Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing really well.
Today’s post is another disability related one and it’s all about assumptions made about blind/visually impaired people.
I thought this might be an interesting post to write as there are so many misconceptions surrounding sight loss and some individuals automatically assume things about those living with a vision impairment. I thought I’d address some of those assumptions and explain how they can affect us and how far from the truth they actually are.
Unfortunately there are some people in this world who like to categorize some aspects of society and put people in little boxes according to their assumptions about them. A lot of people seem to put Blind/VI people in one box together and assume that everything they hear is true and if one thing is true about one blind/VI person then it must be true about everyone living with sight loss, well this couldn’t be further from the truth. People don’t put every sighted person in the same box so why do so with blind/VI people?
I hope you all enjoy today’s post and without further ado let’s begin.
Blind/visually impaired people can’t be fashionable
It’s unbelievable how many people assume this and how many people actually believe it. I think some people may assume this due to how blind/VI people are portrayed in the media. I’ve come to realize that VI people are often portrayed as being ‘un-fashionable’ in literature by wearing dark glasses, old clothes etc and this is very far from how we are in reality. I can’t speak for all the people in the sight loss community but I personally love fashion and don’t let my vision impairment stop me from expressing that love. I would love to do more fashion related posts here on my blog in the future, things such as lookbooks, fashion hauls etc as I think it’s very important for people to see how blind/VI people can be fashionable just as much as a sighted person can. Please do let me know if you’d be interested in that. I posted my first dedicated post to fashion recently, that post focused on fashion and sight loss so if you’re interested in learning more about this topic you can view this particular post by clicking the link here.
Blind/VI people can’t apply make-up
People often ask me how I apply my make-up as I’m visually impaired, they assume that someone must have applied it for me as there is absolutely no way I could have applied it myself, after all I can’t see very well so how can I, right? Well my friends there are so many ways in which blind/VI people learn to apply their own make-up, it’s not hard after a bit of practice. I’ve written an entire post about make-up and sight loss and how it works so you can read that ‘here‘ if you’re interested. Never assume that we can’t be fashionable or can’t apply make-up, nothing is ever impossible.
People who are registered blind/severely sight impaired have no vision at all
This is not at all true, it seems that 98% of people who are registered blind/severely sight impaired do have some remaining vision, that might be just a little bit of light perception but it still counts as a small percentage of vision, even if it’s a very small percentage. RNIB (Royal national institute of blind people) launched their #HowISee campaign over summer which focused on the fact that most people who are registered blind/severely sight impaired do have some remaining vision. You can read my contribution to the campaign here if you’re interested in learning how I really see the world.
There is no meaning to life
I’ve had people tell me in the past “Oh it’s so sad that you have to live with this”, “Oh such a shame, must be really hard”, “Aw at least you’re out and about”. Of course, living with a vision impairment or any other disability for that matter isn’t easy, it’s not a walk in the park but I for one am not going to let it define me and I definitely don’t/won’t let it stop me from living my life. It gets me down sometimes, there’s no denying that but it doesn’t mean that life has no meaning. If something, it makes me more determined to live my life to the full, to prove people wrong. Never let your disability stop you from doing or achieving anything, your disability makes you who you are, you just need to embrace that.
Blind/VI people have amazing hearing
No, no, no, being blind/VI doesn’t mean that we gain super hearing powers, in fact there are some people who have sight and hearing loss which goes to show that this assumption isn’t true. Blind/VI people tend to make more use out of their other senses due to the fact that the vital sense of vision doesn’t work as well for us or it might not work at all. I personally depend on my hearing a lot so I have learned to use that sense more which is why it might seem to some that I have amazing hearing because of my sight loss which is in fact not true.
All blind/VI people know braille
Not every blind/VI person learns braille, the option is there if they want to but it’s not necessary. I know of a few blind/VI people who never learned braille because they just didn’t find the need to. Technology is so advanced these days that it isn’t necessary to learn braille because of things such as screen readers and magnification softwares.
Blind/VI people are aggressive, moody and sensitive
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but sighted people can also be all of these things. It’s nothing to do with blindness or disability, its a part of being human. You might come across a blind/VI person who is slightly sensitive or moody on a particular day but you’ll also find sighted people who are like this. You’ll also find blind/VI people who are lovely and caring just as you’ll come across sighted people of the same nature. Everyone has different personalities, its part of being human. If you do come across a blind/VI person who is slightly moody or sensitive with you, it doesn’t mean that they’re like that all the time and it also doesn’t mean that all VI people are the same in terms of mood and personality. That person might just be having a down day or they mihgt not be feeling like themselves, sighted people are the same. Never judge a book by its cover because there’s a heart under that sensitive exterior that you might have come across one day, it doesn’t mean that they feel or act that way all the time. We all have down/off days, disability or not, remember that.
Blind/VI people can’t talk for themselves
I don’t want to generalize but I’m quite sure that the majority of blind/VI people can speak clearly for themselves. Would you like to be ignored in conversation? It’s plain rude not to acknowledge a visually impaired person when in conversation, its like people treat us as if we’re not equivalent to them. If I’m with a sighted person anywhere, most often than not people will talk to the person I’m with rather than talking to me directly, as you can imagine, it’s not a pleasant experience. Please be mindful of people’s feelings. Blind/VI people are no different to anyone else in this world, there is no need to ignore us and treat us differently.
Well that concludes my post for today, I hope you all enjoyed it. Do let me know if you live with sight loss and have come across these assumptions yourself. Do also comment with your thoughts on this post as I would love to hear from you.
Thank you all so much for reading as always.