Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing well.
Today I’m going to share a post about the things you shouldn’t do or say to a blind/visually impaired person. I have done one of these posts before when I started my blog so if you are interested in reading that then you can do so by clicking here.
Today’s post is in collaboration with my amazing friend Holly from the blog Life of a blind girl. You might remember that we have in fact collaborated before as we created ‘The VIP daily living Tag’ a few months back. We thought it was about time we did another collab as we loved the first one so much. If you don’t already follow/read Holly’s blog then I definitely urge you to go do so as she’s an amazing blogger and such an incredible person. So definitely head over there and check out her posts as I can assure you that you will not regret it!
Also I just want to mention that Holly and I are thinking of starting a series about all things disability, talking about the struggles we face, how we deal with our disability etc. So if this is something that you would be interested in then please let us know in the comments below or via social media as we appreciate your feedback and suggestions.
I also just want to point out that I am in no way trying to insult or discriminate against anyone by writing this post. I am purely writing it to raise awareness of the things that people shouldn’t do or say to a visually impaired person by also sharing some of my person experiences with you. Therefore without further ado I hope you enjoy today’s post and let’s get started.
1. Do not test someone on their visual impairment
This has happened to me more than once, people seem to think it’s acceptable to test me on my visual impairment by either asking me how many fingers they’re holding up or asking me “Do you know who’s here?” to see if I recognise their voice. It is likely that I would recognise a familiar voice but if someone who I hardly ever speak to comes up to me and asks me if I recognise their voice then that would be a very awkward and embarrassing situation for me as it would to any other visually impaired person. It’s not nice to be tested on your disability, we are telling the truth about our visual impairment and if we describe the severity of our vision to you then there is no need to test us on it.
2. Do not talk to us as if we are a child
Having a disability doesn’t mean that we can’t communicate or understand what people are talking to us about. I often find that after telling someone that I am visually impaired they then talk to me in a different manner which is not at all pleasant. I believe that this is the case with anyone living with a disability, many non disabled people find the need to talk to us as if we were a child therefore making many disabled people feel uncomfortable within the conversation. We are ‘normal’, we can speak for ourselves and the fact that we live with a disability doesn’t make us any different to any other person in this world, there is no need to treat us or speak to us as if we are children.
3. Do not assume that visually impaired people can automatically hear much better because of their sight loss.
This is most definitely not the case. Yes some visually impaired people might have great hearing but that doesn’t magically appear because of sight loss. We as visually impaired people tend to use our other senses such as hearing because we can’t make much use of our eyes. We do rely on our hearing much more therefore pay attention to more detail through our hearing, this might be the reason for people assuming that we can hear much better but I just want you to know that good hearing doesn’t automatically occur with being diagnosed with sight loss.
4. Do not hold something out to a visually impaired person and expect them to know it’s there.
This is something that often happens to me. On some occasions people have held out there hand wanting me to shake it but because I can’t see very well I am not able to tell if someone does so. Some individuals don’t acknowledge the severity of my visual impairment even if I’ve attempted to inform them of it and they still believe that I can see anything that is in front of me or or even sense when someone is holding something out to me. If you want to give something to a visually impaired person then be sure to let them know that you’re holding something out to them otherwise we will never know it’s there.
5. Do not assume that we can’t do anything for ourselves.
People often seem to believe that because I can’t see very well that I can’t complete certain tasks for myself or that I can’t be independent. I often receive questions about how I do certain things and I know that many people are just curious and I don’t mind answering the questions that some might ask about how I apply make-up, how do I pick out an outfit, how I cook etc but when someone assumes that I cannot do these things it really frustrates me as I realize that many people think that disabled people can’t be independant or are dependant on other individuals which is certainly not the case. We as visually impaired people learn to adapt certain things in our lives to make them more accessible, we can live a completely normal life just with a few adjustments. The fact that we are visually impaired doesn’t mean that we cannot do things for ourselves.
Some people find it funny to be mean and spiteful with visually impaired people or just disabled people in general. I have experienced bullying in the past especially in my first couple of years at secondary school. Some of the pupils in my year thought it was amusing to run into the classroom before myself and move my chair so I had no chair to sit on, some also intentionally placed objects in my path so I would trip over them which resulted in many embarrassing moments. I believe that many people think it’s easier to target disabled people when it comes to bullying or just being plain mean. Some people also find it amusing to take one’s belongings, throw things at them, take them to the wrong place and leave them. This happens all too often, more than one might think. This kind of behaviour towards blind/visually impaired people is unacceptable and I believe this is why it’s important to raise more awareness of visual impairment so more people can learn about it in the hope that it reduces the ignorance and the discrimination surrounding disability.
That concludes my post for today everyone, I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful. Don’t forget to check out Holly’s post as she is writing another six things that you shouldn’t do or say to a blind/visually impaired person.
Be sure to let me know what you think of this post in the comments below and also feel free to share it on social media so we raise more awareness of visual impairment.
Thank you all so much for reading, be sure to join me next time in My Blurred World. xox