FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Federation of the Blind (Dec. 15, 2008)
Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
Largest Organization of the Blind Criticizes Attack on Blind Americans
Baltimore, Maryland: Chris Danielsen, spokesman for the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The biggest problem faced by blind people is not blindness itself, but the stereotypes held by the general public about blindness and blind people. The idea that blind people are incapable of the simplest tasks and are perpetually disoriented and befuddled is absolutely wrong. This misconception contributes to an unemployment rate among blind people that stubbornly remains at 70 percent. That is why the National Federation of the Blind is disappointed that Saturday Night Live chose to portray Governor Paterson in a comedy routine that focused almost exclusively on his blindness. Attacking the Governor because he is blind is an attack on all blind Americans—blind children, blind adults, blind seniors, and newly blinded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The National Federation of the Blind urges the producers of Saturday Night Live to consider the serious negative impact that misinformation and stereotypes have on blind people before continuing in this unfortunate vein of humor.”
Public Relations Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
For more articles see:
NY Times (Dec. 15, 2008)
MSNBC (Dec. 15, 2008)
Yahoo! News (Dec. 15, 2008)
Well Said, Governor!
“There is only one way that people [with disabilities] could have an unemployment rate that’s six times the national average — it’s attitude,” New York Governor David Paterson said to reporters at the Waldorf-Astoria on Sunday night. “And I’m afraid that the kind of third-grade depiction of individuals and the way they look and the way they move add to that negative environment.”
Comment Below: How have negative attitudes and prejudices impacted your career? How can you effectively address this issue with co-workers and employers? Share successes, failures, and lessons learned.