Theall Longmont, Colorado

**12. Rebecca should take the position. Her new employer seems to feel confident in her abilities and willing to accommodate her needs. Rebecca appears to have
family and friends who are able to assist her with transportation.

Since this is a newly created position, it is likely that it will be some time before Rebecca will begin work. There should be opportunities to find nearby
housing and secure permanent transportation. Once on the job, it is likely that she will find a colleague who is willing to share a ride. Being unable
to drive is a major inconvenience, but it is much easier to find a ride than find a job.

Greg

**13. It was the job she wanted, a company she respected and she wasn't going
It still might be worth it to take the job so she had some experience to take to the next job. And sometimes transportation issues can be worked out in office, as others might appreciate the opportunity to car pool.

Lori Stayer Merrick, New York USA

**14. This TP sounds like my life. I had the exact same trouble finding graduate school internships. Most were too far away, others not interested in me. I eventually
found one but I feel I had to accept it out of desperation as a last resort. Also, Rebecca says she took a chance on disclosing her visual loss straight
off, which is a very nerve-wracking thing to do. I, too, present myself in a similar manner, inviting conversation about how I live and cope, etc. I hope
that when I'm ready to go to work, I can find a job fairly easily but I'm not sure it will happen. As it is, I'm taking longer to complete that internship
because of travel limitations. But this is my reality and I accept the consequences and find other ways to work through or around it.
Regards,

Ann Chiappetta, M.S.
Family Therapist

**15. Initially, it might seem as though Rebecca "can't get there from here".
But, the company wants to hire her and she wants the job. So, I think she could resolve the issue by hiring a driver to take her, initially, to the location which isn't accessible by public transportation. After she's there, she may find co-workers who live in her area and would be willing to carpool.

If she turns the job down, saying she can't get there, it may make the employer less willing to try to hire a blind person in the future. So, although it might not be what she initially wanted, as far as location, I think she could make it work. After she's in the company, she may have an opportunity to transfer to another location which is easier to get to on public transportation.

Cindy Handel Willow Street, PA

**16. I would probably network with coworkers once I accepted the job. I would explain to the company that their office is way on the other side of the universe, and I'll have to barter my way to work till I can figure out something permanent.

Ben J. Bloomgren

**17. This one is good. There are no easy answers.

The possibility exists that Rebecca could take the door-to-door transit, provided the new site was with in three-quarter miles of the nearest fixed-route stop. I believe the ADA states that Door-To-Door can travel as far out as a mile and a half from the nearest stop. Our transit authority chose the three-quarter mile distance for service door to door.

Years ago my husband and I had a similar experience, except in buying a house. We had found the perfect home, perfect price for us; was also close to the main bus lines where we needed to go to get to work.

Our mistake was asking the realtor to describe the stop light situation at our main intersection, rather than walking it ourselves right then. Our realtor assured us that it was a well-lighted intersection. However, when we did get a chance to walk it through with her, we found we were at an offset corner with double sets of lights. The "off-set was a jog--about a half block in length with a convenience store and parking lot on the other side. In short when listening to traffic, that traveling straight in front of us could either be exactly that, or the traffic which would be the parallel traffic, but making that half block jog in front of us, turning cars, or cars exiting the lot. How would we know? The lights were two far apart, and the offset to wide, for us to hear oncoming traffic a half block away.

Needless to say, I was horrified. I couldn't believe we couldn't find a work-around--but we couldn't. We had to back out of the deal the night before closing.

Ever since then, three houses ago, we have ALWAYS walked through the surrounding neighborhood before buying.

Judy Jones

**18. This one was pretty good! The only way to solve this is to weigh the facts, and not judge on outward appearances. You have to test it from two hypothetical angles.

1) IF the marketing manager is really serious about being "impressed" with Rebecca, and IF he is offering her a "similar position" with the "same responsibilities
and salary," then why should he put her in another location? Whoever this "other" person is, he should be accommodating, and go to that remote office,
and let Rebecca have the one nearby.

Mind you, I said "IF." I can't help but think that the marketing manager knows exactly what he's doing. It could be that he KNOWS the transportation
issue, and has deliberately set things up this way, to discourage Rebecca from trying to work there. Again, "Social Darwinism" and "survival of the fittest,"
rear their ugly heads!

