I found a rather interesting article about a person who did what seems to be a rather intelligent simulation of blindness in NYC. There are things about the article that sort of grate on me, but it was also enlightening to me. Especially enlightening was the part about his assumption that blind people lived in a world of their own and would ask if they needed anything. This calls to me...
I don't want my disability to be a taboo topic... I am happy to help people understand as well as I can--my experience of disability is unique to me, of course. What I need is a way to exit that discussion gracefully without losing the person's interest altogether. Some of that has to come from me; but it can't all come from me. I would like for people to realize that not feeling like talking about blindness doesn't mean that I am inaccessible. I would like for people to start elsewhere and get to know me as a person, finding out about blindness as a part of that process. I would like it if people who are enamored with my dog in publid would observe me before they jump in to ask that question about what kind of dog she is. If I'm in the middle of what seems to be an intense conversation, it's not really a good time to stop me for curiosity's sake. If I'm crying, perhaps a more workable entry would be to ask me if I'm all right. I can respond to this by shrugging it off and indicating I need to be alone, or I can respond by choosing to enter into conversation with the person. Believe it or not, strangers who care can be incredibly comforting. And yes, there are places where I cry in public, like when I'm drying up after coming out of a medical appointment that has been especially painful or while walking over to get lunch after an especially emotional discussion at seminary.
I want people to feel that I'm "accessible." I just want all of me to be accessible.
Other thoughts to follow.