Human Rights – Legal Rights

Human rights that have generally been accepted, although they too are now at risk of being lost.

Legal Freedom to:
Peaceful assembly
Recognition as a person
Legal Equality and Recourse
Fair and Public Trial
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Seek asylum in another country
Social Order

The United States was founded on the belief of equality.  The right to assemble with others was essential to the beginning of our country.  Whether that assembly occurs indoors, or outdoors, should not matter.

The right to vote.  That has been debated since the beginning of the country, as to who should have the right to vote.  All humans should.  Regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity.  The only exceptions should be murders and sex offenders.  At one point, voting was considered a holiday.  Perhaps we should go back to that since so many companies refuse time off for employees to drive 20+ miles away to vote.  Or, create an online system that only takes a few moments.

All people should be recognized as people.  There has been much recent legislation to deny women as people, and take away their rights.

More prominent legal issues revolve around more serious matters.  Social order is vital to allow human rights to exist for all.  This requires an innocent until proven guilty justice system.  That justice system is required to grant people proper representation in a fair and public trail within a reasonable amount of time.  Not years or decades later.  Nor, should it punish those whom have been victimized.

No person should be denied their basic human rights based on their nationality.  Yet, this occurs every day.

Humans rights bring equality.  Those who demand their rights, while denying others equal rights, are hurting themselves as well as the person they are denying personhood to.

Some people like to say life isn’t fair.  We as people, as humans, should try to make it as fair as possible.  Treat others the way we want to be treated.  Raise others up, don’t trample them in the mud on the rise to the top.  There is no point standing on the mud flats with no one beside you.  Help them up with you, and bask in the beauty of the sunshine.

#Humanrights #womensrights #health #safety #life

#BendingtheBars examines #dysfunctionalfamilies, #abuse, #PTSD, and the legal system keeps #Survivors with abusers.

The Stork Mis-Delivered – Twice is a violent tale that could have happened. #Domesticviolence #selfesteem

Human Rights – Right to Community

This list of human rights is the one that should be simplest.  Those rights you want for yourself, you should also want for your neighbor.  However, these seem to be the most contentious.  People want these rights for themselves, and yet they want to dictate to others what they can, or cannot do.  While you may be able to request that a person not do (or say) certain things within your home, or business, it hurts everyone to do so.  There may be certain reasons, such as PTSD, that may okay caution in some rare cases.

Freedom to:
Own property
Express thoughts and ideas
Privacy of home and correspondence
Economic security
A job, a fair wage, and a trade union
Marriage and Family (including adoption)
Create Intellectual Property
Community Responsibility

Every person should have the freedom to own property.  For some reason, our society counts success as owning objects.  When  whole segments of the population are not allowed to own anything, they will never be viewed as successful, which leads to a magnitude of problems.

Religion.  A contentious subject.  As it should be.  It is private and personal, and should remain that way.  No one needs to know, unless they live in your home.  Or, their religious choices hurt or kill others.  Then, those people fall back into the legal human rights category.

All humans, regardless of age, gender, or background should be able to express their thoughts and ideas in mediums they choose, as long as they do not hurt others.  These thoughts and ideas do have consequences.

All humans should have the right to privacy, both in the home, and in public.  Their health, and other records should never be available to the public.  Very rare instances should any of these documents be made available to doctors, police departments, and employers.

Although, it could benefit deafblind individuals for police to know there are deafblind individuals in the community.  They sometimes need specialized to training to realize that a deafblind person may not hear them, or recognize that a police office is there.  Some deafblind individuals have died in recent years due to being shot by police who were unaware that a person walking with a cane was not a threat, and had no way of knowing they were there and yelling at them.

All humans should have the right to live with, and financially support the people they choose to.  Whether as a spouse, or a friend.  This support should be extended to include insurance (until national payer exists) housing, ad hospital visitation.

All people should have the right to adopt a child if they are deemed a fit parent.  Some parents may work outside the home, while others, who remain at home, can care for the children who need a full time parent.