2) BUT! What if the marketing director IS telling the truth, and really DOES want Rebecca to work for him? Now the ball is in her court, and Rebecca
should test him. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. So how does she do this? She should tell the
marketing director about the transportation issue, and ask politely if she could switch places with the other person. (Even better, if she can switch,
maybe she can be in a car pool with that other person!)
Rebecca must be HONEST with the marketing director, and she must be HUMBLE. Her current dilemma is very similar to her earlier one, when she "accepted"
the cane. She must come right out and admit, "I'm legally blind, and I need public transit, but I can't get it past a certain point. Would you please be
willing to accommodate me by letting me switch places?" If she does this, she might be surprised by the result.

David Lafleche

**19. I generally don't respond very much to the "Thought provoker" e-mail, but I've found a possible solution. I'd tell this employer that I would look into taking the job. Then I'd start calling area agencies that provide vocational services to people with mental health conditions and some developmental disabilities that are able to drive.

These employees tend to work with case management staff and also usually vocational rehabilitation. They're pre-screened, but I'd request that the applicant provide a background check from the county courthouse or state bureau of criminal investigation.

I've used a mental health client as a personal driver for the past four years. I pay him $10 per hour plus $.30 per mile and reasonable gas expenses. He also receives Medicaid and Food Stamps and lives in Section 8 Housing and I complete the paperwork for him to keep his benefits.

Chris

**20. Bonnie and I talked about this little story, and what we would do is simply to take the job and then research other options about getting to it. She could put ads in local papers and check with others who may work in that area and live near her that would be willing to give her rides.

Sincerely,
Nancy J. Lynn

**21. Hmmm,
Perhaps there is some kind of listserve on the internet for her community, and she could post to that and see if anyone is driving in the same direction as she is. I have had great success with things by asking my neighborhood listserve.

Olivia NORMAN NABS ACB listserv

**22. As you said she laid it all out at the interview and gained his respect Now she should continue in the same fashion tell him she's interested, she can't get there from here as there is no transportation. She had a good interview with the manager, if he really wants to hire her he will find away. Other wise she should look for another job

Diane Dobson Victoria Canada

**23. hmm, Maybe she could hire a driver by posting adds in the paper or checking into volunteer organizations?

Anjelina& my doxie Fritzie NABS-L ACB listserv

**24. First department can see that she is blind or near blind. She should only answer questions that department manager want answer.

She should take the job and explain the transportation problem to department manager. There is always a way of getting to work and back. She probably have to do allot of leg work to find a ride everyday but there are out there.
There are other error she made in the interview made in the interview. I have done job interview of people there are certain things you do as a interview.

Dexter Terry Blind-X

**25. Ottawa Canada

Rebecca has a definite problem. A job offer in a place with no public transit to it and no hope of a car pool ride from her present home.

Her options are to either pack up and move closer to the job so she can afford to take a cab to and from work, and probably everywhere else she wants to go, or see if she can land a car pool ride with another employee at the firm, or say thanks, but she declines their offer due to lack of transportation.

I grew up in a subdivision with no sidewalks and survived, somehow.

It can be done, but is easier with a guide dog than a cane.

Since Rebecca can read 18 point print she may have enough guiding vision she can tell when she is at the right place to cross her street to get to her house.

Then again, her distance vision may be worse than her reading vision.

She has some tough decisions to make and probably very quickly as landlords generally want sixty clear days (not including the day you tell them) of lease termination and there is the mover to hire and pack up everything.

Brian Lingard ACB-L listserv

**26. Ottawa Canada

In some of the suburbs of Toronto, where there is no public transit, various firms arrange for private transit, run by the employer for just its own employees.

They usually job out the transportation to a bus contractor that is licensed to provide charter buses.

The charter bus meets the employees at the end of the line for the public transit and takes them to their firm's front door.

As soon as decent public transit is established in the neighborhood, the firms discontinue their charter bus service.

