“Do blind people think the same?” was a question posed last year by Jubliee Media, which publishes videos with the aim of creating a movement of empathy for human good. Featuring six visually impaired influencers, the video got nearly one million views, and prompted others to get involved.
As a blind person myself and lived with Acute Retinal Necrosis for the past 16 years, I thought I’d share my own answers to the questions.
Has being blind enhanced your senses?
I know I have extra good hearing but I’m not sure if that’s because of my deteriorating vision or I just generally have good hearing. I think as I rely on sounds and audio to read, communicate and identify things, my hearing appears more enhanced than normal.
However, I have an awful sense of smell. If I’m home alone and there is a gas leak, I’m screwed. I’m rubbish identifying smells and can never appreciate flowers or perfume. I swear I have a nose impairment too – and this was before Covid-19!
Do blind people prefer to date other blind people?
No. I want to date someone for rtheir personality and not if they’re blind or have another disability.
If they are blind, then at least we can relate to it and rely on adaptations together but if they’re sighted, at least they can guide me and describe what I can’t see.
Are blind people less shallow about romantic partners?
I don’t think so. If anything, blind people pursue relationships more deeply as they rely on personality and emotions more than looks and physical attraction.
Does unsolicited help make things harder?
I have a double barrier with this issue as I’m a wheelchair user too. I cannot go out unaccompanied and have my carer drive me in most public places.
What irritates me the most is when I go to a venue or event, security staff or stewards think they can push or pull my powered wheelchair like a manual wheelchair and start trying to move it violently.
Other occasions, they see my carer drive me then when we’re trying to navigate a tight corner or doorway they suddenly grab the joystick and drive my chair too fast, almost crashing me or tipping me over.
Is the city you live in easily accessible for you?
I live in a town called Alton in Hampshire, which doesn’t have much here and when I do go out, I go out in my Motability vehicle that my carers drive.
I’m not aware of accessible features for blind people in my area to be honest.
Are you offended when “blind” is used as one of your descriptive characteristics?
No. Although I have approx. 20% vision remaining in my left eye, I still class myself as registered blind. I prefer to say I’m blind so people can be descriptive as possible when talking to me.
Has being blind affected your mental health?
Yes definitely. When I lost my vision aged 11, I couldn’t make friends at school, was bullied and excluded in class activities. I feel more dependent on people and more limited in things I could do. I’ve been on antidepressants since 2016 and had CBT therapy from 2017 to 2018.
Have you experienced discrimination?
My biggest frustration is not having audio description on ALL TV shows and films. I feel the blind community are being discriminated against accessing all programmes and films that everyone else takes for granted.
That’s why I’m campaigning for audio description to be available on ALL TV shows, films and streaming services. If you haven’t done so already, please check out, sign and share my #ADForAll petition.
If you could regain your sight with a cure, would you want to?
Yes! Yes! Yes! If I had my eyesight back, there would be so much more I could do – drive my wheelchair independently, drive a car, cook meals, read printed text, write and draw with pen and paper, see people’s facial expressions and so much more.
If we could add a cure for my Cerebral Palsy too, that would be the ultimate dream!
So, that is just come of the ways I think as a blind person. Are you blind or visually impaired? Come join the discussion too and answer the questions on your own blog or social media.
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