Who we are - the People and the Company:
NOTE: If this is your first visit to BFC, you might also want to read our Tutorial on Using Our Service (opens in a new window).
This may be a little different from most "mission statements" you're used to reading. You won't find a bunch of personal biographies or the usual babble about our Officers and Directors here because, like many other people with disabilities, each of us values our own personal privacy.
BarrierFreeChoices, Our Mission and Our Purpose:
First and foremost, BFC is an Information Service for Consumers with Disabilities. Our websites are NOT "Disability" websites.
Instead, they are "Live Your Life to the Fullest Every Day, Despite Any Disability You May Have" websites.
At BFC, we believe in maximizing whatever each of us can do, rather than wasting our time and life energy feeling sorry for ourselves about those things we can't do.
BFC's purpose is to provide leadership, guidance and inspiration for those individuals who would like to learn how to do the same, and thereby maximize the opportunity to "be all they can be."
The BFC Staff those People Who Make BFC Happen:
For the record, the people who make BFC work come from a wide diversity of professions, businesses and/or disciplines, including:
Advertising/Marketing; Automotive Industry; Commercial Art; Construction; Editing/Publishing; Food Service/Hospitality; Graphic Design; Journalism; Law; Law Enforcement; Music; Politics; Programming; Public Relations; Real Estate; and a lot more.
Where we came from and who we are individually is not as important as why we're here, and how our efforts can help you.
Some at BFC have been disabled since birth or early childhood. Some acquired disabilities later in life. Others became involved with disability issues through caring for friends or family members, or through working within the disability community.
What we all have in common is a passionate and unrelenting dedication to improving the quality of life and maximizing the integration into society for people with disabilities.
BFC is a Nationwide Information Service that has evolved over the last two decades to help two important groups of people to quickly find each other, to the mutual benefit of both:
For America's "Disability Community" ...
If you are a member of America's "disability community" (some 22.8% of the U.S. population), BFC helps you locate accessible resources (nearby retail businesses and professional service providers) who are both willing and able to provide the products and services you need and want.
For America's "Business and Professional Community" ...
If you are a member of America's business or professional community willing and able to serve "disabled Americans" in a barrier-free venue, BFC serves as a unique forum through which you can present your products and/or services to America's "largest minority population segment" and thereby be more successful in your business or professional career, because:
A. You do a pretty good job at running your business or professional career; AND
B. You have the morality and the moral fortitude (sometimes called "guts") to serve the public in your business or profession with an undiscriminating equal hand, and you conduct your business in such a way to demonstrate your awareness that regardless of our perceived "differences," each of us still has value and our own role to play in life.
BFC Was Born Out of Frustration, Embarrassment, and Outrage
For many people with a disability, the challenges of dealing with everyday life activities can often create high levels of frustration, embarrassment and outrage.
The frustration comes when we encounter barriers that impede us in accomplishing some simple task or participating in some normal activity that others without our particular "disability" can simply take for granted.
The embarrassment comes in public situations, such as when our particular disability might cause us to stumble and fall over some small obstacle that others don't even notice; or where we might happen to visit a public place with no accessible restrooms and then need to ask for help from strangers to get on or off the toilet.
The outrage comes during awkward social situations with insensitive people who never bother to care about or even to think about the fact that our particular disability might somehow impede us in accomplishing a particular task.
However, if they are able to do something we can't, such insensitive people are prone to stereotype and patronize us, treating us as if we were clumsy, stupid, lazy, or incompetent.
And for those of us who have "invisible" disabilities (about 75% of the disabled population, or 17% of the total U.S. population), the outrage may be even worse. Those same insensitive people, if they don't see anything "wrong" with us, will often call us liars and frauds if we can't do what they think we should be able to do ... and do it in the exact same way that they do it.
It was out of just such an environment of frustration, embarrassment and outrage that BarrierFreeChoices was born. For each of us here at BFC, living with our own particular "disability situation" has given us a first-hand understanding of the vital need for what we do, and the social importance of the services that BFC provides.
We are dedicated to providing practical information and knowledge you can use every day to live your best life to the fullest extent possible, despite whatever disabilities you may have.
We believe that every person's life has value, and that all of society benefits when each individual in that society has an equal opportunity to reach for and achieve the highest goals possible, within the scope of his or her personal capabilities.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32)