Brian

**27. Unfortunately, this is not an unrealistic scenario in my experience. As to whether someone should take the second job offered or not has a lot more to do with factors not discussed specifically though hinted at. It does not mention how good the salary is for instance or whether cab service is available. It might be possible to use a cab for a while if the costs are not prohibitive until alternative methods of getting there are arranged such as hiring a driver. This is possible in some places but not in all. I have lived where no public transportation at all has existed including no cab services and I have also lived in places like New York city where public transportation is probably the best there is in the entire United States. Interestingly, many third world countries have in effect better systems of public transportation because the population cannot afford cars so bus services tend to go everywhere and tend to be very cheap. It is rather ironic that transportation in third world countries is so good while working opportunities are so very dreadful.

Lisa Carmelle Blind-x

**28. this happens all over phoenix

Gabe Vega ACB-L listserv

**29. I really can't say what the person should do. I think that maybe she should
be talking over the telephone to get to know the person whom does the hiring
for a while. Then with time the person gets to know her qualities and slowly
she can't mention of some disability but not to mention visual handicap
yet. After a bit more time it can be communicated in email so the person and
company sees she can do a good job over the computer. She can increase her
studies with computers by asking the American Consul or the CNIB if in
Canada or whatever resources is available to take more lessons using a
computer. With her education advancing she begins to feel confident and so
on. All that seems forever but its one way. Sooner or later she has to let
them know that she is willing to go in an interview to meet company personal
and then once she is comfortable let them know that, yes, I'm interested for
the interview and that she has a little visual situation and is it safe to
go there with her white cane or should she bring a volunteer as a guide.

I don't know...

Gianfranco Di Cosmo Canada

**30. She can call a cab or taxi, ask the people at the office to pick her up, call a friend or family member to take her, or she could take the public bus.

Rania ismail

**31. This is a for real and for sure problem. There is only one answer and that is to bite the bullet and pay, pay, pay in hopes that something comes up. I know that other blind people have turned down jobs, maybe didn’t even apply if the job was not on a public transportation rout. It is just the truth, you are in trouble if you have to rely on other people.

John Rather

**32. I think Rebecca should go ahead and take the job. She could check out if her community has paratransit. If not, it might be worth spending quite a bit of her salary to get there and home by cab. I worked nights for awhile years ago and what I did is had the cab run the meter and then that's what they charged me from then on. Perhaps since it would be a regular trip, she could work out something with the cab company. At any rate, since it is the job she has been looking for, she shouldn't let transportation keep her from having it.

Sherri from Orlando

**33. There aren't always ways of getting to work though. sometimes people are lucky enough to have car pools or to have employers who are supportive of a person's need for transportation but often here in Canada if you don't have the mobility skills or if you can't provide your own transportation to work it isn't realistic to accept the job Also the problem that many of us have in areas where transportation isn't good is just getting to various job interviews. I am glad to hear that people in some parts of the united states can take various taxis or vans for people with disabilities but over here you can only take those if you have trouble walking. I do find it surprising though that the lady being interviewed dismissed the idea of taking taxis so quickly though without knowing ahead of time what her salary would be and like you said Dexter that she didn't even mention needing help with transportation. but then she had trouble making decisions about whether to use her cane and I think she was hoping to hide various aspects about her blindness which really doesn't work.

Rebecca Feir Blind-X

**34. Yes, this is a definite problem. If I were she, I'd have accepted the job, and then, I would have put up a notice for car pooling. I might have considered hiring a driver or contracting with a cab, depending on cost.

It is true that jobs are being placed in the suburbs now, instead of the centers of cities, and transit companies are only now beginning to get it. Problem is cost. If the firm is large enough they can pay to have the fixed route extended which makes paratransit possible, but it is expensive.

I think if I were that person in the story, I'd do everything I could to get to the job. That is, of course, if the money were worth it.
If, as is often the case with entry level jobs, the money gotten for the job barely covers the cost of transportation, then, I'd give it a second thought. It's a real problem, and unlike some of these thought provokers, this is a real, down-to-earth bona fide issue! You can't take the job because getting to and from the job costs as much as your salary. It's not fair!

Ann K. Parsons ACB-L listserv

**35. (This is written in response to the above response) Why is it that sighted people can pay 400/600 dollars in costs for a car payment, insurance, and gas. but for a blind person who say, made at least 24,000 can't? why does the blind person get special treatment some how? how is it any different from say a sighted person making a car payment or etc

Gabe Vega The BlindTechs Network ACB-L listserv

**36. The sighted person gets more for his money than does the blind person. He gets to go anywhere, at any time, he likes. The blind person who pays $400 or more to go to work doesn't get anything else for his money. Yes, he gets the dignity and a little discretionary income, but so does the sighted person who drives to work.

