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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

discrimination from my own family?

Hi, I lost most of the vision in my right (dominant) eye 5 years ago due to an accident in surgery. It was a terrible shock to me because it 'wasn't supposed to happen'. I trusted the surgeon to repair my eye and instead she took it away. Sorry...... that's just me not reaching the 'acceptance' part of grieving yet..... The real reason I'm writing is that even though I've adjusted pretty well to the vision loss (I still have periferal but no macular vision), it seems my family hasn't. I've been battling with both my husband and grown daughter over driving. They seem to have unfounded fears/paranoia about me driving. We live in a rural area so traffic is not a problem, I renewed my driver's license within a month after losing the sight with no problem. Recently they've come up with imaginery scenarios that I ..... have no depth perception so I roar up to cars in front of me and slam on the brakes (not true), that I can't see good enough to stay between the lines (REALLY?), that I drive too close to objects (I'm so afraid of being too close to the gas pump I keep finding myself 5' away!). I'm pretty much doing everything I was able to do before, with the exception of not being to thread a needle, but that's not exactly life threatening : ) . They are presuming that they know what I can or cannot see, I've never had an accident and never been stopped by a patrolman for any reason. It took me 5 long years to build my confidence back to where it is today and they are doing everything they can to knock me back down (in the name of love and concern). I'm depressed and frustrated to tears. How can I convince them I'm not incompetent?

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Re: discrimination from my own family?

I would most certainly have a hard time picking a side on this one. But the only thought I'm left with. Is whether your family is over exaggerating or whether you're having a hard time not only excepting what happened to your eye but also excepting that these things might actually be taking place. If I were you I would put a dash cam on the dashboard and film a regular driving session and watch it later to see if things look a little different outside of the car than they did when behind the wheel. Just my opinion of course.

Re: discrimination from my own family?

Blindness and legal blindness are hard for many people to understand and grasp. There are a lot of ignorant people in the world. Most people think "you are either blind or not" but there are a lot of areas inbetween.

Donald The Blind Webmaster
The US Blind Resource Directory

Re: discrimination from my own family?

Thank you so much! That was a very informative article and I printed it to show my family. Hopefully they're not so narrow minded that they will actually read it.

Re: discrimination from my own family?

Unfortuantely, convincing family is the hardest part. Even when you have the skills to do it again, they are usually the biggest obstacles.

I would suggest, that if you can, get a driving isntructor to do the testing and have them sit in the back. Instruct your family to not say anything, and don't tell the instructor about the vision loss. Hopefully, the instructor would be able to convince them you can drive well.

Maybe this site will help you as well.

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