Friday, June 7, 2013

Are the Blind More Relaxed About Their Disability?

Almost daily we can read in newspapers or hear on the news about various efforts to cure blindness. As a community the blind seem to have little to say on the matter.  I wonder then are the blind generally more at ease with scientific attempts to cure blindness?

Several years ago, when I lived in England the deaf community took up in force to fight plans to allow children to undergo cochlea implants to help them hear. Many in the deaf community used very emotive language to express their distaste at what they said was a hearing world plan to destroy their lives and calling the plans a "genocide against deafness."

I for one never understood their desire to save their deafness. Both for themselves and children. Hearing parents of deaf children were pilloried for seeking the cochlea implants for their children. It all got a little hysterical in the end.

Now with news of stem cell success and silicon chip implants into blind peoples eyes, we hear little protest from the blind community. Does this mean we silently seek to see the end to our disability and our way of life or does it just mean we are more sensible than hysterical deaf people?

For me. I hope one day that I might obtain a treatment that will let me see again. It will be a long way off if it happens but it may happen someday.

I do hate the disability of blindness. I wish I knew who people were by sight, rather than hoping that they speak so I can recognize a voice.

I hate that I can't read a book without the aid of a machine.

I hate that I cannot drive across town, let alone across the country. Though will new car technology let me get back behind the wheel of a car? Blind. I doubt that.

It is nice that I get a blue card to park anywhere there is disabled parking, but still I'd rather have those few extra yards walk if I had my sight.

Ok I get priority  boarding at the airport, but again priority boarding is not much compensation for sight.

If some in the blind community did say I was a traitor to my disabled bretheren, I'd have to agree if it meant I could have sight. Give me sight over blindness any day.

In the meantime I am blind. I will be blind for some time maybe twenty years until my seventieth birthday.  Blindness is teaching me many lessons. The first aappreciate what you have while you have it.
From that I glean yes the blind are just more relaxed about blindness.