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How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired

So this just came to me after finally get my cane and using in public. I have being slowly trying to use it more at work and my customers and co-workers have both been questioning my being visually impaired. Since I can remember I was always told to just figure it out and to me that often meant pretending to see more than what i actually could. I got so good at it that I call it being fake-sighted. I tend to fool people.

I just I find it really rude that people especially people I have known mostly as acquaintances like at work have made comments to me that they don't believe my lack of sight. I just wonder if anyone else has had that experience.


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Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



This comes up quite often, actually. Many of my clients complain that their family and friends don't understand how they could have low vision/legally blind, but still be able to see things. Partially sighted is probably the best phrasing for it. One of the easiest things to do is to go on-line and show examples of what different eye conditions do to people's visual fields. There are also apps that show simulated vision loss as well.

While it is rude, you also have to look at it from their point of view. Suppose you have a coworker who you see walking around the office every day. However, whenever you see them outside on the street, they are in a mobility scooter. You might ask why they are faking an inability to walk around. But perhaps it is because they can walk for short distances, and not long distances. Or when they were walking in the office, they were leaning on chairs and furniture for support, and you didn't notice.

In the same way, people may simply not have noticed that you had vision loss, and were surprised by the sudden change.

(This post was edited by the author on 10/4/2015 at 10:48 PM)


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I see your point. However its not like I have been quiet about my visual impairment even before now. I just I don't really know how to deal with people saying things like that. I had one customer ask me if the cane was mine and I was like yah its mine. I finallly get a cane and like i said public use I don't mind its just at work where I am struggling with using it like I should because I am getting so much flack for it. I have Autism too which makes dealing with it even harder.

Also I wonder about how to really make people understand what its like to fear using it as I am at work I work at a grocery store and am the self check attendant and its been hard to not want to use my cane. I have it on the floor folded up to use on teh stairs and such but I just...I am so self concious about it at work its not anywhere else.


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I am really asking for some help with this. I just today had my loss prevention person ask me if I was blind. I said that yes I am and that I just got a couple of newer canes too (from ambutech the cool ones with blue and pink) so he tells me that they aren't real and that I couldn;'t possibly be impaired when I don't use it on the floor all the time ( he is the reason I don't use it on the floor people like that). I told him he was being rude and that I have a regular cane too (the ones with red on teh bottom) but I like using that as my back up. I am just so frustrated by people's lack of understanding that this is hard for me. Yet the cane is sooo helpful for me.


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



It sounds like you have to talk to him regarding what low vision and legal blindness is. Just because someone else doesn't think you are blind, doesn't mean you don't require certain things to help you. For whatever agency you get services from, do you have an ID card that you can show them? Or perhaps give them the phone number for the service agency so that can talk to them?

Quite often, I've had canes mis-identified as nordic walking poles or even golf clubs. Unfortunately, the new coloured canes from Ambutech are not helping with that situation, especially the ones where the entire shaft and handle is a neon colour (pink, blue, green).

(This post was edited by the author on 10/8/2015 at 11:40 PM)


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I've had that problem also, Arashi. Not all people are blind friendly. There is definitely a percentage that will never be blind friendly. I, and most likely you, would be happy to assist a disabled person. However, there are just some people that see a disabled person and are disgusted, feel that they should get absolutely no special treatment whatsoever, or they just think that disabled people are a drain on everyone else.

You gotta learn not to take their stupid ideas personally, or at least just realize that they are idiot jerks and leave it at that. "I'm not blind?! Get away from me, ya jerk! Go on, before I let my manager know that you're over here harassing a blind person."

Your loss prevention guy seems like a know-it-all. He obviously knows more about the blind than the blind guy. They are simply a jerk. They'll probably come around after a while but it doesn't matter because you already know that they are a jerk.

I always use a white cane. It is illegal to use a white cane in public if you aren't blind, at least in my state. I also happen to wear sunglasses. If someone questions my blindness, I always tell them that it would be illegal for me to be using it if I wasn't.

