Friday, July 22, 2011

What do you think of when I say I'm Blind?

Today my wife was talking to someone about my being blind.

As part of the conversation the other person said, "But he can watch television, Can't he?"

Well actually no, not even a 62 inch plasma screen from three feet away. I see a light where the screen is, usually a bright blue light. Occasionally there is some movement but mostly a steady bluish light.

Even my wife was surprised at how little understanding this person showed. It was like they saw blindness as being cured by making things bigger.

Of course before I became blind myself,  I had little concept of the reality of things. 

The persons next question was just as shocking, "How does he function?"  As well as I can really.  Today that was not as good as usual.

The reason, I was in a place which has recently changed its layout.  Some familiar items which I had used as guides in the past were moved. Luckily there was an assistant nearby whom I could ask for help.

But for a moment, until I was able to find my way past the new obstacles I was paralyzed.

Ironically the new obstacles erected in this place were part of their renovations to comply with the Americans with Disabillities Act. Making their building more accessible to the disabled.

But obviously no one asked what it is like to be blind.