Advocates for the Blind on S.N.L.’s Paterson Skit

ALBANY—Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live aired another skit making fun of David Paterson's blindness. The last time, Paterson expressed, in a public statement, a mix of sadness and disapproval.

Today happens to be Legislative Disabilities Awareness Day, and advocates have set up tables in the atrium of the Legislative Office Building.

I approached three people from the American Council of the Blind and asked for their thoughts.

"It's Saturday Night Live, this is what they're like in general," said Frank Casey. "Consider the source. There are some people who take offense at it, but I don't think it's a personal attack."

He noted that the show also pokes fun at other sensitive topics and said that since the portrayal didn't call into question Paterson's ability to govern in light of his impairment, he didn't feel it was a huge deal.

"You try to have a sense of humor," he said. "I find that having a sense of humor about my disability helps me get through it sometimes. You've got to laugh about it."

His wife Kathy, sitting next to him at the table, disagreed. She said the skits was unfair and "gives a bad impression" of people with sight and other disabilities.

Mike O'Brien, another advocate, agreed with Frank.

"Most people who are watching Saturday Night Live know what kind of a program it is," he said. "It's exaggerated, and it is what it is."

The three were advocating standardized licensing of people who teach the visually impaired. Their opinions about SNL do not represent the official position of the organization.

Advocates for the Blind on S.N.L.’s Paterson Skit