There are various stages of Blindness. To become totally blind is the most difficult as one has to rely totally upon their other senses as a means of communication. Many have said that being born blind is easier to cope with than having sight and then losing it. What are your thoughts?
I am not blind, and I doubt we will be getting any blind people posting here. (not meant as a joke) But from my point of view, being born blind would be easier to accept, you wouldn't be losing something you had. It would be very difficult to suddenly lose everything that came with sight such as:
Surfing the Web
Watching favorite TV shows
Playing video games
But then, never having had the chance to do so is a shame. It would be harder to accept, but I would rather have had the opportunity to experience all these things in life as long as I have then to never have known the pleasure of a great read!
As I was exploring the forums available on this website, I came upon this one and decided to respond. I myself am actually totally blind and have been throughout my life. My optic nerves did not develop properly resulting in my condition. From my own personal experiences, I think that in some respects, it is easier for me to cope with my blindness, never having seen before. Since I have always lived this way, I do not know what I am missing. However, I still face frustrations. Some of the activities listed by a previous poster were driving, playing video games, blogging, and watching movies. Some of those things, like driving, are definitely impossible for me to do due to safety reasons. However, I am able to access websites because my computer has software installed which allows the text on the screen to be turned into synthetic speech. Mainstream movies like Star Wars have been modified so that audible descriptions of scenery have been recorded throughout the film, allowing me to enjoy them with my sighted friends. Within the last several years, many advancements in technology have made it possible for me to enjoy many of the things that my sighted counterparts have enjoyed. Although life isn't perfect, (is it ever for anyone?), I have learned to overcome many of the setbacks that I have faced over the years. I would be happy to discuss this further if anybody has any questions for me. Thanks.
TiffKim, thanks for sharing your experience! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind to answer them, sorry if they sound too "ignorant" but some of these questions I always had, bear with me:
1. Since you have been blind from birth, can you dream? If so, what type of dreams do you have? I am just trying to figure out how can a blind person from birth can dream or imagine something if they never saw before.
2. How do you handle money? Is there a special technique you use to know the difference of each bill?
3. Tell me more about this software you use in order to surf the net or use the computer.
Thanks in advance for answering!
|Rather off topic, but...|
You should update your profile so you can get rid of the green frog.
Thanks for those questions. I get 1 a lot.
1. Since I am unable to see, my dreams (when I have them) are neither in color nor black and white. I have no concept of color, at least, not in the traditional sense. When I hear the word green, for instance, I only think of things associated with that color such as grass, frogs, and new leaves. When I dream, I experience my other senses but unlike in reality where I can become lost and disoriented, I just know where things are located. Have you ever read A Wrinkle In Time? In that book, Maggie travels to a planet where the creatures do not see at all. Because nobody on that planet sees, sight is completely irrelevant. It's as if sight is a nonexistent sense in the dream world.
2. In some countries, I know that the currency is differentiated by size. However, in the USA where all bills are the same size, I must rely on sighted assistance to determine the bills. After I have determined what I am carrying, I fold each bill differently. For instance, $1 is kept straight, $5 is folded in half, width-wise, and $10 is folded in to quarters. Although there is a standard folding system in use, I have deviated from it. I suppose it's all right as long as I know what I have in my wallet. Coins here in the USA are easier since they are all different in size. Quarters and dimes have ridges which prevents me from confusing them with nickels and pennies.
3. There are several software packages that allow text on the screen to be read aloud. The one I use is called JAWS (Job Access with Speech) and it runs on Windows. I don't have much experience with other operating systems but I believe there are screen readers for them as well. Screen readers are able to read text, alert the user if there are dialogue boxes, tables, and lists. However, graphics cannot be recognized unless they are tagged.
I hope this helped a bit. Please feel free to ask anything of me regarding this subject.
Thanks for answering. It seems like in number 2, you pretty much have to trust that nobody would try to steal from you when they give you back change for example?
What is the most annoying thing people says or do to you due to the fact that you cannot see?
I used to have a friend who was blind since he was 12 years old, a great football player, he used to say that when people offer themselves to help him cross a busy road, they hold his arm or hand. This used to get on his nerves. lol He always said that the person must offer their arm for the blind person to hold not the other way around.
I definitely have to trust that people will give me the correct amount of change. Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly paranoid, I will ask them to give me the change in $1 bills or pay in a denomination that makes it impossible to pay me back with anything other than $1 bills.
I am not as picky about being taken by the hand, particularly if I know the person well and feel comfortable around him/her. However, it is customary for the blind person to take his/her guide by the elbow to feel in control and have the choice to let go at any time. The thing that annoys me most has to do with language. Many people use phrases like "see you later" "look at what I found!" and "do you see what I mean?" When around me, many people feel awkward using such phrases. In my opinion, these are just expressions and I take no offense when they are used . I become annoyed when I happen to use one ("I'll see you later."), for instance, and the person responds back, "You can't see." Other than that, I can't think of much that really annoys me.
Scientists plan stem cell cure for blindness
The pioneering project, launched on Tuesday, aims to repair damaged retinas with cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. Its backers say it involves simple surgery that could one day become as routine as cataract operations.