The Oxford English Dictionary definition of Blind is; (adjective)
Unable to see because of injury, disease, or a congenital condition: A blind man with a stick
he was blind in one eye (as plural noun the blind) guide dogs for the blind.
It does not describe to what effect a person can see, it is rather misleading and this is the reasoning behind the registration classification change from ‘blind’ to ‘severely sight impaired’.
Which is a bit of a mouthful, but does indicate an impairment in sight that is severe. But what is your understanding of ‘BLIND’ ?
I am regularly referred to as blind, I work with a guide dog, who comes from the charity ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind’
BUT I CAN SEE….
Am I a fraud? A fake? LYING?
NO….. I am none of the above, although the perception of others would have you think so.
I am not the only person that has had this, I am not aware of any of my friends that have sight loss who have not come across people quizzing and questioning them.
Less than 3% of those registered Severely Sight Impaired are unable to even see light and dark. I am thankful, I can see more than this.
My last visit to the eye hospital saw my distant vision classes as ‘finger counting’ (a term I find makes me feel like a 4 year old) my peripheral is at less the 6% of someone with a full field of vision.
But what do these numbers and percentages mean?
Not much … Unless you are medically trained!
These pictures found on Google can go a bit closer to explaining it.
Can you make out the image? (Without listening to the alternative text)
§§Would you be able to handle this as your ‘normal’ ?
Well, thing is, this is as close as I could get to me, with my lack of peripheral, i would only see a small part of this image, depending on light levels also depends on what I would see.
The one question I often get asked is “What can you see of my face?” In all honesty, very little. But that doesn’t explain it, so here again is another image that is close to my sight. Without speaking I would not necessarily even be able to recognise my dearest friends.
Again, when looking at someones face, I wouldn’t see the whole of their face, to see it all, I would need to scan and concentrate more than most.
So, maybe with the help of these images, I have been able to give you a little more insight into my world and what I see.
Yes by many I am seen as blind, I am independent, head strong and viciously stubborn, this is only possible with the support of my guide dog Fizz, or my not so intelligent long cane. And above anything else, my ability to remember.