Independence Science is announcing that we intend to use identity first language when referring to the use of the word blind. We will use this term, “blind,” to refer to anyone with a visual impairment. Further, we intend to use identity first language thus putting the word blind in front of other descriptors such as person, people, or student. We at Independence Science feel there is a tendency for the education community and rehabilitation professionals to use vision centered language. It is this vision centered language that can reinforce the misconception that there is something wrong with the use of the word blind. Additionally, there are several historic stigmas associated with the word blind that we acknowledge. However, Independence Science wishes to affirm the National Federation of the Blind’s position on using the word blind as an accurate descriptor for visual impairment. We feel that the use of the word blind or adjective blindness can be used in a non-stigmatized way and Independence Science encourages all educators and rehabilitation professionals to reassess their feelings towards using the word blind in their places of employment. If a customer wishes Independence Science to use person first language, we will try to accommodate this request on a case by case basis with each request and will be honored in all e-mail and other written and verbal communications with that specific customer in question.
Independence Science seeks to promote an environment of empowerment in the blind community as it pertains to STEM education and living a full inclusive and independent life in whatever occupation they choose. Further, we encourage all educators and rehabilitation professionals to be as supportive of the blind in their interests in STEM related pursuits.