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Just Because We’re Blind Doesn’t Mean We Can’t…

Posted in Apple Inc

Have you ever experienced others treating you differently because you are blind? I can’t imagine there is anyone that would answer no to that question. I know that there are many instances of others acting in ways they would not if they were dealing with someone sighted…

Just because we’re blind doesn’t mean we can’t … order our own food in a restaurant. So, I don’t need a menu. Why would that mean that I can’t place my own order? The waiter, or waitress, or is it now politically correct to call them servers, comes up to our table to take our orders. The people I’m with are asked what they would like, and then it is my turn. I hold back my irritation as he, or she, asks the person next to me what I would like. So, I now can’t hear or talk? I immediately speak up with my choices, but it is beyond irritating. With many restaurants now putting their menus on line, I can read it on my iPhone, as everyone else is reading the physical one. Just because we’re blind, we actually can go to restaurants and even order a meal ourselves. Impressive!

Just because we’re blind doesn’t mean we can’t… Pay for our own groceries. I go to the grocery store armed with my shopping list, thanks to the grocer’s app on my iPhone. I’m with my husband, or a relative or friend, who helps me get the items I need. Then it’s time to check out. I place the groceries on the checkout counter, hand the cashier the store’s card, and run my credit card through the machine. Then, it happens. I don’t believe it! The cashier asks the person I’m with if I sign the credit card slip or if she or he does. I don’t get it. I’ve just done everything at the checkout myself, and carried on a conversation with the cashier while my items are being scanned. Yet, it isn’t obvious that I’m going to sign? Okay, I’ll give a little here, as after all, I can’t see the print on the slip. But why the cashier doesn’t ask me if I sign is beyond my comprehension. I know that one of these days I’m going to be in just the right, or perhaps wrong, mood, and some cashier is going to do it once again. That poor soul will get the full blown, pent-up frustration as I blast my indignation. But for now, I just say that I sign, while wondering how I can respond in a way that would let the cashier know how I feel, and that asking the other person while I’m standing there is, well, to be blunt, rude, even insulting.

Just because we’re blind doesn’t mean we can’t… do our own cooking, and especially work with knives. I love to cook, and do all of my own cooking and baking. Of course I work with knives, and I do cut myself on occasion. I don’t think I do it any more so, however, than someone sighted. Yet, the difference in thinking astounds me. If a sighted person cuts themselves, and I’m talking about a minor one, everyone reacts with concern but all agree that it happens. Yet, if any of us blind folk cut ourselves, the reaction is of concern, naturally, but the whispers are that we shouldn’t be handling knives because we can’t see what we’re doing. So, since we can’t see, we don’t have any other senses to help us? I often tell my sighted friends and family that they rely on their 20/20 way too much. The latest winner of Fox’s Master Chef is a blind woman, Christine Ha. There was a story about it on Nightline, which I was able to listen to thanks to the iCatcher app on my iPod. The lead-in was , a question of how a blind woman handle the knives to win the master chef title? I belong to an organization which hosts dinners every so often, and look for volunteers to help make the meals. I was told by one of the members that they don’t want to ask me to help because they are worried about me using the knives and cutting myself. Again, I wish I could find a way to talk to them, to ease their concerns.

So, have these kinds of scenarios happened to you? What have you done to change things, to educate others? I sure could use suggestions. It is education, as the ones who behave in this way, who think in these terms, need to be taught that their thinking is wrong. Just because we’re blind, does mean we certainly can…

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