A few weeks ago, I learned something that I thought I would pass on to other blind folks. If you ever get asked by someone to be a passport reference, if you actually get the call, among the things they will ask for is a physical description of the person for whom you are serving as a reference. Some blind folks are amazing at remembering what people look like. I am not one of them.
It was an embarrassing experience. I felt like such a fool. Here I am saying I’ve known this person for virtually a decade and a half and I can’t remember the length and colour of her hair, the colour of her eyes, or how tall she is. It got worse as I began to panic, because I knew she was getting an emergency passport renewal, and if they didn’t think her references were credible, bye-bye passport. I felt so pathetic, trying to think of as many obscure things that might be on the passport application, even though these obscure things were kind of odd to mention, such as her having prosthetic eyes. Come on, I was desperate! I mentioned her birthday, and I had already said where she lived and where she worked, so I was hoping I just needed something small. Words you never think you have to say to a passport person: I think her hair is a bit long, but I’m blind and I don’t often reach out and touch someone.
So, my advice to you, if you’re like me and don’t remember physical descriptions worth a darn, talk to the person who is asking for a reference and get it verified so you don’t end up spluttering out all the embarrassing things. I guess between my reference and her second one, the woman from Passport Canada must have gotten what she wanted because the passport went through.