Being a part of the blind and visually impaired community, you learn many things and go through many struggles with everyday things. I hereby dedicate this article to my blind and visually impaired friends.
Here are 12 everyday things that blind and visually impaired people can relate to and want people to know.
1. "Over there" has no meaning.
Saying that something is "over there" to someone who can't see at all has very little connotation and it demands description. Saying that to someone who is legally blind is almost the same. Either way, description helps!
2. Everyone is a faceless blob.
This applies more if you are visually impaired, if you aren't wearing any corrective lenses or if there's just no hope for you, then everyone most likely looks like Slenderman, just less sharply dressed.
3. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
A lot of visually impaired people get this question and the bottom line is if you don't know how many fingers you have, then you have a problem. We won't do your math for you.
4. Are you like "Daredevil?"
As much as I really like the Hell's Kitchen Hero, neither I nor anyone who is blind, and/or legally blind, is like Daredevil. A lot of us aspire to be, but, sadly, fiction doesn't cross into reality.
5. You're forced to read close up.
Most of us have to read print up close. For me, I am literally make-out distance from what I am reading.
6. Being dragged across a street is weird.
If someone who has a cane is trying to cross a street, don't be a hero and try and help them unless they ask. In that case, let them grab above your elbow and guide them across. In general, though, most of us are pretty capable, but we appreciate the offer of assistance.
7. There is actually a method to using a cane.
Like most things, there is a method and a way to use a cane properly. It's not just a bunch of taps and arches. Well, it is, but it's very methodical.
While I could care less for Helen Keller, I have to agree with that quote. We don't want to be pitied. It's debilitating, even including our own pity. There's a very small few who like that kind of attention, but please don't assume that we are part of that small few.
[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F02%2F07%2F635904190189677231-1692216474_braille_alphabet.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=579&h=68663c2bd93ef970932d62c496ab8f4d2bb2511575418bbc94386aa221a985a7&size=980x&c=3311642157 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F02%252F07%252F635904190189677231-1692216474_braille_alphabet.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D579%26h%3D68663c2bd93ef970932d62c496ab8f4d2bb2511575418bbc94386aa221a985a7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3311642157%22%7D" expand=1]Personally, I commend my blind and legally blind friends who have learned Braille. I tried and I got letters and whatnot mixed up. A Braille cell contains six dots and any one of them can represent a number or letter. Look at "e" and "i." They're pretty much the same, except flipped. That's one of the many things that tripped me up when I tried learning it.
10. Talking buses are a godsend.
I seriously love the fact that the buses in my town have an automated voice for all of the stops. I don't have to try and listen over people to hear the driver and it's usually loud enough to hear on a crowded bus. The person who thought of this deserves a medal.
11. We have our own way of doing basic things.
Even though some of us can't see well, or at all, most of us have adapted our own way of doing things such as styling your hair, applying makeup, ironing, cooking, etc. We live in a world where technology and improvisation are two powerful tools that can help people with disabilities get everyday tasks done.
12. It's strongly advised that you ask before interacting with a guide dog.
If it's wearing a harness, it is working and it should be focused on the task at hand. Most people who own a guide dog know that their dog is cute and looks pet-able, but they appreciate it if you ask the owner before petting it.