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A large part of our community is made up of disabled people. While being a growing number they still have very little of the true power that helps them improve their situation. We as a community need to assist our sisters and brothers in their daily rigors and some have already begun.

TV commercials have enhanced the lives of the Hearing Impaired. Commercials tend to be at least 20% louder than normal programming, so even if Grandma can't hear the signal from the Emergency Broadcast System, she can learn significant information about the "one day sale," or particular brands of soap. Without this vital information, many Hearing Impaired people would suffer.

The Entertainment Industry has also been active in its responsibility to the Hearing Impaired. Everyone is guaranteed to enjoy music in any club, bar or restaurant because the management or Sound Check Engineers have considerately turned the volume so high that even the deafest of uncles can hear every riff. Louder, really IS better.

Another way in which the Hearing Impaired are assisted is through people that speak very loudly. I've often noticed these unsung orators and wanted to reward them in some way for their amazing talent at projecting sound. Sometimes you hear them projecting on street corners which also aids the Sight Impaired, by giving them a kind of sonar for guidance.

The Vision Impaired have other allies as well. Businesses have gone out of their way to make it easy for the Sight Impaired to use the phone by making some catchy word out of their phone number. A favorite of mine is Ben and Jerry's 1-800-222-LICK. With this simplified system, the Vision Impaired need only memorize the new sequence of letters on the phone pad rather than using those pesky numbers. Who needs Braille?

Another advantage for the Sight Impaired is that every 90's gal and guy is equipped with some kind of noise making device. Cellphones, beepers, walkmans, and noisy velcro all work to alert the Sight-Impaired of imminent peril. Everyone beeping, ringing or braying provides a dual service for the Sight Impaired. Not only are they made aware of the people surrounding them, but also the type of people. So, the cacophany of beepers, phones, jabbering, sirens, etc. is actually a boon to society.

Vision Impaired drivers are also very prevalent and we must find ways to accomodate them. The Sight Impaired driver is fairly easy to detect even without the symbol of the white cane. They usually make right hand turns on you while you're in the crosswalk. You can see the confusion cross their face while they consider slowing down or trying to catch the light at the next intersection. Many times there is a look that says, "How'd you get there?" or "What's under my tire now?" a good way to assist these drivers is to yell out, "Don't hit me!"

It may be a struggle at first to incorporate these new ideas into our lives, but for the good of society we must at least try.

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