Union member Sanford Rosenthal, who himself lost his sight 20 years ago to retinitis pigmentosa, is bringing together experienced writers to share knowledge and skills in a series of bi-weekly phone conversations.
Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) March 23, 2006 -- When 20 people dialed a telephone number to a location outside Chicago Sunday night, they made history as the first participants in an innovative, interactive tele-class to help individuals with disabilities develop professional writing skills.The project is a cooperative effort between a national labor union and Sanford Rosenthal, a South Florida community activist, who had a vision a year ago that he's been sharing with anyone who would listen: "People with disabilities have stories to tell and deserve a chance to tell them."Rosenthal
sight entirely to retinitis pigmentosa, RP, almost 20 years ago.For 8 years, he's
published Party Line, an internationally-distributed, monthly audio magazine for the blind.
Last September, Rosenthal
vision for writers with disabilities to Baltimore as an elected representative to the bi-annual Delegate Assembly of the National Writers Union
is also known as UAW Local 1981, a division of the million-member United Auto Workers labor union and a member of the AFL-CIO
has taught many people to see with much more than our eyes," Eisenberg said.
is a wonderful leader full of passion and advocacy.
was pleased by the very positive response he
received from participants."Without spending a dollar on advertising, information on our classes spread across the United States.Dozens of people started learning about my plans, emailing and phoning me," Rosenthal
said.For the first session, he
added, individuals participated from 10 different states, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa and Arizona."Almost immediately," Rosenthal
said, "the meeting felt like a reunion of friends.We all shared so much in common in terms of our experiences and hopes that we instantly felt the bond of a community."
Although classes are scheduled to meet just twice monthly, Rosenthal
said the response he's
received makes it likely classes will be held more often."Our format is to keep each group small enough so that it's comfortable for everyone to interact, brief enough so we don't lose anyone's attention, and informative enough so we actually help each participant become more successful."Rosenthal
and Eisenberg said they are also considering other applications for using what they are learning through this project to help people with disabilities connect with each other, share resources, knowledge, and inspiration.
"The possibilities are limitless," said Rosenthal
."We're learning to build new bridges that will enable us as human beings and fellow citizens to connect, learn, and empower one another."
Immediately after the first class ended, Rosenthal
phone and email began buzzing with messages of appreciation and congratulations."I was so moved by the impact we had right from the start," he
"Behind the keyboard," Rosenthal
said, "nobody is disabled."
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...Disabilities Activist Sanford Rosenthal
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