Confessions of a Blind Guy | Do Fully Sighted People Understand The Visually Impared Community?

A few weeks ago, a good friend asked me.

Do I Think The Fully Sighted Community Understand The Blind and Visually Impaired Community?

My answer is yes, and no. They are in some ways, but aren’t in others.

The thing that really irritates me is, when you accidentally walk into someone, you are then met with the very aggressive, and rude, “Are you blind or something?”. This shouldn’t happen. This is one of the reasons that makes me feel that they aren’t.

There are many other instances that make me feel like the world is not open to the visually impaired community. Another instance of this would have to be shopping, which we all need to do to live and survive. Now, for some reason, the shop near to me seems to think strange and odd colours will attract you to buy products on an offer, such as red. Apparently it is in our minds, to associate red with OFFER OFFER OFFER! I unfortunately can’t see the writing in these red signs, as they seemed to have thought, umm what colour goes nice with red, umm I know, BLACK. Um i’m sorry, but no it doesn’t, what they don’t seem to realise, is that if someone can not see these signs, then they will just walk out. In some instances, you do actually feel as if they don’t care, and that they think, ah well, if you walk out, some other customer will walk in after you. This may be the case, but it doesn’t matter if that happens, you’re not doing a good job.

There are of course those who specifically go out of their way to help you. For instance, I mentioned above about shopping. Well my local shop is very attentive, as they’ve known me in there for years. They know that i’m visually Impaired, and they often go out of their way to help me. I think this is great, all shops should be like this.

Do you think the fully sighted understand the visually impaired community? Please let me know down below.

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Luke x

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One Comment:

  1. Hello Luke,

    I am convinced that the sighted do not understand either blindness or visual impairment. In my first forty years of life, when I was fully sighted. I only met three blind people. One was an old lady when I was a small child, a sort of Miss Haversham. The other two were men, one had a guide dog, the other used a white cane. I met them when I worked for Tesco, I was often taken from my check-out to help them shop. I loved that more for the opportunity just to walk around rather than sitting at my till. But though I got to know their likes in terms of their regular purchases I never understood about their degrees of vision loss.

    Now, having lost most of my sight in just a few years, I find many sighted people just frustrating. Doctor’s receptionists are often the worst, not at my eye doctors but at my G.P. they will hand me a form and tell me to fill it in. When I say that I can’t see to read it, they often say “Well why didn’t you bring someone who could?” Followed by loud sighs and grumbles about supposing you want me to fill this in. Of course I would rather not be stood there in the doctors office, giving personal details to a complete stranger, but they don’t get that bit.

    It often seems that people see my low vision as an afront to them personally. That I choose to make their life difficult. It is just so unfair for them that I deliberately chose to pick them to ask a question of.

    But then I also get a cute dog to take me around, and when I ask them to stop petting him, I must be able to see, so am faking, no I can feel my dog squirming in his harness to encourage them to scratch his ears. I know my dog.

    Others also assume that I only see blackness, that I was born blind and I have no idea what the sighted world must be like. Anything different from their idea is unfathomable, even pitiful or just me faking.

    Somedays it is ok to be blind, but other days blindness really can get you down. Well not the blindness itself but others ideas of what a blind person should be.

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