For my first blog post ever, I decided to discuss this ever so inquisitive yet difficult to really answer question – So what can you see anyway? In my field of employment, I am not only asked this several times a month, but I commonly hear “I didn’t know you were blind!”. I never really know if I should take the latter as a compliment or what, I guess I must be doing something right to look “normal” right?
Anyway, I really will never understand why the question of what can I see is asked so much. Perhaps I hear it so often because I work with a younger and more curious population, however, I have had this question from people of all ages. It’s definitely not a question that I find offensive by any means, just extremely difficult to truly verbalize and put into words. I mean, do I say “Well, I see blurry useless blobs.” Does that really provide you with any useful information and is it really accurate?
The reality is that what an individual with a vision impairment sees can very so much from person to person and from setting to setting and even the time of day. One day I might happen to see you standing in the hallway and the very next day you could get plowed right into. Perhaps today I will see the random sticky note on the floor and tomorrow I might step on it without even realizing it and walk around the entire office with it for hours without even skipping a beat. And even better, the next day I may run right into a file cabinet that I swear definitely wasn’t there the day before and play it off and hope that no one saw that somewhat embarrassing moment.
So what do I see anyway? Sometimes nothing, sometimes useless blobs, sometimes contrasting colors, sometimes gestures, sometimes expressions…well you get the picture right? Either way just remember one thing…the next time you encounter an individual with a vision impairment, sometimes, yes, they can see, so sometimes, just sometimes, you’re not actually getting away with what you think you’re getting away with!