Hello, my Treasures. Welcome back to another blog post!
As this tag is one focused on blindness, I’ve decided to do it and post it here..
This tag was started by Youtube’s Chatty Chelby and has made its rounds among many blind and visually impaired Youtubers. I’ll post my own corresponding video once it’s uploaded. The questions will be the same, and the answers will be similar, but I answer differently in videos than I do in blog posts. I tend to ramble a lot more in videos.
VIP TAG QUESTIONS
1. What medical condition caused you to be blind or visually impaired?
I have a degenerative eye disease called Lebers Congenital Amaurosis, often referred to as LCA for the sake of brevity. In my case, my retinas are scarred, thus leaving me with only peripheral vision.
2. In 3 words, describe your vision.
The latter two responses may seem to counteract one another, but they don’t. My vision is both unreliable and helpful given the situation in which I’m placed. On bright days, it plays tricks on me and is most unreliable. On overcast days, it can be useful in distinguishing large contrasts in shading, like a pale sidewalk against grass or bold white lines on a street’s crosswalk.
3. What is the hardest thing to do being blind or visually impaired?
The most difficult part of being blind is the lack of freedom to just get up and go. I can’t leap into a car and drive to the mall if I want to. I can’t decide to go somewhere new without first getting assistance with the route and the layout of the destination. Even when traveling in familiar places, I must always keep the route in mind, and even then, weather or time of day can still make it exceedingly difficult to travel.
4. What is the best part about being blind or visually impaired?
Recently, a friend’s thirteen-year old daughter asked me this poignant question. I’m no stranger to receiving questions about my disability. I honestly love receiving them. The only way this world is going to combat the rampant ignorance surrounding blindness is for people to ask the questions they don’t know the answers to. I enjoy educating, and I welcome the queries that come my way.
I’ve been asked if I can dress myself, I’ve been asked if I know sign language, and I’ve been asked what the worst part of being blind is. I’ve never been asked what I enjoy most about it.
The question caught me pleasantly off guard, but the answer came to me within moments.
What I love most about being blind is the depth my blindness forces me to acknowledge in others. Not being able to see people forces me to look beyond the physical. The snap judgements that the sighted make, perhaps without even meaning to, are lost to me. I can’t glance at someone and think to myself, She’s too fat, or He’s got too many pimples, or Her hair’s too frizzy, or His shirt has a weird pattern. Sighted individuals see these things, and often decide the people harboring these traits are not worth getting to know.
I can’t do this, and I believe it might be blindness’s greatest gift.
5. What question do you get asked most about or because of your vision?
- “Do you live alone?”
- “Who takes care of you?”
I know that’s two questions, but they’re right along the same line, so I’m including both. As for the answers:
- Yes, I do live alone.
- Nobody takes care of me. I ask for help when I need it, but I don’t have a care-giver.
6. Do you have a cane, a guide dog, or neither?
I have a cane. I used to have a guide dog, but he was retired in 2014. I’m in the process of applying for my second, and hoping it works out in the end.
7. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is losing, going to lose, or has lost their vision?
Find the one person in your life who will understand and who will let you feel the grief of that loss. If you have at least one person on your side you feel comfortable talking to about how you’re feeling, it will make the transition more bearable.
8. What is one piece of advice you would give to a sighted person about interacting with a person who is blind or visually impaired?
Please don’t grab or touch us without our permission. I’ve been in situations where I’ve been grabbed by the arm and pulled across a road or down a sidewalk. If you did this to a sighted person, it would look like an abduction. That’s how it feels to us, but nobody blinks twice. Once they see the dog or the cane, they just assume we’re being helped.
It isn’t only rude to touch a blind person without our permission, it’s terrifying. If you wouldn’t grab a sighted person and manhandle them along, don’t do it to us. We are people. We have rights, we have triggers, we have things that frighten us and make us uncomfortable. For many blind people, being seized out of nowhere is one of these.
Please, just don’t do it.
9. Why did you join WordPress?
The original question was “Why did you join YouTube?” but as this isn’t YouTube, I’m altering it for this platform.
I joined WordPress because I enjoy writing. I knew that as I grew my business, I would need to get my voice out there, and while I’ve been told potential clients won’t be looking at blogs, YouTube channels or podcasts, I still enjoy writing my posts and filming my videos and recording my podcasts. I enjoy sharing my story with all of you. I want to inspire, and that doesn’t have to begin on a stage. It can begin right here, so long as I make the effort.
I’m so happy I did join WordPress and that I have begun my journey here. Every follow, every like, and every comment makes me smile. They let me know I’m making a difference, even if only a small one. Small ripples grow, and I’m blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.
10. Name 3 people to do this tag next.
If anyone I tag below does not want to do this, you don’t have to. And if anyone I haven’t tagged comes across this post and wants to do it, please send me a link to your blog post / YouTube video / podcast episode! I’d love to know your answers to these questions.
Tag, you’re it:
Jenna Farris, author of Safe Space
Maria, author of Girl Gone Blind
Tio, author of Travels With Tio
Treasures, if you haven’t checked out these blogs, you must. They’re some of my favorites, and they’re beautifully written.
I hope this post shed a little more light on what it’s like being a blind girl in a sighted world!
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Until next time, my \Treasures, I bid you a fond adieu.