Sunday, January 16, 2011

Living Blind in a Sighted World

The other day I was going through a catalog that we receive from time to time.  This catalog is for vision impaired and blind individuals.  There are pages and pages of products to help people who cannot see.  They help them function as independently as possible.
As I look at all the pages, I am overwhelmed by the vastness of products needed to supply that independence.  Everything we take for granted every day needs to be modified for those who can't see.  From calculators and books to clocks and measuring cups.  Paper, check books, money, timers, computer keyboards, games, cell phones, watches, labelers (for clothes, food, etc), pill bottles - you name it.

Most people, including me, take our vision for granted.  I can look at my watch and within a second know what time it is.  I can glance around a room and get all kinds of information.  I can prepare a meal rather quickly because I can see everything I need.
Even socially - it must be very difficult to not see who you are talking to.  I think about it in relation to reading an email.  You cannot tell the tone or expression of the person on the other side of an email.  So many times tone can be misinterpreted in an email because you cannot hear or see the other person.  Close your eyes and have a conversation with someone.  It is much harder to judge the conversation if you can't see the person's expressions.

Our eyes tell us so much.  The world is getting better at making life easier for people with low vision or complete blindness.  But it will always be harder.  It will always be different.  It will always be more frustrating to her.  Our fast paced girl will have to learn patience.  She will have to have her world adjusted to meet her needs.
It is unfair.  It is sometimes impossible to imagine.  But I am sure, if you know someone with low vision, or someone who is blind, they will tell you that their life is no less fullfilling.  That there isn't less laughter, or love, or happiness.

I hope that every day, Finley wakes up happy and confident.  I hope she never feels cheated, or less of a person because she cannot see well.  I hope for this as much as I hope for a cure.  I have to.  We cannot pin all of our hopes that Finley's vision issues will be cured and we can put all of this behind us.  No - we move forward as if a cure is just one part of our mission.  Because it is.
 Finley lives in two worlds.  One with sight, and one without.  She is learning to exist in both, and we are learning right along with her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am vision impaired I do understand this. It can be hard, but adjustments and adapting are good tools!

God bless you Finley girl :)