Since I have been writing my blog, I have come to realize something. Some people have given me feedback on my blog posts and I have been noticing other things on social media, but they have brought me to the same conclusion. People without low vision don’t understand what it is like to live with it. This is completely understandable, but what I don’t understand is why they would have opinions, or in some cases pass judgements, on people with low vision.
There was a post I saw on social media of a woman with a walking cane who was texting on her phone. I didn’t think anything of it, until I saw what people were saying about it. There were negative comments about how she shouldn’t be texting if she was blind with a walking cane. What those people didn’t understand is that there is no one way to be blind or have low vision.
This was such a bizarre concept to me because I have been immersed in the blind community from a young age. I had to remember that not everyone has been exposed to the variety of ways there are to be visually impaired. Not everyone understands that there is no black and white to low vision, but a world of grays that many people in the blind community fall within.
A Wide Spectrum
There is a wide range of ways to be visually disabled, not just seeing and not seeing. Everyone with a vision impairment has different strengths and weaknesses in their vision. Similar to the woman in the photo, I have a friend in Australia who is legally blind and uses a walking cane, but can still do many “normal” things like texting. It is impossible to know the visual capabilities of someone with a vision impairment unless you ask them. Being visually impaired isn’t something that lies on the surface for everyone to see.
I am a perfect example to make this point. Most people wouldn’t know that I struggle at all with my vision because I show no outward signs of low vision I don’t use a cane, have a seeing eye dog, or read braille. Ever since I have started my blog, people I have known for years have read it and said they didn’t know I struggled as much as I did with my vision. There is more than one way to be blind or have low vision, and that middle area is where most of us fall, which is why others often don’t understand it.
Vision impairments can be a tricky thing to understand and figure out, especially considering that everyone who has them bears it in a different way. It is okay to not understand it. I know there are a lot of things in this world that I don’t understand. All I ask is that other people not judge something or someone for reasons that they aren’t educated enough on to fully understand. I don’t think that is too much to ask for.