Bioptic Drivers Unite

From: Artemis Shamamian
Email: TVArtemis@aol.com
Date: February 08, 2004
Time: 22:53:59


Bioptic Users Unite This is an open letter to people who use bioptic lenses for driving. I am writing to you to ask for your cooperation and assistance in exposing the discrimination drivers using these corrective lenses inevitably confront at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. I know what Iím talking about. Iíve been driving for over 25 years, 19 with bioptic lenses. Iíve been ridiculed, insulted, disparaged, lied to, and even turned away by DMV employees who were just plain angry about having to deal with my ďspecialĒ case. For years I thought this abuse was only happening to me. But Iíve learned recently that Iím not alone. Every time I renew my license I know I can count on weeks of anxiety and apprehension, sleepless nights trying to anticipate what theyíll hang me on. There is the routine interrogation - where did I get my glasses, how long have I been driving with them, which DMV station licensed me and more. With each examiner I get a different interpretation of the law and how it should be executed. After jumping all those hoops, I hold my breath and wait. From my experience with the California DMV, there is no consensus regarding the bioptic user except to keep them off the road. DMV examiners seem more hostile about testing drivers with bioptic lenses. Are you seeing the same responses ? As individuals we are vulnerable to the institutionalized ignorance and loose interpretation of the stateís policy for driving with bioptic lenses. We have to back each other up. I think that together we present a united front against this routine discrimination and violation of our rights. These discriminatory practices must be stopped. Until very recently I enjoyed a very successful career as a broadcast journalist and television writer/producer. Although Iím not in the trenches at the moment, I still have many friends and colleagues in both print, radio and television. We are at the center of an injustice. Our situation is compelling and something many people can and do relate to. As the population ages, there is no doubt that more of us will be using new assisted technology to drive. Agencies like the DMV canít resist the change and we have to help them develop new attitudes though our courage and determination. After all, weíre all still driving against most conventional thinking. If youíd be willing to share your experiences please contact me by calling (818) 353-3186 or e-mailing me at TVArtemis@aol.com