The subject of misconceptions surrounding disability is one that’s often talked about nowadays with the number of disabled bloggers and YouTubers on the rise (which is great can I just say). I think it’s amazing that more and more people are doing their bit to raise awareness of disability and tackle the stigmas and misconceptions that surround it.
I was recently tagged by my best friend Holly to do the disability misconceptions TAG which was originally created by Nicola, the writer behind the blog View from a walking frame. You might be aware of who Nicola is if you’ve been watching the TV series, Employable me on BBC2 in the UK. The programme follows many disabled people as they go on the hunt for work or work experience. It’s a really insightful programme which I definitely recommend you watch if you get the chance to.
I knew I could relate to Nicola in many ways after watching the programme and was really interested to learn more about her experiences so I headed over to her blog to read a little of what she had to say, I then came across her YouTube channel. I’d definitely recommend you check them out if you haven’t already.
When I heard about the disability misconceptions TAG, I knew I wanted to take part in it so thank you Holly for tagging me.
So without further ado, I hope you enjoy today’s post.
1. What is your disability and how does it impact on you?
I am vision impaired. I have a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa which is a degenerative eye condition meaning my vision deteriorates over time. My vision is really blurred and it’s deteriorating everyday so I find it difficult to see people and objects around me.
I also suffer with vision black outs for about a minute or so at a time, they can occur several times a day but it varies from day-to-day.
Being visually impaired can have quite a big impact on my life especially if I don’t deal or go about it in the right way but I try to stay as positive as I possibly can and try not to look at it in a negative way.
2. What is the most common misconception that you come up against with your disability?
The list of misconceptions that I’ve come across as a vision impaired person is endless, it’s actually quite shocking to realise how many misconceptions people have of blindness and disability in general.
I’d say one of the most common misconceptions that I’ve come across is that people seem to think that I can’t be independent and that I can’t do things for myself. This is not the case and I can do many of the things that sighted people do, it just means that I need to adapt them to make them accessible for me.
I can cook my own meals, do my own hair and makeup and pick out an outfit without any assistance.
I think it’s important that we as blind/VI people emphasise on the fact that we are able to live independently and do things for ourselves.
3. Which misconception annoys you the most?
This is quite a tough one as there are so many misconceptions out there so it’s easy to feel annoyed or frustrated by a lot of them.
One of the misconceptions that annoys me the most is the one I just mentioned and the fact that some people seem to think that disabled people are unable to do things such as go out, socialize and have fun, we can do all of those things just like anyone else would. Also some people seem to think that all us disabled people are the same. You might be shocked to hear that I have actually come across people who think that everyone who lives with a disability has the same hobbies, interests, dreams and ambitions. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We all have different personalities, dreams, ambitions and things we want to achieve in life and the fact that we live with a disability doesn’t change that.
4. Do you do anything to combat these misconceptions?
As many of you will know, one of the main reasons I started my blog was to raise awareness of vision impairment and to hopefully tackle some of the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding sight loss. I wanted to create a platform where I could share my own personal experiences in the hope that it would help to raise a little awareness and also hopefully help and motivate others in some way.
5. What more do you think can be done to tackle the misconceptions surrounding your disability?
I think it would be great if more awareness of disability could be raised in the media. A lot of people have these preconceived ideas of disability because of the way people with disabilities are portrayed in the media or have been portrayed in the past. Social media especially has such an influence on our lives these days and if more awareness and the right portrayal could be made within that sector then maybe people would start to gain a better understanding. I think it would also be great if more awareness could be raised in day-to-day environments such as schools or the workplace. I think it’s really important to focus on raising as much awareness as possible and to find as many ways as we can to raise awareness of vision impairment and disability in general.
If you live with a disability then why not take part in this TAG? Or leave your answers in the comments as I would love to hear what you have to say.