Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NY Times checks in on blind governor

The New York Times updated its readers on April 21 on how David Paterson is faring as the state's first blind governor. I'm sure the newspaper would check in with any new governor after the Spitzer scandal, but the article focuses primarily on Paterson's blindness and how he functions as governor. It seems to me that there are more important issues at hand, and that dozens of stories were done in March about how Paterson lives his daily life as a blind man.

The story seems particularly interested in how staff members help guide him when he is walking (see picture above). The article states: "He travels with a phalanx of assistants, typically a half-dozen, including aides and bodyguards, who act as a buffer zone around him in large public settings, from hotel ballrooms to school classrooms. The bodyguards gently steer him, often with a hand on his back or arm, toward an exit or into a waiting vehicle."

Surely there are more important things happening in NY politics than how the governor crosses a room?

Thankfully, Gov. Paterson seems to take all this focus on his blindness in stride and uses his platform to educate others when necessary.

"Although Mr. Paterson often says he does not want people to go out of their way for him, he says society should recognize that he and other blind people cannot do everything on their own," according to the article.

"As one of his first acts as governor, he added instructions to his official state Web site on how to enlarge the type on the screen. 'It’s just being more sensitive to people who feel that government and institutions ignore them,' he said."