I also kinda depend on you using a white cane. The more people that see it, the more that understand what it is for and why people have them.

If you've already taken the step to use a cane, then fully embrace it. Yeah, I was embarrassed when I started using it but that fades. Not only does it help you get around but it also lets other people know what's going on. Lots of people have never actually talked to a blind person before, use the opportunity to teach them stuff.

(This post was edited by the author on 1/5/2016 at 4:53 AM)


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



There are many sited people who treat those that are visually impaired like we are below them, or not as smart. Anyimte i get around these type of people. I pay them no mind, and go on. Some people ask why do we not tell them how they make us feel. Well the honest part is because it will do no good if they done see us like that anyways. If a person acts like that to you. There is no reason to try and tell them because they will more than likely not listen. In some cases i have spoke to people about this, and have had luck in getting there attention. Some reply that they really never noticed they was making that type of signal indication. I think that some people don't notice how they are really acting, because of them just not understand blind people. I would suggest far as people calling you out on not being visually impaired. Kindly let them know that it's you who knows how your eyes work, and they should not be acting that way to you. Or just ignore them, for this will always happen at times in our life with sited people. It is interesting you brought this up. We talked about this over at the blind community at times as well.


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I have a problem with the medical & social work network here in the Midwest ? the doctors and hospital actually ignore my requests for prescriptions needed for equipment and other personal needs. Was told my doctor (on audio now), if i didn't like how I am being treated, go find another ? unfortunately, they are the only game in town, not even a trauma one center but owned by the huge corp. that owns over 50 hospitals ? what do others do? Also, they refuse to check the sites and docs from your own history that you came in the clinic or ER with!


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I just wanted to update people on the situation. So its been awhile and While I really don't like the LP guy at my work I bought a standard cane to use at work because he was giving me so much grief over it. I use my other canes outside of work. I usually only use my cane on the stairs at work because customers make stupid comments. Though the other day while I have embraced it outside of work I had this guy at Hot topic stop me and nicely ask what I see and how do I know what things are. I told him what I see and that while if things are in high contrast like usually at hot topic. I am learning to embrace it and its a lot of freedom though the dr.'s still don't know what is going on with my vision.


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I just thought I would update still having issues at work but not as many as I purchased a nice ambutech normal looking white and red cane with a nice marshmallow roller tip that I use at work. I only use it when roaming the store but in my little self check area I don't. I still get comments though these days it more that I stopped caring what they think. If they ask me question I answer nicely if they make smart remarks I either ignore them or just tell them that only a fraction of the blind population is in total darkness and that its a spectrum. I guess with time comes more of the attitude that I don't care it helps me to use my cane and really isn't that what its all about?

Also I am so proud of myself in honor of my new attitude I bought a new ambutech cane customized with purple and white reflective tape on the bottom also the tip will have pink on it. Yah I figure its so me.


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



"Arashi",

I'm proud of you too! Using your cane regardless of remarks, and deciding (which happens over time) other's misconceptions/ lack of education cannot consume us.

If you feel up to it, it helps to have a mini education speech (like you do)...other times, letting it go is best.

I'm sure this can be overwhelmingly frustrating at times. Good job recognizing your feelings and insecurities, and not letting it halt your growth/ pursuit of goals.

Sounds like you're ready to mentor another who is smack dab in the middle of the frustration!


Re: How to deal with people not beliving you about being visually impaired



I haven't been on here in awhile due to the fact that I have lost more vision and was working through it. The LP guy is no longer at my store he is now working for the police department which freaks me out needless to say. However, I have found some wonderful blind and visually impaired friends at Vision Loss Resources which is a place to learn rehab skills in my state. I am also working on getting a guide dog and should have one in spring of 2019. I work with a lot of young people as I work in a grocery store (Trying to find other work), the kids I work with are high school/college age mostly and I know I am probably the only person legally blind they have come across they don't understand that you can be "blind" and still have vision. I use what I have which is shadow and movement. I have also learned that I don't care as much what people think outside of work I try to educate, at work I either ignore or walk away. I just thought i would update people on how things are going.


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