Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another's Beautiful Story of Partial Blindness

Today, I share and highlight a wonderful piece in The Guardian in which Annalisa D'Innella shares her story of partial vision.

"In order for guide canes and symbol canes to be effective, they need to be understood. Somehow, some time ago, the people who came up with these valuable low-vision solutions only did half the job. They didn’t put the resources needed into raising public awareness and, as a result, the cane has become symbolically too blunt an instrument."

I appreciated this post because D'Innella speaks to the unique experience of being partially sighted. Like D'Innella, I selectively use my assistive devices, including long white canes and my service dog. D'Innella sends a strong and empowering message by confidently navigating the world as she sees fit (yep, pun intended). I am still learning to embrace partial sightedness; depending on my company and context, I often continue to feel self-conscious when I use my cane, even when doing so is assistive.

"Blindness is not binary. It is a rich and fascinating spectrum. Visually impaired people come in many different variations. Some of us have central vision but no periphery. Some have periphery but no central. Some see the world through a window stained with blobs. For others, it is all a blur. We could form a zombie army. But we will probably just quietly get in your way on staircases."
Blindness deserves demystifying. The experiences of people with low vision and blindness are vast and magnificent. For each person, we see and are seen differently. I hope through this and other blogs, advocacy, and open dialog that I can share my story and perspective on blindness. Thank you, Annalisa D'Innella, for sharing yours.

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