My Mom has spent her career serving as an Orientation and Mobility Instructor for the blind. Before she got married, she worked at the Missouri School for the Blind, and has since worked as an independent consultant for the state of Indiana helping blind people develop the necessary skills to live independent lives. Her passion has been both professional and personal, and I have witnessed her come to the aid of and become friends with many of her clients over the years.
Recently, she went out to lunch with one of her blind friends who uses a trained and certified Leader Dog as a guide. They were denied access to the restaurant because of the dog. While in the moment, the situation was exceptionally unpleasant for both ladies, they decided to use the experience as a learning tool. They contacted the appropriate authorities, and ended up on the front page of the local paper today. The restaurant claims this as a “misunderstanding”, but it was a very clear case of discrimination.
Their intention is not to harm the restaurant in any way, but to help raise awareness in the community for other blind people. Terre Haute, Indiana is small town Midwest America…with a lot of wonderful people and a population of only 60,000…but there are about 10 trained guide dogs in the community.
PS – My absolute favorite part of this article is when my Mom said, “I offered to put a blindfold on him (restaurant worker) and let him experience what it is to be blind.” Oh yes, that is my Mom! I’m proud of you.