Who Represents the Blind?

by David Milner

When the media covers issues of concern to blind persons they inevitably look for opposing viewpoints in the interest, they claim, of balanced reporting. If the National Federation of the Blind makes a statement on the topic person, usually blind, is found who states loudly that the Federation doesn't speak for the blind, but only for itself and its members. Is this truly the case?

The best way to answer this question is to ask whether the president of the United States represents the people, the nation. There may be many who say that he or she does not. They would be wrong, even though a definite minority of the people have voted for this person.

A large number of residents of the U.S. are ineligable to vote because of age or criminal conviction. Sadly, most people who are eligable do not bother to register to vote. Not all of those who register actually go to the polls and vote on election day. In a given election with 3 parties fielding major candidates only a minority of people actually cast enough votes for a majority in the electoral college to be decided and a president elected. Based on this any given president might actually have been voted into office by a small fraction of the people of the United States.

Among other things the president of the United States presents the face of America to the world. He or she is our chief ambassador, the chosen 'best' our nation has to offer in the area of leadership in republican government. Others may comment on the issues of the day, but it is the president to whom the media turns first for his view, since as the elected chief executive of our government, he or she is in effect, our nation embodied in one person, even though only a relatively small number of the people of the United States actually wanted this individual to represent them.

As it is with the president of the United States, so it is with blind people and the organizations that represent them. The NFB is indisputably the largest organization of blind persons in the United States. This means that the majority of the blind who wish to address issues concerning the blind are members of the National Federation of the Blind. Not every blind person in the United States is a member of the Federation, but the vast majority who concern themselves with activism as blind people are in the NFB.

So the media need look no further than the Federation to discover the true representative majority of the thinking of the blind on relavent issues, and anyone who says otherwise is either ignoring common sense or intentionally trying to skew public opinion against blind people of the United States, who this page shows to be represented by the National Federation of the Blind.


Send email Comments to me Go back to my NFB page or Return to my Main index Page.

NFB Publications, names and logos are copyright (C) National Federation of the Blind. All rights reserved.