Lobby Day Form

Lobby Day Form

Sign up sheet for Lobby Day May 5


Poughkeepsie Journal Op Ed on difference of long canes and walking sticks

Poughkeepsie Journal Op Ed on difference of long canes and walking sticks

photo of the opinion page of the Poughkeepsie Journal article

Hunter College #2 on Princeton Review’s 100 “Best Value Colleges” List

Hunter College, CUNY was named the #2 “Best Value Public College in 2010,” according to the Princeton Review and USA Today. This was the second year in a row in which the College was recognized with this distinction. In 2013, Hunter is listed as one of the top 20 most affordable colleges.

Full-time graduate tuition for New York residents is approximately $440 per credit hour. Out-of-state students pay about $750 a credit. About 80 percent of students are able to secure FAFSA aid. New York Teachers are eligible for State Tuition Support through the Intensive Teacher Institute. New York City residents may be eligible for NYCDOE tuition support.

Hunter offers preparation in: Teachers of Learners with Visual Impairments (TVI), Orientation and Mobility (O&M) and Vision Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). The VRT and O&M Programs can be completed via distance learning; both require on-campus attendance in the summer semester (15 day labs with available low cost housing). The TVI Advanced Certificate program also can be completed via distance learning.

Hunter’s Programs in Blindness and Visual Impairments graduates are respected and sought after by employers across the country. For more information about Hunter College Programs in Blindness and Visual Impairments and scholarship availability contact Professor Rosanne K. Silberman or 212-772-4740. Application deadline has been extended to April 1 for these programs.

Hunter Program website:

Videos: For more information about the ITI TVI and ITI O&M programs watch:

For more information on the Hunter Combined Master’s Degree in RT and O&M program watch:

Websites: Blind and Visually Impairment –

For more information about NYSED TVI/O&M Grant Support: See Brochure:

Shortage of TVI and COMS in New York


I am writing today about the ever more apparent shortage of TVI and COMS.

Here in Nassau County NY, I am aware of 4 families and I know of 5 more children needing TVI and orientation and mobility services. The preschool providers are not able to locate anyone. If anyone is qualified to work with the children please contact me.


Free Bird Follows Long Tradition of Mocking Visually Impaired

There are two characters in the new film “Free Bird” with a visual Impairment. The main female character voiced by Amy Poehler, has one eye that droops at comedic moments and, unlike those with a real visual impairment from early childhood, can be returned to normal at will. Hers was an injury she sustained falling out of the nest.

The other is an elderly turkey with severe cataracts, who is shown having amorous feelings towards the lead character voiced by Owen Wilson. He mistakes Wilson’s male character as a woman-oh because according to Hollywood, someone who can’t see, can’t perceive reality.

It would appear that Free Bird, in the long tradition of ‘Hollywood Hits’ such as Mr. Magoo, continues to find visual impairment a great gag for cheap laughs. The older bird can’t tell a man when he touches him, is seen being led about by a child and mistakes tree bark for pizza. Why is that funny?

This type of humor needs to stop. The truth is this small minority is the most likely, as a disability group, to graduate from high school, but the least likely to be hired for meaningful employment. The older generation with even a small decrease in visual acuity is more likely to die in preventable accidents than those older adults with full vision. This truth should be a call to arms.

These older adults could benefit from instruction in the use of long white canes, but long, white canes are not seen in society as anything but meaning “I’m blind” and according to Hollywood, blind means “I’m a total idiot who can’t tell man from woman, pizza from tree bark and a little kid is better at finding his way than a grown up”.

New York students with visual impairments are the least likely to receive the full benefits promised by Federal Education law IDEA. Orientation and mobility specialists and vision rehabilitation therapists who work in adult vision rehabilitation agencies are paid the least of all the other fields of human services.

Further, too many adults shun the idea that they are visually impaired themselves, even their eye doctors conspire with them by not referring them to these valuable restorative services. Instead letting them fall, crash a car, or trip and die. We need solutions not jokes.

My wish is that these stereotypes will stop being funny and stop being used for cheap, sad laughs. People who are blind or visually impaired deserve our respect and, just like the rest of us, simply need a proper education and a career.

Demand licensure for these VRT and O&M Professionals, advocate for better reputation for the long cane and normalized views of those with a visual impairment. Hollywood Film Makers- You too can be part of the solution.


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First page of the Fix the Glitch White paper.


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Second Page of the Fix the Glitch White Paper