Another off topic one here. Just some things I’ve been thinking about between finishing college, CV writing, and applying for jobs — more on that later.
Three things I think are absolutely essential to remember when trying to help a blind person.
1. Do not guide us without our permission:
I would think, actually, that this one is stupidly obvious. But apparently its not, because its been rehashed in so many posts that I can’t even count them all. So here we go again.
If we are walking with a white cane, guide dog, or other navigation aid, it is more than likely we know where we’re going. And if we don’t? We’ll tell you. No, honest. We can usually find our routes without much trouble, especially if we take the time to learn them first. If we absolutely need help, we’re likely to stop you. So do not, under any circumstance, try and guide us without asking first. You’re more likely to confuse us and, quite frankly, make us angry by doing so.
2. We are not hard of hearing, and we understand you perfectly well:
Its amazing what people say when they think you can’t hear. So its important to remember that yes, we can hear you and no, our parents/friends do not have to answer for us. I heard of one such example recently. Here’s how it went:
Waiter: “What would she like to drink?”
Friends dad: “I don’t know, how about you ask her?”
Waiter (much louder): “What would you like to drink!”
Friend: “I’ll have water, and my part of the bill. I’m leaving.”
No kidding. Its insane how many people talk over us as if we’re not there, or about us as if we’re not standing directly in front of them! I’m sure there are many more examples of this, but if I were to try and source them all I’d go insane.
3. We are completely, utterly, and totally normal:
Okay, so it kind of links back to number 2. But if I’m being honest, its a big issue. We are not “remarkable”, we are not “inspirational”, and we are not “amazing little angels” — yes, that’s a thing. Its actually really, really demeaning. Do you tell your child they’re “inspirational” because they get up, wash, and go to school looking some semblance of normal every day?
If you said yes, I recommend a psychotheropist…For your kid.
The fact is, we live our lives. We get up, go to work — those of us who are lucky to get jobs — we breathe, we live. And if that’s so inspirational, its time to start looking around. At like, everybody.
Thanks for reading, dear reader. And if you like this kind of thing, check me out over on twitter, and subscribe to this blog. Because I’m far from done! If you liked this, leave a comment letting me know what you thought. If you thought I was being a pretentious asshole…Leave a comment too, I guess. I don’t care. Any publicity is good publicity, right?