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Letters to the editor – Friday (01-16-09)

Be more considerate of the handicapped
In the past weeks, my wife and I have attended several functions. I have become aware of the lack of consideration for the handicapped and the blind. My wife is legally blind. She uses a white cane, but it seems that people don’t know what it represents. I overheard a little girl ask her mother about the white cane, and she told the little girl the woman needed the cane to support herself. The white cane with the red tip indicates the user is visually impaired.
I was a member of the Claremont Lions Club before we moved to Salisbury. One of our programs was making the public aware of blindness and the use of the white cane. After that program, even school children knew what the white cane represented. I am in no way implying that Salisbury residents do not know about it.
Camp Dogwood for the blind is on Lake Norman near Denver. It is operated by the North Carolina Lions Club. It began with several three-sided buildings. Now, it is like a resort, with dormitories and apartments. The blind and visually impaired spend one week there. They can fish, have boat rides and enjoy other activities.
My wife and I worked there as volunteers for many years. We lived in the dormitories with the campers for a week at a time. On each Thursday night, the campers danced, played games and talked.
Now that my wife is blind, the words of one of the young ladies has new meaning for me. She was asked how she felt about Camp Dogwood. “When the bus turns into Camp Dogwood, I feel like I am in heaven,” she said, “and when I go back out that driveway, I am going back to hell.”
I can’t say enough about Camp Dogwood for the blind.
ó J.C. Medlin
Salisbury

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