All humans should have a right to fair and safe employment.  This includes fair wages, equal wages -regardless of gender, age, or ability.  In this case, ability applies to accommodating visual, hearing, and physical disabilities, not the ability to do the job.

All humans should have the right to have vacation.  Time to read, rest, and be around family.  Working every waking moment for 30 or 40 years simply leads to disability, and a wasted life.

All humans should have access to health.  Both healthcare, and real health opportunities.  Healthcare is vital to well being.  Without time off, and short enough work days, people cannot eat or exercise properly to maintain their health.

All people should have a right to an education.  Education stretches the mind and keeps the person busy and happy.  It helps people relate, understand, and empathize with others, regardless of their situation.

An often forgotten component of human rights is the concept of community responsibility.  If a community normalizes abusers, they should not be surprised at the results – damaged community members who cannot fill the roles society expects them to.  If you see someone abusing another, it’s important to stand up for them.  It is the only way abuse will stop.  These survivors need to know they have community support.  Even if that support is simply agreement, and preventing of victimization.

The list goes on and on.  Basically, if you feel you have a certain right, then so does the person next to you.

#Humanrights #womensrights #health #safety #life

Secrets will haunt Mistie, and hundreds of others till death. #PTSD #abusesurvivor The Stork Mis-Delivered – Twice

Survivors feel there is no escape. Often, there isn’t. Legally. It shouldn’t be that way. #codependency #BendingtheBars

Human Rights – Freedom From List

Human rights are something that should not need to be debated.  Only those who put other people’s lives in jeopardy risk the right to freedom.  Even then, they are protected by other rights that determine how they should be treated, and how the planet should be protected from them.

One of the most basic aspects of human rights is the freedom from section.

Freedom from:
Slavery (even wage slavery)
Imprisonment without just cause
Forced Deportation

Freedom from slavery has changed meaning over the last few centuries. Originally, it meant that people personally bought and sold other people as if they were belongings instead of individuals.  However, it has come to be recognized as corporate slavery – where local corporations refuse to pay a living wage, and there is no where for the person to go.  Kinda like the old mining towns, and owing your soul to the company store, simply because you owed so much, you couldn’t leave.  With no chance to escape, alive.

Every person should be free from torture.  Yet, governments are using it again against people.  Even the fear, or mention of torture should be too much.

Freedom from religion.  Religion is a person choice.  One that should not be forced on another.  People have the right to choose a religion, or not choose one.  No one should require, or demand that a religion be required.  It is understandable that some religious organizations would prefer employees with the same beliefs.  However, they should never degrade people who have other beliefs.

Every person should have freedom from imprisonment without just cause.  False imprisonment leads to loss of wages, work time, and community success.  At times in our history, it has been considered okay, and sometimes a safety issue to put people behind bars to protect them, whether from themselves, or others. It would be nice to believe our country has grown beyond that need to protect citizens this way.

Forced deportation of legal citizens, legal immigrants, and those visiting the US is a human rights violation.  It should not be tolerated.  Even criminals should not be forced to leave without a proper trial, sentencing, and legal outcome.

The only exception to following human rights laws is when their rights attempt to trample yours.  The old saying goes, “Your rights end where mine being.”  No one has the right to take your rights away.  Unless, you are using them to hurt others.

#Humanrights #womensrights #health #safety #life

Ruby’s Law is a weak start, a chance to bend the bars of abuse, without breaking the survivors. #domesticviolence

There is no easy answer as to why survivors do not escape. Often, they’ve no where to go. #Domesticviolence

Human Rights and Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is human rights and sexual assault awareness month.  As well as child abuse prevention and pet first aid training month.  Online calendars have a long list of awareness events for the month of April.  A blog could cover one each year, and never cover them all in a full human lifetime.

Many of the subjects for this month can be depressing, so I’ll try to intersperse them with the more cheerful topics.

The first topic of the month will be human rights.

Human rights should be given to all people, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender.

