I have a client who is legally blind. He lives with a progressive disease and he lives with the fear that some day, he may be completely blind. He’s wondering if he should try to keep working or take an early retirement that his office has offered?
David Patterson , the new governor of New York State, is legally blind. It’s not a progressive disease in his case but a result of a childhood illness.
According to several articles that I’ve read, the “disabled” hope that this could mean positive changes for people with disabilities.
Come on – the world of the disabled is hardly a homogeneous one. We come in many shapes, colors and sizes. But there a distinction worth noting. Disabilities, such as blindness, deafness, loss of limb present a different set of challenges from chronic illness. They are usually a static state – you know what to expect.
Chronic illness is almost always an unpredictable disease. It’s impossible to predict the disease course or what symptoms will occur and when. That makes it tough to plan your work life – and for others to feel comfortable working with you.
On the other hand, Patterson lives with an invisible disability – something that many people with chronic illness can relate to. He’s able to get around without a cane or guide dog and his eyes look “normal”. No doubt, he deals with the issue of disclosure that anyone with an invisible disability faces. I wonder how frequently he has to say, “Oh and I’m legally blind.”
I wonder if he occasionally fumbles to figure out what’s the right time to say it?
But all that said, he has some challenges ahead, and not just trying to get along with the Republicans in the legislature. I think that Governor Patterson’s challenge is going to be in trying to adjust what other people, his constituents and his colleagues, think a governor should be.
Do you think Governor Patterson has a chance to change perception? If so, which ones?
Rosalind aka cicoach.com