National Federation of the Blind
Traffic Reporter Driving Away Stereotypes
Reprinted from www.wbnh.com
September 13, 2010
When asked, "Have you
always been like that?" Tommy replies, "Like what? Tall and
Tommy Edison is the traffic
reporter for popular Connecticut radio station 99.9. He has been informing
the state's hoards of commuters for years about the traffic situations
in all parts of the state. He does it with no knowledge of what the traffic
looks like, either, as he has been blind since birth. By using scanners
and an onslaught of constant phone calls, Tommy relays his information
across the air waves and gets people where they need to go.
Now, Tommy wants to inform
the public about his condition and dispel the rumors that are so prevalent
within the sighted community. With the help of a good friend of his, Ben
Churchill, he is making a documentary about living life as a blind person.
Ben remarks that it's tough to sit back behind the camera and watch sometimes,
especially when people insist on giving aid that really isn't needed.
For the sake of the documentary, he has to bite his tongue to get the
Tommy and Ben plan to pitch
the documentary to multiple TV networks in hopes that it will air and
the sighted community can get a glimpse of how blind people don't live
any differently than they do.
As Bob Branco often points out in his Op Ed pieces, the sighted community is wrought with assumptions about the blind. Some are more innocent than others, but they are all a result of a lack of education about how blind people really live. As Tommy said, "Why is it that because I am blind I have to sit home or panhandle in front of Grand Central Station?" By creating a documentary about his life, Tommy will be able to give a true picture of what his world is like, and hopefully reveal that the world he lives in--the world with baseball and picnics and camping--is no different than the world that anyone else lives in.
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