Below is a basic list of Human Rights:

Freedom from:
Slavery (incuding wage slavery)
Imprisonment without just cause
Forced Deportation without just cause.

Freedom to:
Own property
Express thoughts and ideas
Peaceful assembly
Recognition as a person
Legal Equality and Recourse
Fair and Public Trial
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Privacy of home and correspondence
Economic security
A job, a fair wage, and a trade union
Seek asylum in another country
Marriage and Family
Social Order
Create Intellectual Property
Community Responsibility

The only time some human rights should be waived is for people who sexual assault others.  Those people have no right to be out and about among the rest of the human population.

These issues will be covered in deeper detail in later blogs.

#Humanrights #womensrights #health #safety #life

The Stork Mis-Delivered – Twice looks at generational damage caused by abuse, neglect, and pain. #domesticviolence

Survivors have known no other life.  They are conditioned to believe abuse is normal. #BendingtheBars #selfesteem

Women’s History Month – Sally Ride

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Sally Ride (1951 – 2012), reached for the stars for women, becoming the first American woman in Space.  In 1983, twenty-three years after the first man in space, she brought women as close to equality in space as possible at the time.

In 1973, she received a physics degree.  And continued to receive her masters and doctorate in the same subjects.

Her work for NASA didn’t end when she finished her space missions.  She created a company to encourage other women to follow in her footsteps, into science and space.

Women like Sally Ride give us a glimpse of the future, when women will have opportunities to be equal to men.  It isn’t easy.  It’s a fight every day.  When women only receive $0.70 for every $1.00 a man is paid for the same job, there is a long way to go.  With so many pioneers behind us, we only have to reach for the stars to find equality.  It’s out there, if enough are able to fight for it.

Women’s History Month – Mary Jemison

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Mary Jemison (1743 – 1833) is a symbol of the tens of thousands of children captured and raised by Native American tribes who did not want to return to the colonial lifestyle.
This says a lot about the colonial lifestyle.
These children were captured and raised as a member of the tribe.  Equal to all other members, and expected to do the work to maintain the tribe.  Their affiliation with the colonials was forgiven, and forgotten by all, including themselves.
Mary was 15 when she was captured.  At that time, it was common for 16 year old women around the world to be considered an adult, and married.  So, technically, she could left on her own within one year.
Instead, she remained.  Married, and raised a family.  She refused to return to her colonial roots, no matter how much the government expected her to.  Among her adopted family, she had rights that would never be granted a woman in colonial society.
There are many articles and books about Mary’s life among her adopted family.

Women’s History Month – Rowe Versus Wade

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

The Roe versus Wade case was decided in January of 1973.  It is being fought in the streets (and courts) again, two generations later.

It took 3 years to determine if women had the right to choose an abortion, and at what point during the pregnancy abortions were no longer considered legal.

At a time when an understanding of genetics was just beginning to be proven, many people recognized the dangers of child being born from rape and incest, which accounted for the majority of abortions.

Even today, the majority of abortions are for young women, many whom have been in sexual relationships since pre-teen years with male family members.  It is not uncommon for the young woman to have no memory of the sexual contact, they are often groomed and drugged during the experiences.  Even if the young woman is no longer with her abuser, she may still be in an abusive relationship which leads to her having no control over the choice of sex or not.

There are a small subset of women who may choose abortion when they are poor, simply because they do not have the money to support a pregnancy, even if they work full time.  That isn’t their failing.  That is societies failing.  Full time work should support a family.

Rowe Versus Wade gave women a chance to protect themselves against the men who choice to force their bodies on them without permission.  Today, those men are more aggressive, and are fighting to regain total control over women’s bodies.  Most women who have an abortion never had any say so in the choice to get pregnant.  When we take away the ability to protect themselves, and society, from the abusers choices, we threaten society with generations of children out of control, and more violent than any we have seen in decades.

Rather than punish the women (and preteen girls) for the rest of their lives, we need to punish the men who do these things to them.

