Case-studies: The Blinded Veterans Association and the Canadian Paraplegic Association
Examples of the various processes that form the history of disabled veterans may be found in the well-documented experiences of spinal cord-injured Canadian and blinded American veterans of World War II.
He used the concept "respectability" in laying out those elements of the ideal blinded veteran's character that would reestablish him as, in Williams' formulation, a "man among men." For Williams, who established one of the world's first comprehensive program of blind mobility training based on white cane technique at the Hines, Illinois Veterans Administration Hospital, respectability meant refusing to surrender to self-pity or to accept pity from others; rejection of helplessness, particularly in the form of excessive dependence on others (especially female caregivers) for assistance with mobility; maintaining solidarity with other blinded veterans; and finding regular employment in the mainstream economy.
The analysis of that politics reveals the agency of these blinded and paralyzed veterans in fashioning relations with the state that fused a recognition of the need for state assistance with a frequently repeated desire for self-sufficiency.