When people hear the word blind they most likely picture someone who sees pitch black. The reality is that blindness is on a spectrum. A person can be completely blind with no light perception all the way to having some usable vision. Those with usable vision may use the terms legally blind or visually impaired. Every person has a unique experience to share. Jubilee Media released an excellent video featuring a diverse group within the blind and visually impaired community giving their perspectives on the most common misconceptions and questions and issues faced by those who are blind or visually impaired.
This video gives some insight into what it is like to be blind and visually impaired but it is important to remember that every person is unique and you should never generalize an assumption when it comes to blindness. As someone who is visually impaired I would like to share my own responses to the prompts in this video because the more perspectives there are the better it will be for society as a whole when it comes to tearing down the many misconceptions that still exist regarding those that are blind or visually impaired.
1. Being Blind has Enhanced My Other Senses
I do not think this is true for me. I am completely blind in my right eye and limited vision in my left eye. I think that I do rely more on my hearing for clues about my surroundings but I don’t think it has got any sharper.
2. I Prefer to date fellow Blind People
I disagree with this statement. I personally do not have a preference but I would not date someone sighted just because it would be easier for me. I believe if someone truly cares about a person they will make an effort to understand their challenges and the disability should not get in the way of a relationship.
I am not shallow when it comes to attraction. I care more about the beliefs and values that a man has more than anything else. I would say that I tend to be attracted to someone’s voice regarding the features aspect.
3. Unsolicited Help Makes Things Harder
I don’t mind when someone helps me but I do mind it when they just grab me without saying a word and drag me to a seat on the train. I am very shy so asking for help can be hard for me but please ask me before doing anything to or for me.
4. The City I Live in is Easily Accessible for Me
Yes, I love New York City because it is very accessible. I prefer to take the subway over buses but you can walk everywhere and most neighborhoods have public transportation nearby. It is one of the benefits of New York City, I guess it makes up for the extra expensive rent.
5. I am Offended When Blind is Used as one of My Descriptive Characteristics
This does not bother me. I do still have some usable vision and I wear very thick glasses so I am in between. When i am out on my own i do use a white cane. I don’t mind that i am described as blind although i would prefer the words visually impaired because it is more accurate in my case.
6. Being Blind has Affected My Mental Health
Yes, my vision impairement has caused me to be different and have hard times at school in regards to not having friends. It has also impacted my job search in a negative way. These events have led me to dealing with times of depression. I am fighting out of it each day and continuing on.
7. I have Experienced Discrimination
Yes, I believe I have experienced discrimination in my job search. I have also experienced it in school. I never really fit in anywhere.
8. If I Could Regain My Sight with a Cure, I Would Want To
No, I have been like this pretty much my entire life. It has made me who I am. A lot of people think it is a curse to be blind, but I see it as just a different way of seeing the world.