Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Blind Opens My Eyes


Before I went on the "Storm Safari" our News Director told me to come back with 2 stories.  I knew what the first one would be.  I thought the 2nd story would present itself once I got there and I was right.  While interviewing chasers for the 1st story, they all said I needed to talk to Steve.  Steve is legally blind and storm chases.  It hit me, that's my 2nd story!

Prior to the chase I agreed to speak at the 1st Lutheran Church in downtown Little Rock on the Tuesday night after the trip.  There's a group of legally blind people who meet regularly and they wanted me to talk about the weather.  Coincidence?

Once I met Steve, I not only had a 2nd story, but I had a topic of conversation at the meeting Tuesday night.

After about 20 minutes of talking I opened it up to questions.  One lady politely asked if If I would clarify something for her when we cover severe weather.  When tornado watches are issued, I usually put a map up and say "the green shaded counties are under the tornado watch".  Well, if you're blind, which counties specifically?  In TV, time will not allow for me to run down a list of counties, but I promised I would specifically mention regions of the state under the watch and would be as specific as possible.

We take so much for granted and it made me think about those who are either blind, deaf, etc.  Each person should have the information regardless of their impairment.  It really opened my eyes to better my forecast and severe weather coverage.

I wanted to blog about this and open it up to YOUR comments and suggestions regarding the issue.  THANKS!

My interview with Steve in Wichita, Kansas.


Anonymous said...

NOAA weather radios are very helpful to the blind. The NOAA weather radio will list every county in a watch. They are very specific when it comes to warnings.

besnini said...

WeatherCall 7 is another good option, since it is targeted to your home. I'm so glad we signed up. We even got the calls when we were visiting family in Maryland.

Todd, I know you didn't write this post to float your own boat but I think it is great that you are being sensitive to the needs of those people who are impaired or the elderly. You are to be commended not only for being a great meteorologist but a good person.

Anonymous said...

This latest post confirms something I had always thought....that you are not only a great weatherman, but also a good man. Thanks for your good work and compassion and concern.

Anonymous said...

Todd,I am not blind,but I have a hearing impairment. I was not able to hear the serins go off here in Vilonia,but I was watching you and Ned and was able to take cover before the tornado hit Vilonia. The storm tracker was right on the time it was to be here. Thanks to you and Ned we are safe. Keep up the good work! Mindy Hurst,

Anonymous said...

Todd, as someone who has vision problems, I totally agree with NOAA weather radios. I wonder if there could be a way to have people donate weather radios and/or money to some of local organizations who work with the blind?

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