Abby Vincent ACB-L listserv

**37. Hi Abby,
No matter how we slice it, there is no such thing as a level playing field.
Part of our frustration as blind people, is in believing that this can happen.
Don't misunderstand me, I believe that blind people are every bit as equal as all other human beings. But our lack of, or limited sight sets us apart in many ways.
It doesn't matter what the color of your skin is, or even your sex, when it comes to driving a car. All you need is eyesight and a reasonable amount of intelligence.
Your national origin, religion, sexual orientation or age make little difference in your free participation in Life.
But in order to live in this world I have to find ways of accommodating my blindness. This sets me apart from my sighted brothers and sisters. It's their playing field. They make the rules to accommodate themselves as sighted people. In order for me to live a full, productive, enjoyable life I must always be aware that I am playing on their field, by their rules. I am responsible for finding ways to adjust conditions so that I can compete.

Carl Jarvis ACB-L listserv

**38. The cost isn't strictly a blindness issue, it is an issue for anyone who
doesn't drive for whatever reason. Many people cannot drive and their
reasons are not lack of eyesight.

Seville Allen ACB-L listserv

**39. I agree with you, many people don't drive because of many issues other than blindness; some people choose not to drive and they choose to place themselves in the same situation we are in. Transportation will always be an issue for us but since it is something that is probably not going to get much better, we should deal with it the best we can and just put it in our grab bag of life's hurdles.

Maria Heinlein ACB-L listserv

**40. Hi Seville,

I know; I have co-owned, with a spouse three vehicles, but with a vehicle, I could drive, I can go anywhere I was for work, recreation, medical appointments, etc. If I have to use a taxi, I might to have a salary by the time I go to and from work every day, and a medical appointment or two thrown in.

Darla Jean Rogers ACB-L listserv

**41. Gabe may have said it differently than I would have, but I agree with the sentiment. I would explore every possibility, including relocating closer to the job, contracting with a car service, etc. The employer seems accommodating. Perhaps they would even pay her a little extra for transportation. Many companies are doing this to encourage use of alternative forms of transport.

Andy Baracco ACB-L listserv

**42. Rebecca has made the kind of impression she had hoped to make. The position she has been offered is one she knows she can handle. But it is a location that is not readily accessible for a blind person.
Now Rebecca will learn just how resourceful she really is.
She has met and won the first challenge. She only needs to say, "Yes", and the job is hers. The new challenge is to find a way to be on the job, on time and ready to work.
If I were Rebecca, and that is really stretching credibility, I would immediately thank the manager for his generous offer. Then I would tell him that I needed a few days to be certain that I could arrange reliable transportation to that location.
Even though Rebecca had already explored the transportation issue in that area, she had not examined all of her options, because she had not been offered a job in that office yet. Now she could dig in and look at several possibilities.
She could take public transportation to the point closest to her new job, and then have arranged for a cab to pick her up, thus cutting the expense of cab fare.
She could talk to Pastors in the local churches and ask if they might assist her in obtaining volunteer drivers. She might post notices on bulletin boards at, post office, grocery stores library, etc.
She could consider looking for someone willing to rent a room to her. In this way she could stay the week in the neighborhood and return home on her days off.
Any of these ideas would buy Rebecca the time she needed to get into the job, become acquainted with folks in her office and in the community, and eventually find a more permanent solution.

Carl Jarvis ACB-L listserv

**43. One Option I Have Not Seen On This List:
Though I may have missed it -
If the company wanted to hire both Rebecca and the other applicant, Rebecca might have suggested that the company consider employing her in the more accessible location, and the other employee in the new, less accessible location.
I have learned that you never know what an employer, or service provider, or whomever, may have or have not thought about as options. Never hesitate to suggest the option that works best for you, or for some one you are advocating on behalf of.