For further information check the CDC site:

Women’s History Month – Harriet Quimby

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Harriet Qumiby (1875 – 1912) was a woman who wasn’t afraid to try new things.  She pioneered many paths for women.  She was a writer, a critic, listed herself as an actress, and worked as a photojournalist.
These activities kept her on the forefront of the news of the times.  She was able to follow and join in many exciting opportunities that presented themselves.
In 1910, she interviewed a pilot, and discovered that she wanted to fly.  She was the first licensed female pilot in the US.  Only one other woman in the world had received her license at that time.
Flying was a rather new opportunity for anyone.  In fact, to increase awareness of flying, many pilots put on fancy shows to demonstrate their skills.  She was no exception.  At least there, on dancing on the tip of a plane wing, she was allowed to wear pants rather than a dress, which would have ended up wrapped around her face, and possibly caught in the wings, causing a crash.
Her biggest glory was eclipsed by the sinking of the Titanic.  The was the first solo flight by a woman across the English Channel.
Less than three months later, on June 1, 1902, she and her passenger were killed during an air show.  Her work was considered an inspiration for other female pilots of the time including Amelia Earhart whose plane was lost during a flight around the world in 1937.

Women’s History Month – Anna Howard Shaw

Anna Howard Shaw (1847 – 1919) spent her life fighting for women’s rights.  She came to this country when she was four years old.  She witnessed the Civil War and World War 1 in the US.

She decided to go to college, at time that women often did not.  She also decided to be a preacher, at a time that women simply didn’t.  Or, didn’t become licensed to do so.  She was the first female Methodist Protestant minister.

She didn’t end her education.  In 1886 she earned her medical doctor degree as well.  Although online reports don’t show how she used this degree, it fit in well with her other accomplishments, and helped break down doors for future female doctors.

She used her position to preach politics, and women’s wrights.  Susan B. Anthony was among her friends.  She chaired many committees over the years for women’s rights, temperance, and national defense group for women.

Her death from pneumonia occurred a year before women gained the right to vote in 1920.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Sacagawea

Sacagawea (1788 – 1812) is well known to most school children as the woman who smoothed the way for the men of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the frontier of America before paved roads, cars, planes, TVs, or phones existed.
Many facts about Sacagawea are lost in the mists of myth.  Her early years are partially documented.  She was born to a Shoshone tribe.  And kidnapped as a child by a Hidatsa tribe.  This tribe traded, or sold her to a French trapper, Toussaint Charbonneau, as a “wife.”  He was asked to join the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Sacagawea joined them, even though they would walk much of the way, and she was pregnant.  The Journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806.
After her son was born, she continued the trek, and carried him along.  She was able to met with her long lost brother at a critical moment in the journey.  If she hadn’t met him, the team would have been killed.  In many other ways, she saved them, through languages they did now speak, medical care, cooking, and reminding them of why they took the journey.
After the trek was over, her history starts to get murky with mists.
According to most sources, she gave birth to a daughter in 1812 and died.  William Clark then adopted her two children, although the man who is supposed to be her husband, is still alive for nearly 30 more years.
There is also another documented story, that claims she survived and left to marry a Comanche and lived to be over 100 years old.
She was a true pioneer for women’s right’s to make their own decisions, and did what she could to teach others to treat women with respect.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson

Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson (1912 – 2007) lived a very full life, and cannot be summed up easily in 250 words.  She believed in, and fought for equal rights and opportunities for all, regardless of gender or ethnicity.
She went to college to be a journalist, and then married the political Lyndon B. Johnson.  She pushed him to continue his political career.
Perhaps, she saw this as the best way to help women and ethnic groups.  Within politics, a whisper and whisper there could lead to change.
While her husband was president, he signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  This act outlawed discrimination based on race.  She encouraged him to face those who were angry at him for passing this law.  He traveled the country, and spoke to those who would spit on him for daring to think people of various ethnicities had the same rights as he did.
She also created and helped run the Head Start program.  While the program isn’t perfect, none can be, it does help many disadvantaged students who would be dumped into a daycare while both parents work to provide food, clothing, and housing.  These students get a chance to learn the beginning of life skills their parents do not have time to teach them.  It has changed focus over the years to more of a disability equalizer program.
Besides helping others, she lived up to her name by helping the environment through the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.  Her work encouraged preserving the California Redwoods, rather than cutting them all down and turning them into furniture.  She served on the National Park board, wrote about the parks. She also founded the National Wildlife Research Center in Austin, Texas.

