By Choe Sang-Hun Sept. And now, the Speed dating online Independence shop assistant sees only shapeless colors as she fumbles through Seoul's crowded subway.
Still, for the past year and a half, this commute has been part of her daily routine: she gets up at Ethiopian single men in McAllen. There, Lee, 42, trains for the one job - masseur - that South Korea has for most of the past century reserved exclusively for the visually impaired.
But lately she fears her prospects in this Free newspapers in Canton profession are under threat. The South Korean Constitutional Court is being asked to strike down the law that allows only the visually impaired to become professional masseurs, on the grounds that it violates the employment rights of the non-blind.
Lawyers say a ruling could come as soon as next week. Feelings on both sides are intense.
Three people have already died in protests over who may enter the trade. Lee is distraught at the possibility the law might change. It was abolished in by the postwar U.
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In a country where social prejudice and a lack of official support long restricted the opportunities of the disabled, the visually impaired have fiercely defended their exclusive right to the business. The 7, blind people Port Hammond escort in about 1, massage parlors are the only legally registered masseurs in South Korea.
But they hardly meet the demand for massages. So tens of thousands of "sports massage" centers, skin-care salons, barber shops, hotels Group sex party in Asheville public bath houses all hire sighted - and technically illegal - massage workers.
Estimates of their range fromtoNational sport teams also hire sighted massage therapists.
During the Seoul Olympics in and the World Cup soccer tournament inSouth Korea ased hundreds of sighted masseurs to cater to the visiting delegations. During the Asian financial crisis of the late s, the government offered free massage training to the unemployed. Roh Moo Hyun, Dating sites in USA and San Angelo former president, is said to have kept his own - sighted - masseur.
Its members are working openly, in defiance of the law, which calls for up to three years in prison for an und practitioner.
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We want to live as normal citizens, not as criminals. The two principles clashed inwhen sighted massage workers asked the Constitutional Court to invalidate the government's directive that only Pagan dating sites Nashua blind could work as masseurs.
In that case, the court came down on the side of the blind. But ina reconstituted court issued a ruling that favored Southbank massage Pensacola sighted, saying that restricting people's choice of jobs by government directive - it was not then a formal law - was "excessively" discriminatory.
That triggered My friendly Boynton Beach of protests by the blind. Blind masseurs leaped from tall buildings and onto subway tracks. Two died.
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The police fished blind activists from the Han River in Seoul after they jumped from a bridge to highlight their cause. The protests continued until Massage lavallette Tempe Junction National Assembly passed legislation enshrining the blind massage monopoly in law. The sighted staged their own protests. After the National Assembly's action inone activist killed himself by jumping from the same Han River bridge.
More than 7, sighted masseurs have ed in another lawsuit, this time asking the Constitutional Court to strike down the new law.
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And this month, blind protesters again jumped from the bridge, this time in opposition to a government proposal to skin-care specialists to give massages. The protesters demanded that the skin-care specialists' massages be confined to head and hands, leaving How to attract Dallas girl rest of the body to the blind.
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Conditions for the disabled in South Korea have generally improved in recent years. Subways and buildings have begun improving access to the handicapped, and the government now provides tax cuts for Port Hammond escort that hire the disabled.
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But the disabled say much remains to be. Few buses are equipped to board people who use wheelchairs, and many people who use canes or wheelchairs complain that taxis won't stop for. Some of the blind sense a persistent social stigma.
On a recent day, Dong Seong Geun, 45, a blind masseur, was staging a lone protest in front of the Constitutional Court, holding a.
La Crosse tranny strip club can taking away one job from people who only have one compare with taking one job away from sighted people who have a hundred jobs to choose from?
But when it was discovered that most graduates Meridian friendly dating not compete with the sighted, the schools narrowed their training to massage, said Yang Hoi Song, the head of vocational training at the Seoul National School for the Blind. Lee, the leader of the blind masseurs, said competing with sighted massage therapists in South Korea would be like "going into a boxing ring with your eyes blindfolded.
The sighted masseurs, for their part, argue that the massage law is holding the blind back, by confining them to a vocational ghetto.