Today, we are going to list out some things that can be simply annoying, rude or insensitive to say to or ask a blind person. The idea of this post is to educate people and not shame or offend anyone. (I apologise in advance for my sarcastic tone in this post)
“It’s over there” – I have no clue as to where that is, if you are giving directions please be specific, left right, forwards backwards.
“How many fingers am I holding up?” – I’ll tell you what finger I will be holding up to you if you ask me this question. I know my response may be rude or aggressive but so is that question.
“You can’t be blind; you are using a phone” – Am I? Thanks for telling me. Firstly, visual impairment is a spectrum some people may be able to see their phones by using built in magnification software. Also, phones are now fully accessible so even those of us that are blind can use them. Mostly through voice/talk back functions. The same way we can use computers and laptops and other smart devices.
Please don’t grab me thinking I am lost or that I need assistance. It is rude and disorientating. Someone recently did this to me in a pandemic – you should not be touching anyway. If I need help or assistance I will ask and show how you can best help me.
“You don’t look blind” – I did not realise all blind had to look the same. Like everywhere else in life there is a diversity of blind people and we all look different. I recently had someone accuse me of faking my blindness because I dressed well. Firstly, I lost my sight relatively recently so I have clothes from before and secondly, I can have help and ask friends and family for outfit suggestions.
Do not leave a conversation with me and not tell me – I will not know and will continue to talk as I can’t see that you have left. Have some common courtesy and politeness and let me know that you are leaving.
Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation – I am not a scary person and have many hobbies and interests. I love meeting new people. However, do not revolve the conversation around my blindness, making it like an interrogation. Don’t ask intrusive questions and please please don’t list cures or what you have heard. For example, “can’t you wear glasses” (Oh gosh hadn’t thought of that) Or “what about Laser treatment”. Or “I hear of this person who went on this diet and her sight loss was cured.”
Don’t tell me I am inspiring, or you can’t imagine life without sight or it’s God’s will – Being blind sucks, and it’s due to bad luck. I am normal and not inspiring because of my disability. And I hope you never have to go through what I have to, but I am managing just fine.
I am sure there are many other things, but these are the ones that spring to mind, if you are disabled in any way let me know what pisses you off…