Let us hope all the work she did will continue to advance and equalize the country.  May it never be undone.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Ellen Swallow Richards

Ellen Swallow Richards (1842 – 1911) Was a female trailblazer.  She fought for the right for women to obtain degrees in their desired fields.  She wanted to be a chemist.  However, women were not allowed to at this time.
Perhaps, this a protective endeavor, to prevent women from being poisoned by chemicals.  For young adults, recommending returning after parenting would be understandable.  However, the outright refusal is not a good idea.  It will prevent many breakthroughs.  It is an issue of understanding the consequences of working in such and environment.
Well before the EPA was introduced, she encouraged and worked on stream water analysis.  At the time, some pollutants were not tested for, or the tests were not as accurate as they might be today.
What would she think of today’s streams full of pesticides, herbicides, and processed medications?
Without the degree, Ellen Swallow Richards continued her studies on her own.  She developed sewage treatment options, which have saved millions of lives over the years.
She fought for healthy nutrition, at a time when the industrial revolution was taking off and filling the skies with pollutants.  She recognized the dangers of arsenic in wallpaper and clothing, at time when other scientists assured the public it was safe.
Her work in the scientific community helped women reach for a future that had been denied them for so long.  Without her work, we’d have reddish grey skies, and toxic, garbage filled waterways.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Eliza Lucas Pinckney

Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722 – 1793) was an innovative whose mother died while she young, and her father encouraged her to to study whatever interested her. She studied arts and music, and although they made a relaxing pastime, her favorite subject was botany.
As a teen, she raised her siblings at time when most young women her age were getting married and starting their own families.  She took care of the plantations, and all the workers, most of whom were slaves.  She practiced teaching them to read and write so they could help care for the plantation.
When her father suggested she look at more crops the plantations could grow, her botany knowledge gave her ideas.  Her foresight knew that color would matter, and would improve their lives.  With the help of her slaves and work crews, she developed ways to grow indigo and other plants that would be beneficial financially wise.  She also tried to grow other crops like flax and hemp.
Eventually, during the American Revolution, the plantations were destroyed.  However, by that time, she had married and raised three sons of her own.
When she died, she was poor.  Something she had never been before.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Margaret Knight

Margaret Knight (1838 – 1914) was one of the first recognized American women inventors.  Almost all women have to invent something during some point in their lives.  Most of those inventions are forgotten, or if they continue to be used are placed in the name of male who oversees them, and takes the credit for them.  Young women who want to be inventors and innovators are often discouraged from joining these “traditionally” male clubs.
Margaret didn’t let that stop her.  Nor, did she let poverty stop her.  As a child, she worked in a mill.  She saw the accidents first hand.  In order to save lives, she developed a shuttle that would stop the machine is something, or someone, became caught in it.
Throughout her life, she developed many new inventions.  Many revolved around the mills and sewing industry.  There were machines to improve shoe making, skirt making, and other clothing designs.
She didn’t let men get in her way.  When one man tried to steal her paper bag design, she fought him in the courts and won.  That meant the patent for the machine was in her name, not his.  At that time, a woman rarely stood a chance in court.
Although she patented many items, she was never well off.  While this is true of many inventors, it is especially true for females who did not live the status quo for the time.  However, she may have used her money to help others reach their goals in innovations.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Abigail Scott Duniway

