I am a person!

I admit it, yes I have a disability…. But that is not all of me !!

As both a VIP (visually Impaired person) and GD (guide dog) owner the following scenario often happens:-

strangers stop you in the street and ask you if you know their friend/brother/daughter cousin. When you say no. You are often met with “oh, but their just like you.”

VIPs and GD owners don’t have a telepathic wave, just as wheelchair users or civil engineers or athletes don’t know everyone with the same condition or job as them.

I am me, an average height, bouncy (currently blonde) individual who also just happens to have a visual impairment.

I just try to follow this misconception when I was first registered.  I thought that as a VIP I would have the same interests as other VIPs, so I threw myself into ‘Blind clubs’ and charity work and I have to say that what I discovered shocked me a little.  The groups had helpful information, but on occasions things were not so pretty.  At times there were some very negative discussions, about how other disabilities weren’t as devastating as sight loss, yet got more recognition lot more help.

I think that this is a very short sighted (pun intended) view.  But by definition a disability Is a condition that puts person at a disadvantage physically, mentally, cognitively or sensory to others.

I’m not saying that because you have a disability you should be more understanding of others, but to fight one disability off against another is just like going back to the days of segregation where you only ‘mixed’ with your own kind.

a person is just that, they are defined by their personality, not by their disability. It is just a small the my of them, like the colour of their eyes, which hand they write with and fundamentally just like these other traits is part of a genetic makeup.  And outside their control.

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