Monday, August 6, 2018

Humiliation of the Blind When Taking Identification Photos- A Statement by Jazz Pianist Dr Valerie Caper


“MY SITUATION AT THE DMV”

 
 I am outraged because of the stupid and insensitive  experience I had when I went several weeks ago  to the Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the Bronx to renew my non driver’s I.D. 

    I got to the place early and it wasn’t long before I was called to get my picture taken.  The clerk seemed to have trouble taking my photo.  She tried to no avail several times, but the camera was not getting my picture.   Some what frustrated, the clerk called for some assistance.  I was then told that I must take off my sunglasses.  I was told that their cameras are not programmed to take pictures of anyone wearing glasses.  I explained that I am BLIND, and that I wear sunglasses for cosmetic purposes.    I was then told that I would have to take off   my sunglasses if I wanted to get a photo for my nondriver’s I.D.  I REFUSED TO TAKE MY SUNGLASSES off.    I’ve had a passport with my photo for over forty years! I am an educator and a performer, and I have traveled internationally everywhere with that passport with my picture.  Just for the record, when I went for my passport those many years ago, they requested that I take off my sunglasses; however, after realizing the situation, they went ahead an took my picture for the passport photo. Several years later, I got my nondriver’s I.D. with my photo on it.

 

     Now I was told that as of 2020, there will be NO I.D.s issued to people wearing glasses.  As a matter of fact, several states have already instituted this practice.

 

   Sunglasses are very important to the blind.   Sunglasses are recognized  as a symbol of blindness all over the world.   In many cases, sunglasses enable the blind to work side by side in the sighted world maintaining their dignity and putting their colleagues at ease.   If something isn’t done to remedy this situation,the obtaining of I.D.s will become an awkward and embarrassing process.

  The situation can be easily  solved by having a camera(at least one camera in the place) that will take facial photos for special I.D.s!

   I sincerely hope that this issue is taken up and given serious consideration.  I intend to follow this situation until there is a change in policy!

 

                      Dr. Valerie Capers                   

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