Abigail Scott Duniway (1834 – 1915) was another pioneer in women’s rights, and equality, regardless of ethnicity.  She fought in two states for women’s right to vote.  She won that right in Washington State in 1910.  In Oregon, it was 1912 before women could vote.  Another 8 years before women could vote anywhere in the country.  In fact, the 100th year of women’s right to vote is coming up in 2020.
Abigail Scott Duniway was mentored by Susan B Anthony, and worked with the various suffrage groups, eventually combining two.  No idea why they called the right to vote suffrage.  Suffering is painful.  Voting shouldn’t be.
She was a writer, like many influential women of her time, and built her own newspaper.  Mostly, it covered the extremes that women lived through.  Though, it covered the Native Americans and even the Chinese conditions as well.
She was able to recognize the differences in how society viewed how much women should make.  Women’s money was often called egg money, as it was often made by selling a few extra eggs. Women were not expected to need, or want , much more than their husbands could provide.  Many were not in place to be able to purchase extras either, as they often lived in rural places with only a few neighbors.
Abigail Scott Duniway’s work gave women the right to vote, and hope that in the future women may eventually be valued equal to a man in job status and wages as well.  We still haven’t met that dream.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Virginia Dare

Virginia Dare (1587 – ?) was the first documented European child born in the Americas.  At the time she was born, Virginia was barely a colony.  She was the granddaughter of the colony’s governor.  Born only three months after their arrival.  Her grandfather saw her last when she was nine days old. Only those nine days of her life are documented.
Her Grandfather, Governor White returned to England for supplies and more colonists.  However, due to an outbreak of war, it was three years before he returned.
What happened to Virginia?  The pioneering new baby of the Americas?  No one really knows.  No bodies were found.  Many believe the colonists who were left became hungry during the winter without the proper food or shelter, and may have joined with a local native tribe to survive.  After an extended time, perhaps even to the end of the next summer, the group and tribe may have moved further inland, or may have been wiped out in a tribal war.
As recent as 2005, there was a DNA project to determine if Virginia Dare might have survived and had children with the local native population.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896) was another young who faced tragedy early, and received an education not representative of the time of her childhood.  Her other died when she was young.  A step mother and three step children soon joined the family.  Her father allowed his daughters to study the arts as was expected of young women at the time.  However, in addition, he expected them to study the more classical style books that her brothers learned from.
She is a famous writer, and changed much of the world as we know it through her portrayal of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  This look at how slavery, and an attempt to escape it tore apart individuals, and families has stood the test of time.  It is relevant today, as any social ill can be recognized as tearing both the individual and the family apart.  That river.  The river of hope that leads between the past, the brutal past, and the future, the one of dreams.
She wrote before and after the Civil War.  After the Civil War, her family bought a winter home in Florida.  Not like today’s snowbirds.  While they may have taken a day of rest, they spent most of there time there teaching the former slaves and their children so that they could become a part of the local economies.
Her siblings also played similar roles in history.  Her brothers went into the church to reach as many people as possible.  Her sister Catherine, was another author and teacher.  Her sister, Isabella, helped in many of the women’s right movements.  A full family of hope for equality for all.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964) was a biologist, ecologist, and writer.  In 1936, she was a pioneer for women, as one of the two who worked in US Bureau of Fisheries. Her interests concerned the both the livelihood of the fisherman, as well as conserving the fish population for future generations.  She wrote many books and smaller items on sustainable fishing practices.
Her book, Silent Spring, in 1962, focused on other living creatures, primarily birds, and how they were going extinct due to pollution, fertilizers, and pesticides.  As a direct result of her work, DDT was banned.  Two years later, she died of breast cancer, likely brought on by her work and research into DDT.
Thanks to her research, the EPA was created in 1970 to help locate dangers, and protect the community from pesticides and other chemicals that alter human DNA, cause illness, and potential early death.  By protecting humans, we also protect the environment.  Rachel Carson gave her life to protect the lives of all future women.

May her work not be in vain.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17!

