December 7th, 2005


bridging the gap between blind and sighted people

A couple of years ago, a friend challenged me to write a letter to church members about how to relate to me... I couldn't do it at the time--sometimes I can get too close emotionally to a situation to be effective in this kind of thing. The following is something I wrote in response to a question on an email list. The person wanted to know "what it's like to be bline" because she has several acquaintances who have vision problems but (in her words) are "too scared to talk about it and get the information that they need). She went on to state that they are very independent. As a blind person, this sent off some red flags for me... Without more information, there is a lot that I don't know. Are these elderly people with recent-onset vision loss? What does she mean by "independent?" What are the circumstances where she feels they should be accessing information and are not? This does happen quite often with people who are losing their vision; but as I read her post, I also thought of some situations where a person may interpret inaccurately that a blind person is refusing assistance or being "too independent." (Maybe I'm just sensitive to it because it's happened to me so many times.)

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