Monthly Archives: May 2009

NFB March for Independence

NFB March for Independence

Hello Friends,

On July 6 the National Federation of the Blind will hold the third annual March for Independence. This march, a walk for opportunity, is one of our organization’s chances to help raise money to support our programs for the coming year. Programs that promote the independence and inclusion of the blind in society. You’ve heard Treva and I say it before, and we try to live it in our lives, we firmly believe that with the right training and opportunity blindness can be reduced to an inconvenient characteristic.

We’ve talked before about how the work of the NFB has made a difference in our lives. The collective experience and advocacy efforts of thousands of blind people have given us opportunities we may not otherwise have. Working for the NFB our jobs bring us into contact daily with other people that are benefiting from the work of the NFB. Treva works with young blind people who are involved in the mentoring program and get connected with competent blind mentors who can guide and teach them. The mentors develop relationships with blind youth and inspire confidence in them that they can do anything they want with the right training and opportunity. The work Tony participates in with the Access Technology Team is changing how blind students access online course materials that have not previously been accessible and helping to connect users with technology that will allow them to do the jobs they want to do.

We don’t tell you this, or ask you to help the organization, to ask you to help pay our sallaries. We want you to understand that we are deeply committed to changing the lives of the blind and promote the inclusion of properly trained blind people in society. The NFB has many programs that make a difference on the local level. In fact, much of the money raised from this effort will be divided amongst local affiliates and chapters. Through grants, another portion will be again distributed to the states to create programs for blind youth, parents of blind children, and other local programs that impact blind people directly.

Additional funds raised from the March will go toward developing programs to promote Braille literacy for the blind. Two-thousand nine marks the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille’s birth, and we are striving to change the literacy rate among the blind. Currently only 10% of blind children in the United States are being taught Braille. That means 90% of blind children will graduate high school being functionally illiterate. Audio books and computer driven speech output have their place, but Braille is the only way for a blind person to learn gramatical structure, syntax, spelling, and proper formatting. You can’t hear the difference when misspelling “here” and “hear” with synthetic speech, nor will spell check pick up on either of these as incorrect, but you can feel that with a Braille display.

You know Treva and I do most things together, as a team, this is no different. We are asking you to partner with us to help change the lives of blind people inĀ  this country. Tough economic times may impact what you are able to give, and we understand that, but know that any amount helps. Please visit www.marchforindependence.org, click on Sponsor A Marcher and give to either one of us.

Thank you for your support.

Tony and Treva

to my EMS readers

to my EMS readers

Sixth day of generally feeling like crap. Congestion, nose that’s running the Indy 500. Clear mucas Body temperature 96.9. Onset sore throat x 2 days. Normal vitals.

This is clearly that Pig Flu thing. I’ve got the plague. I’m surely going to die? Right? I should call an ambulance, yell at them for not coming fast enough, demand transport the 5 blocks to the ER (“and it better be a smooth ride pal”), and insist they give me antibiotics? That’s just the kind of thing you Ambulance Drivers love isn’t it? Or would you prefer I wait until0300?

(sorry, clearly I’m feeling a touch of the smart mouth this morning.)

My Wife, The Flasher

My Wife, The Flasher

While Twitter is fantastic for short, off the cuff messages about what’s happening. Sometimes one-hundred forty characters just isn’t enough to give an accurate picture of the situation and gems like the following clearly scream for clarification.

Accidentally made @trevaolivero flash the neighborhood. Sorry ’bout that Babe

First, a little backstory. For those of you who don’t know, due to one to many encounters with Rippy the Gator*, Treva had her right leg amputated above the knee some years ago. She doesn’t currently wear a prostesis because of the inept incompetance of the last tech who tried fitting her for one, and she can’t walk all that far even with it on.

She had agreed to babysit for our friends’ son AJ last night, and being the dedicated husband/shirpa that I am, I went along with the explicit understanding that “I don’t do diapers”.

In typical Baltimore fashion our friends house has about eight steps leading to the front door broken into two groups separated by a landing. Our usual technique for getting up and down the stairs is executed with her placing her stump on my bent thigh, which is on the step she will be moving to, my arms wrapped around her waist for support and her hopping to that step. Normally, to avoid either of us, terminal clutses that we are, tripping on her loose pantleg one of us holds onto it. Yesterday she was wearing a skirt. I figured it might be a good idea to keep it pulled up like I usually do with her pants. Unfortunately, I had only grabbed the front half of the garment when I lifted it to her waist.

Treva: “You’re holding up my skirt.”

Me (well duh, I’m trying to help here): “Yeah. I know. I figured it would help.”

Treva: “no, you’re only holding up part of it.”

Me (huh) “What are you…” *rechecks positioning of hands, lets skirt fall down* “Oh, um, right. Sorry about that.” *jauntily waves to the neighbors and hopes she isn’t thinking of ways to slay my manhood in revenge*

Obviously, to protect the woman from me I need to:


  1. Invent a wheelchair with a hovercraft function;

  2. Beef up my muscles so I can carry her; or

  3. find a one man stairchair that fits in a backpack

* If she would like to dispute my version of events, she’s free to break her silence on this blog and do so lest I decide to drop her as an associate and change the name :-).