Keep well,
Gord Hope. ACB-L listserv

**44. Rebecca has apparently come to grips with her blindness. She's discovered that screen magnification and the use of a closed circuit television system are
the most efficient alternative techniques for her in the arenas of computer use and reading. Moreover, she's accepted the need of a cane (which is often
a very significant hurdle) over which blind people need to climb.
So, since the job that she's been offered comprises the same responsibilities, with the same pay, Rebecca needs to evaluate, in my view, her definition
of "prohibitive" regarding the cab fare from her home to the New Town office. This is especially true in light of the unknowns to Rebecca:
The possibility that a colleague in the New Town office would be able to provide more affordable transportation
That something could change within her current pool of drivers
That she might be able to enter into a discount arrangement with the taxi company, based on regular business, resulting in a volume purchase… possibilities
abound.
The point being, that a blind person, once having gotten his or her foot into the door of a company should not pull it out, especially when such removal
is based on, and directly related to his or her blindness; I.E. in this example, Rebecca's lack of independent transportation to the New Town office.

Chet Smalley Ruston, Louisiana

**45. The sad fact is that many people who rely on either public transport or even paratransport are extremely limited in where they can go for work, doctors,
schools, and shopping.
In our fair city paratransport will take you only if you earn below a certain income and only in our local county. If you work or go to school or need
a doctor even a block into the next county, either you pay full price for a taxi or forget it. Of course most good jobs and specialists are available only
in the next county. But good schools and good neighborhoods in which to raise kids are both rare and prohibitive in the next county. Even here school
buses don't stop near the homes but at a central pickup point requiring elementary school children to cross several busy streets. It is unthinkable for
a parent not to escort those children, but for parents with RP, who have to negotiate the trip in the dark, it can be a nightmare.
Too, the bus won't pick up if the child lives less than 2 miles from school; in that case the only alternative is to walk.

Carolyn Gold Clearwater, FL

**46. I think I'd have to agree with those who say Rebecca should take the job, and research other options for getting there. However,
if in the end there are no other options she needs to take a job which is closer and where she can get to independently. If she is in an area with good
Para transit, then there's the answer. But I personally have found Para transit to be nothing but a hassle and a big waste of time. I have had very good
luck asking others in my new community for help. They want me to be as independent as possible which is great, but they have also been wonderful helpers.
A few nights ago my roommate and I went with one of his life-skills tutors to Subway for dinner. This Subway is within walking distance from where my roommate
and I live, so we walked there. They had me use my cane, which in and of itself is not a problem. However, the traffic around here is very heavy, and I
had trouble crossing the streets. So I had to take the tutor's arm and go sighted guide with him. I have lived here three years and have had no formal
O&M instruction at all. As a matter of fact, I haven't had any formal O&M instruction for ten plus years. Yet according to my state VR agency, I need a
job and I need to be working at that job before the O&M issue is even considered. I think this is a real problem, and everyone else with whom I live and
otherwise have come into contact has said that this is a real problem which needs a solution right now. What if I needed to get somewhere on my own and
no one else was around to help me get there? But I digress. This issue of transportation for those of us with visual impairments is a huge problem, which
will only get worse if a viable solution isn't found soon. As I have unequivocally stated here before, the two blindness organizations in this country
absolutely have got to stop arguing with each other over this and that. They need to put aside all their gripes, and start to reunite as one and speak
and advocate for improved services for each and every visually-impaired person that walks this Earth. This will not happen overnight, but it absolutely
needs to happen sometime in the very near future.

Jake Joehl IL

**47. This dilemma is one I had to grapple with some years ago when my vision first started to fail. Of course the first thing I did was move into town
so that I wasn't stranded 8 miles out, then when I did land a job that I could do very well with limited vision I negotiated a reasonable rate with the
local Taxi Company. On good days I walked to work (45 minutes), but I always called a Taxi for the trip home as it was at midnight. Now, if Rebecca is
living too far from work to do this, perhaps she can take Transit to the end of the line then take a Taxi to complete the journey.
The second thing I would suggest is that she find a way to get there for the first week or so, then when she gets to know her co-workers she'll likely find
someone who lives near her neighborhood that she can carpool with. Sighted folks do this all the time. In fact, my sighted daughter does this with 3
or 4 of her colleagues, and that's what I did a few years ago when I attended College. I learned the very complicated and long drawn out bus route to
and from the College, but I only had to use it for the first 2 days for I met 2 people in my classes who lived near me enough to ride with. It only cost
me a Macs Milk Coffee each morning as that was my pick-up spot.
I think that transportation is rarely the cause for concern, our own unwillingness to make the adjustments necessary for our vision loss is. The world
will rarely adjust to our needs, however if we're to attract those things that we know we really really want we're the ones who will have to shift our
priorities. If this job is a priority she will find a way to get it done, however if feeling sorry for her self is the priority then she'll make excuses
for not being able to get there.
I would be interested to know why the hiring manager decided to give the job she applied for to someone else and the difficult one to her. Was he testing
her resolve and ingenuity? If so, that really isn't fair, but still her issue to deal with.

