It was a beautiful day, and I had just finished a session with my mobility trainer. We had gone all around downtown Boston so I could learn how to navigate the inner workings of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. This was an amazing day for my little high-school mind. The prospect of exploring the world was exhilarating, and it was just an amazing afternoon overall.
It had come to an end, though, and my mobility trainer and I were standing outside the Quincy Center train station. We were waiting for my mom to come pick me up. As we sat, my trainer looked over at me and asked, with great seniority in her voice, “Mona, why can’t you drive?”
Now remember, ladies and gentlemen, I had spent an ENTIRE DAY with her learning to get around the subway system because I am blind. I stood there wide-eyed. My white cane dangled from my hand, and I had NO clue how to respond to that. And then she continues, “Oh! It must be because of your religion! Women can’t drive, right?” Still, I had no response besides, “Well my mom is picking me up, so…”
“Oh my God! Don’t tell anybody that I asked you that!” There it was. It finally clicked!
“I don’t think I can promise that, but don’t worry I won’t use your name”