Women’s History Month – Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White (1904 – 1971) was born to a father who was a naturalist, inventor, and more.  From the founding of Life magazine until her retirement due to Parkinson’s Disease in 1969, she led a career of activity, energy, and adventure that most women could only dream of.  She met influential people across the world wide spectrum of business, politics, and the military.
She photographed the first cover of Life magazine, November 23, 1936.  This image of Fort Peck in Montana represented the coming decades of her life as she flittered in and out of war zones to capture pictures that Americans could not get any other way at the time.
No matter what it took the get the shot she needed, she would try it.  Walking backwards, or hanging upside down from a rope under a helicopter, her life was one adventure after another.  It was also a life firsts.  Both as a woman, and in some cases, a photographer.  She photographed World War II combat, the Soviet Union, and Moscow during the 1941 Kremlin raids by Germany, and the Korean War.
She explored other European and Asian countries during these turmoiltious times, recording the ends of cultures, and the births of new ones in Russia, Czechoslovakia and other Balkan states.
She had a knack for being in a place just before historic events occurred.  This was true in India during the final hours of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. She took the iconic spinning wheel photo of the man who preached peace.
She worked in photography until Parkinson’s Disease would no longer allow her to.  She only lived two years after her lifelong career was over.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17

Women’s History Month – Laura Dewey Bridgeman

Laura Dewey Bridgeman (1829 – 1889) had a normal infancy.  Then, at age 2, she developed scarlet fever.  She lost her sight, and hearing.  Her taste and smell were also badly damaged.  This occurred nearly fifty years before Helen Keller was born.  She was five months older than her later counterpart, and she likely had some speech and other vocal and hearing skills before she lost her sight and hearing.
Much like Helen Keller, Laura spent three years with limited ability to communicate with the outside world.  No one knew how to reach her, and she didn’t know how to reach those she couldn’t see or hear.  She developed her own sign language, which was a common practice at the time.  Living on the frontier, her families knowledge of a deaf population, or deaf school would have been limited.
The Perkins School for the Blind was founded about this time.  Within five years, they had heard of Laura, and wanted to try to help her. By the time she was eight, she traveled without her family, sight, or sound to a strange place she had never been.  It had been six years, or 2/3 of her life since she had been able to see, hear, or communicate with those around her.
Her earlier attempts at language had laid a foundation to build upon.  This was before braille.  They used raised letter labels, and touching objects to formulate names.  Later, she learned the alphabet, after she could recognize words.
She was ready to learn.  To label items she knew and recognized.  And eventually, items, she didn’t recognize.
At age 12, she met Charles Dickens.  She had been at Perkins for four years.
At age 20, she completed her training and returned home.  At this time, there were no guide dogs, canes, or other tools the blind and deafblind recognize and use daily to function as a normal part of life.  Her family simply didn’t have the time to be with her, and assist her through each day.
She returned to Perkins School for the Blind and lived there until her death in 1889.  However, she continued to write, to do needlework, and to be an active part of other students lives.

While back at Perkins School for the Blind, she commonly performed the tasks she had learned how to do in front of visitors.  While today, we look down on “sideshow” activities, these were vital in the days before television.  Today, we send a camera crew, and then watch it on tv.  If we have questions, there are no answers.  Then, people could see first hand what a deafblind person could accomplish.  They could talk to her.  Ask questions.  And take home information to help other partially deafblind in their own community.

Thanks to Laura Dewey Bridgeman, some people began to recognize that deafblind could be active members of society.  In fact, without her help, Helen Keller may not have had Anne Sullivan to teach her.  Laura Dewey Bridgeman even traveled to visit people she wrote to.  Something that would be lost for deafblind people at certain points in history. Sadly, during the industrial revolution, travel became more dangerous for deaf, blind, and deafblind, even though their numbers soared due to disease and accidents. We only now beginning to make progress toward independence again.  And only in very large cities.  Which are dangerous dues to toxic fumes as the deafblind people walk with their canes and smart phones to navigate the objects they cannot see of hear.

Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17