Thx, Albert from an Island in the Pacific
Victoria, (Vancouver Island) BC, Canada

**48. I rarely post on a thought-provoker, and here I am posting twice! But it occurs to me that #43 came close, but no one actually came out and
suggested that the reason Rebecca was offered the job out in the boonies is because the boss actually did not WANT to hire her, but seeing no graceful
way out at that point, offered her the job and make the travel conditions nearly impossible. If she took the job and made a go of it, fine, but if not,
the boss would have been relieved of the need to make any sort of accommodation.
Needless to say, I've become somewhat cynical of late.

Carolyn Gold Clearwater, FL

**49. This is in reply to response #48. I did, in fact, suggest the possibility that the boss may have been trying to steer Rebecca away from the job, without
actually saying so. But, remember, that was only ONE theory among several.

David Lafleche

**50. Several years ago I lived in an area where I could easily take the bus
to work every day. At that time, there was a fellow, Tony, who got off
the bus at a convenience store which was located on the route. There
was always a taxi waiting for him. One day I asked him about it and he
said he couldn't get to his work on the bus so he'd arranged for the cab
to meet him at that store every day. I haven't ridden the bus to work
for eight years because we moved to a neighborhood where it was not at
all convenient to use the bus, so we take the cab to work each day. I
often, to this day, hear the dispatcher tell a driver to "go pick up
Tony." Rebecca could, perhaps, make a similar arrangement. Use public
transit to get as close as she could to her new job, and have a cab meet
here there to take her the rest of the way.

Janis Stanger

**51. In responding to Thought-provoker 112, I know that we, as vision0-impaired persons, have difficulty with transportation. I experienced difficulties this
year. But whatever the solution may finally be, it must be something reliable, not a “definite “maybe”. Rebecca will be traveling to work every day, and
she is in need of so needing reliable. Para-transit is possible, only if it is reliable. Friends and family may work for awhile, but then, suppose the
driver can no longer drive? Frankly, she should ask for the location where-in, transportation would not be a problem. Since the employer respects
her and is fond of her qualities and work skills, he should make the accommodation. We’re disabled, not Scott Petersons.

Lucia Marett New York, New York

**52. I just want to say something about the comment from somebody who said that blindness is not a nuisance. Let's remember that those of us who said that blindness
can be reduce to such level, said that we the blind must have proper training and opportunity first before we get to it.
The proper training involve both the belief that in did you can compete and second master the skill of blindness. The opportunity part can involve many
situations, one of the main being given reasonable accommodation at work. In my view if You don't belief that blindness can be reduce to a level of a
nuisance, it will never be. If you do emotionally and intellectually belief that blindness can be reduce to a level of a nuisance, it will.
"Think that you can and you will". There are dozens of quotes from great philosophers who support this fact. Don't give up!

Carlos Servan NCBVI, Lincoln Nebraska

**53. This individual could find out where the closest city bus stop is. It is scary for the first time and you have to leave earlier. This is what I started
doing at my job. It is a lot cheaper than hiring a driver. The bus drivers will help you. Your never alone. There is always someone that is willing too
help.
If you have any questions please get back with me.

Lisa

**54. Yes, it would be more cost efficient to ride the bus to the office in town as opposed to the branch way out in Timbuktu. However, there is transportation
by cab available to anybody. Yes, it is quite costly, but you can file that off on your taxes under the itemized deductions of work expenses. At least,
you can do that here in Minnesota. If I had known that back when I was job-hunting, I would have gone for any job out in the suburbs as well. Moreover,
I could have filed my travel expenses off when I was working for Wendy's.

Linda Minnesota.