Don’t Be Blind to the Needs of the Blind

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So, last night my wife and I joined another couple for dinner and we decided to go to a new restaurant in town. Guess what; they did not have a braille menu. What a shocker!

You may be thinking to yourself, “so what, just have somebody read it to you”. It’s not that simple. Like I said, the establishment is new to the Tampa Bay area and I was hoping to enjoy all they had to offer and partake in the experience to the fullest.

The problem was that my wife also wanted to enjoy the experience of this new trendy restaurant but she really couldn’t until she was done reading the menu to me. Now please understand she doesn’t mind doing this; she’s used to it by now after 29 years of marriage. But if I ask her to repeat things over and over again (usually due to high noise levels that are present in busy restaurants), it gets old quickly.

Image showing a stick figure with a white cane and the words "Will the Public Respond?" displayed.

I am writing this to say to all of us who cannot read standard print that we need to ask, in fact, insist that readable material is made available. We’re well within our rights to do so.

For those of you who can read standard print let me pose a question to you.

You are eating out, but you cannot read the menu. You receive bills, statements, medical reports, insurance information or whatever in the mail, but the rub is you cannot read it for yourself.

Some of these documents are very private in nature, but now you can’t read them for yourself, so you must call a family member, friend, or worse yet a neighbor to read them to you. Now they know all your business. That’s fantastic isn’t it?

If you’ve never thought of what I am writing about here please stop and ponder it for a while. You can help us and your fellow citizens simply by asking your bank, local restaurants or medical provider if they have made accommodations for those of us who need accessible materials.

If enough of us advocate for the blind and visually impaired community & direct pressure toward this it will truly “Make The World A More Readable Place”.

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This post was written by Jeff Frcho

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