Jill asked for examples of some stupid things people have said/done because of the blink factor. Oh boy you have come to the right place! Because we have some fun posts to do with this, I just decided to try and compile them into a cacophony of holy shit that’s dumb!
Hmmm where do we begin? Let’s start as close to the beginning as possible. There’s that whole disgusting United Way campaign that makes blind people out to be helpless without the United Way and implies that rather than help the guy get back on track, you should give to the United way, because money’s going to shove him back on the sidewalk. There’s always the attitude of blind people being a fine example of someone who has it far worse off than the average man. Why do we have it so bad? Then we get into the ways people freak out when they think we’re lost instead of treating us like normal human beings. Or, there’s always the act of talking about us in the third person when we’re right there. Extra enjoyable is watching people grab their children and flee from the wrath of, um, the white cane. There are those among us who decide to help blind people get somewhere by grabbing them and dragging them, butdecide not to speak. Way to scare the hell out of anybody who can’t see you. Amid the chaos of my thoughts in this post are some fine examples of some people’s lack of respect that they have no problem showing me. I can’t decide if it’s because of the blind thing or becauseI’m so damn short, but either way, they’re great examples of ignorance. Oh yeah, and who can forget the fun assumptions that I’ve found people have about me, and possibly all blind folks. Someone else wrote up a top ten list of questions blinks get asked. Like I said, some of them are way over the top and some of them I have no problem with. But some of them are just too disturbing! Oh of course, there’s the misconception people have that you either can see or you’re completely blind, so you won’t notice people waving their hands in your face. I probably wouldn’t notice, but someone with a little more sight sure would. Here’s a completely hilarious list of things not to do when trying to help a blind person. I’m still amazed that people have tried to pick up and carry some blinks. Surprisingly common is the assumption thatblind people have no particular place to go, so should stay clear of lights that don’t beep for them, and without their talking watches, they wouldn’t have a flaming clue what time it was. Finally, if a blind person ever decides to take a course or join a club, people are gonna freak!
Wow! That was a lot of post-skimming. When the site has almost 2150 posts, it takes a while. I was worried I’d have a horribly large list of complaints and grievances. But it’s not really that big a list!
If you want more fun, you can always read my old column on Salty Ham from July of 2004 about blind people and how to best give some assistance if they want it. And for an extra chuckle, go read What To Do When You Meet a Sighted Person. See how ridiculous that is?
Two things I forgot to include in any of this stuff. If you’re ever guiding somebody, the way you can make it easy for both of us is to relax. Chances are, even if you run me into something, I won’t be mortally wounded. If you make a big mistake that I think is a safety risk, I’ll let you know, and unless you just rammed me into something at full speed, I’ll probably let you know in a nice way. So chill, and while we walk down the hall, let’s talk about the weather, the news, sports, whatever ya want. You don’t have to be so tense. And why is it that there’s this unspoken rule that we’re not allowed to have a bad day? If I just did something embarrassing or got really lost or am otherwise pissed off, why is that the world’s worst sin in the universe? You get frustrated, why can’t we be annoyed sometimes? I’m not saying that we should have license to treat people like crap, but can’t we be a little irritated without being looked at like we’re the most bitter human beings ever just because we happened to be frustrated and blind?
Hope this is fun for Jill and all others who are interested. Oh, and don’t be fooled if the comment link on any post says there are no comments. There may be some hiding in there with some other good bits. So enjoy!