Hello Everyone! Welcome to today’s blog post! Before I start I wanted to apologize for not uploading on Wednesday. Things got crazy busy and it totally slipped my mind! Hope you guys can forgive me.
I have a question for all of you to think about. How do you know if someone is blind? Let me cut you short and give you the short answer, you don’t. But I can not make a blog post in 5 sentences so I guess I better go ahead with the long answer.
There are a few cues that lead you to believe that a person may be blind. Keep in mind that any cues I am giving you here do not by any means apply to all blind people. Each person is different, special and unique in their own way.
- They most likely have nystagmus. If you were not aware, nystagmus is a loosening of muscles in the eye that causes it to shake uncontrollably.
- They have a stick. Most people that are legally blind or above usually carry around a giant white stick. I feel like this probably should not need more explaining because the stick is incredibly long and noticeable.
- The may have a Guide Dog. First of all, there are many requirements to acquire a guide dog that I will get into in my next post, but for now lets just say that some blind people have guide dogs. One way you can detect a guide dog from a service dog is the harness. Guide dogs are required to wear a harness with a leader handle at the times they are working and service dogs usually wear only vests. Although, remember every dog is an exception.
- They may not look at you. Many blind people, because they are blind can not focus on a specific object so instead of looking at others they usually stare off into space. Take into account that I am not saying this is a bad thing, it is just usually what happens.
- Lastly, they will probably be using some form of equipment. Although some blind people choose to opt out of equipment and there are only specified times that they use it, you can often times catch someone that is visually impaired using equipment in class.
So, aside from that very long explanation on how you might be able to tell that someone is blind, let me just say that I myself am constantly stared at because people just can not believe that someone like myself who is so independent and “normal” could ever be blind.
I have a few comments with people who think only certain kinds of people have disabilities. Listen, I do almost everything other people do and in fact I do a few other things most people don’t. There is no restriction on who has what and people need to stop thinking that only old people have disabilities.
I have had full grown adults be amazed that someone as young as me could be blind. For example, once I was walking in target minding my own business and as usual a child was staring me down as I attempted to find the suave body wash. The mother who could obviously tell I was struggling pretended not to notice. Instead of helping or tuning into her child’s curiosity about the woman with the stick she proceeded to walk away.
I would not have mind if that child would have asked me about my stick or “What was wrong with me?” In fact, I like when people ask in a nice and constructive way. God put me on this earth to educate others about blindness, in fact that is why I made this whole blog.
The point of this blog post is that I want children and adults to know that there is no written rule book for what a disability looks like and who has it so just be compassionate for all people. When you see something that sparks your curiosity, ask your mom about it or you could even try and ask the disabled person about it if they don’t mind talking about it. All people struggling with any type of disability who are reading this, know that you are incredibly special. Each and every one of you were made for a purpose and you are enough!
If any of you ever see me out in public somewhere, please feel free to ask me what I have and any questions that you have always wanted to know about blindness.
I hope this blog post cleared a few things up and helped you guys realize that asking about disabilities is not a bad thing. It actually educates you and others around you about things you did not previously know.
I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post! Again, I am sorry for not posting yesterday, but as long as I post three times a week that is all that matters.