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Advocacy: Insurance Battles

Primary Tasks

    Secondary Tasks

      Insurance Companies

      For many years, blind persons had difficulty buying insurance policies because insurance companies felt that a blind person was more of a risk than a sighted person. This practice related to widespread misconceptions about blindness. While they possessed no actuarial evidence to support the theory, insurers believed a blind person was considered more likely to get into a life-threatening accident. Because insurance practices are regulated by state entities, not by the federal government, each state had its own insurance commission or department. Iowans sought to change this practice in Iowa by working with Iowa's Insurance Commissioner.

      Blind Iowans Talk About Insurance Discrimination

      John Taylor--Insurance Discrimination


      Credit Union

      Just as it was difficult for a blind person to be covered by insurance, they were also often denied financial loans. Loan officers believed that a blind person was not a "safe investment," largely because they did not see how they would have a reliable source of income to repay the loan. As a result, a group of Iowans formed their own credit union to provide loans to blind Iowans.

      Blind Iowans Talk About the Iowa Association of the Blind (IAB) Credit Union

      Jim Witte--IAB Credit Union Excerpt 1

      Jim Witte--IAB Credit Union Excerpt 2

      Lucy Bagley--IAB Credit Union


      Full narrations and transcripts can be found on the Oral History Page.