Those of us with low vision or blindness collect information about our environment differently from sighted people.  That stands to reason when you consider that we have one less sense to rely on.

          I often hear that people without vision or who have low vision have their other senses enhanced.  Let me put that to rest.  Other senses are not improved.  Rather, we just rely on and use them differently.  A couple of examples may help to explain this.

          When I walk on a quiet street I can generally hear traffic even if I cannot see it.  Now add someone cutting the grass with a power mower.  The sound will oftentimes mean that I cannot hear the traffic. As a result I sometimes take a different route when someone has the unmitigated gall to cut their lawn while I am walking.   Speaking of traffic, all you Prius owners should get a real car.  I know you think you are all cool being green and such but you piss me off.  I cannot hear your damn car!  Forget the environment.  This is about ME.  And for those drivers who do not pull up to the stop lines thinking you are helping when I am waiting to cross the street, think again.  I want to know where you are.  I don’t trust you anyway so as least be sporting and let me know where you are lying in wait idling.          Another difference in collecting info is when we go up or down stairs.  A sighted person sees the stairs and automatically knows where the handrails are, the approximate number of stairs, where the landings are, whether or not there is an obstruction on the stairs, etc.  This info is usually collected and processed in less than a second.

          I deal with stairs with the use of a long white cane.  With the cane I will know when I come to stairs and how to go either up or down them.  I can do this through my senses of feel (through the cane) and hearing the sounds that the cane makes going up or doesn’t make, going down.  Obstructions are a little harder but not impossible.  Occasionally people will decide to sit on, oh say, subway or train stairs.  These stairs are not park benches where you and your friends can sit and amuse one another.  To the person that I recently hit in the head with my long white cane, it was not an accident.  And when I said I was sorry I didn’t mean it.  Keep out of the way, will you please!  I have enough trouble without having to fear tripping over your idle butt.

          If you are blind or have low vision you just have to get a long white cane to assist you with your orientation and mobility.  You could get a dog but that’s a whole other deal.  Any questions?

 


Comments

Michelle DiPaolo
08/17/2014 11:06pm

Love this! Dripping with sarcasm you made me lol a few times....I am actually very interested to read about some of the things that people do thinking they are helping but make it worse. Keep it coming I find your stories informative AND funny!!

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10/25/2016 5:42am

Thank you for this, It really help me a lot in understanding some things that I needed to consider in doing things that may affect other people. I will share this to my friends for them to be notified about it as well. A wake up call for all of us

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02/09/2017 2:58am

We should take care of our eyes and we should be careful on the things that we are doing so that we may avoid future problems that may arise. I will be more smarter in the things that I will be doing to avoid regrets in the future and I know that this is the right thing to do.

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It's common-sense to say that working at a computer damages your eyes, but it's not necessarily correct. A lot of these concerns have been debunked over time. A very real concern, however, is the impact on your body of sitting still for so much of the day. You didn't ask, so I won't go into that. Don't worry about saving your eyes, their health shouldn't be dramatically affected by working at the computer. Instead, worry about mitigating the effects of poor posture and sedentary work habits, and of any discomfort your eyes have while working.

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08/18/2014 12:49pm

Thanks for the kind thoughts. I hope you will spread the word.

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meg alverson
08/18/2014 3:12pm

Dick, I would be interested in your opinion on leaf blowers and whether they were invented by Satan

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04/20/2017 5:11am

I have low vision. And it's very sad, because I'm very young!

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05/18/2017 7:39am

You can find a lot of useful staff at the internet. Just use google for help.

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