Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Director Fired from Commission over Marksmanship Class, Supporters Up in Arms

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Director Fired from Commission over Marksmanship Class, Supporters Up in Arms

Article excerpt

As the director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind's Training Center in Kalamazoo, Christine Boone was tasked with offering her students--individuals with recent visual impairment aged 16 and older--educational opportunities that would build their confidence in participating in activities based on each student's needs, abilities and goals, including activities of daily living; braille education; preparation for college; assistive technology training; industrial arts, like woodworking; home mechanics such as the operation of power tools; and orientation and mobility, to name a few. In response to Michigan's "deeply rooted outdoor culture," Ms. Boone spent six months developing, with the school's recreation coordinator, a marksmanship class to "teach newly blinded people that they can, indeed, enjoy the outdoors and live a satisfying and productive life." Staff members from the center purchased two spring-loaded pellet guns and set up targets in a wooded area in a ravine behind the center when an off-site location became unavailable. Available only to adult students at the center and supervised by a qualified instructor, the classes began in mid-September 2009, were "judged an overwhelming success by students and staff," and continued until November, when the classes were canceled on the grounds that firearms are not allowed on state property.

Patrick Cannon, director of the Michigan Commission for the Blind (MCB), notified Ms. Boone that her employment was suspended on January 28, 2010. The following day, a rally in support of Ms. Boone was held by members of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Michigan, who picketed the headquarters of MCB. The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth (DELEG), which oversees MCB, held a hearing on February 4, 2010, regarding the matter. Mario Marrow, spokesperson for DELEG, told a reporter from the Kalamazoo Gazette that "although civil service disciplinary action in Boone's case could have included a warning or written reprimand. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.