Tag Archives: JAWS

I hate being blind when…..

I usually don’t have an issue with being blind. In fact, I have addressed all the perks about being blind
previously on the blog.

The Nigerian producer, singer and songwriter
Cobhams Asuquo
held a talk once about
The gift of blindness
And I don’t disagree with him. In fact, I share all his sentiments on blindness and sight. I think being blind has opened up a lot of opportunities for me and has forced me to work hard to achieve things I wouldn’t necessarily have strived for had I been able to see. I would even go as far as to say that I am a lot more independent than some sighted people because pride has made me find solutions to everyday problems that I perhaps wouldn’t have felt so bad at asking to get help with had I been able to see.

But we all have bad days or moments when everything just seems impossible. After all, we’re human. I hate being blind, or as a friend like to call it, extremely short sighted, in those moments, because I get reminded of physical limits I don’t think I should have. But it’s ok to be angry sometimes and acknowledge the difficulties, just as long as it doesn’t become a habit and you wallow in self-pity every day.

Be assured that the following list isn’t talking about things I face every day, or things that always make me feel bad when I do face them.

• I hate being blind when websites or pieces of technology I need to use right there and then doesn’t work with JAWS or voiceover and I need to get a sighted person to help me.
• I hate being blind when people talk to me as if I’m a mental retard.
• I hate being blind when religious nutters offer to pray for me. Indirectly they’re saying I’m not good enough for neither God nor humans the way I am and I need upgrading. At least that’s how I perceive it even though they probably just want what they think is best for me…
• I hate being blind when my normal routes are being dug up and I get lost because I don’t understand how to take another way around to get where I need to go.
• I hate being blind when my friends are posting photos on Facebook that I don’t understand, the content of not even from the comments section. I miss the old days when Facebook had more text. That isn’t to say I need everyone to always describe photos in-depth, or stop posting photos altogether in solidarity with me. And I do sometimes click like if I can discern what the photo might show. But I do feel a little excluded at times
• I hate being blind when confronted with Instagram or snapchat. Sighted friends tell me it’s no big deal and that I’m not missing out. Wrong. I am, because it’s a world I can’t take part in. at least not on an equal footing with the sighted.
• I hate being blind when I can’t see my own music videos and album covers.
• I hate being blind when the bank send me snail mail and have no option to send Braille mail.
• I hate being blind when I don’t have the mental energy to find the way to somewhere I’ve never been before by public transport or walking and end up taking a taxi.
• I hate being blind when I can’t assess my own makeup and oversee the work of new makeup artists.
• I hate being blind when I’m faced with bad attitudes that prevent me from getting hired for a job.
• I hate being blind because society is made for sighted, able bodied people. And if it had always been built with all kinds of censory and physical challenges in mind, then disabled people would arguably not have been disabled. Or at least a lot closer to being able bodied.


Of course, we can start eliminating disability by changing attitudes. That goes for both abled and disabled people. But that’s a topic for another post.

If I could suddenly see

Let’s imagine I woke up one day and I could suddenly see. 20 20 vision and I also knew how to see so I didn’t have to learn it.

Many people have asked me how I would spend my first day with sight. And this is what I would do.

First of all, I would enjoy putting on make-up. Seeing how different colour eye shadows and eye liners changed how I looked. Being creative with new combinations.

Make-up on along with a killer outfit I’d put together for the first time with sight, I’d walk out of my house and continue walking, enjoying the fact that my eyes would help me memorize the route along with my other four senses. I would look at shop windows and enjoy not having to wonder what shop was behind each door.

Then I would go in to a bookshop, browse the books and buy one I really wated to read. I would take it to a park with a nice bench where I’d sit down and read. Maybe I’d listen to music too, or maybe not. I would at least enjoy the fact that I was holding the book, turning the pages and that the book was a normal, regular print book.

Hungry after a few hours in the park, I’d go to a random café, scan the menu and order lunch. There, I would pick up a newspaper and read it. Enjoying too that this was print.

In the afternoon, I’d go cycling. And I’d go to a supermarket and browse the shelves, finding new products I didn’t know existed. And in the evening, I’d watch a movie or two, not needing audiodescription or explaining what happened.

I guess this is a pretty boring, average day. But for me, doing these things would be pretty cool as I can’t do them now. I rely on technology, audio and the internet to manage on a day to day basis. And though I’m not complaining about that, it would be cool and exciting not to need a phone to read a newspaper, or the internet to discover new supermarket products.

I would of course sign up for driving lessons pretty quick too.

One thing I would still do if I got sight though, is to keep using my other senses. My sensory world is in some ways more varied without sight I think, because I have to use so many other clues to work out my surroundings And with sight, I’d be a ninja woman.

And wouldn’t it just be nice to turn off the JAWS or the voiceover? I’d certainly love that. That way I could chat on what’s app while listening to music on my phone.