Skip to Content

AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you.

I have a wife who has lost her eyesight and I have noticed that it seems like there are not a lot of accommodations made for the blind and visually impaired. I'm talking in general. Take the layout in stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and such. They're very accommodating to people in wheelchairs, but you can be kind of out of luck if you're blind. They stack pallattes in the aisles, make aisles difficult to navigate two people astride, the doors that are not auto-open seem to just wait for a chance to smack you in the rear end while trying to hold it open for someone navigating through, etc.

Maybe I'm getting kind of irate because this is all new to us, but it seems to me that the blind are, ironically, invisible to many people. Hence the title, "just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you."

I suppose it may also be because I'm the kind of person that looks to change the world for the better. I see so many things that could be adapted for the blind that just get ignored. And going back to the stores, their tendency to change things around now and then to present the illusion that the store is brand new must be absolutely vicious when you have to relearn where things are. Even if you use an escort, like I am for my wife, you wind up trekking back and forth across the store 50 times because paper plates used to be in groceries and are now in housewares on the other side of the store.

As we work on my wife's adaptive training, I'm definitely keeping my ear to the ground to see how I can get involved in helping promote advocacy for the blind. As an aspiring teacher, I plan on looking into how to specialize in teaching science to the blind.

Okay.. I'm ranting. I'm done.

There are currently 5 replies

Sort Replies Oldest to Newest

Re:Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you.

Okay I commend u on sticking by her some people are jerks to where they just can't deal with it moving on.
I totally agree, I've never been in a grocery store alone and I do have some vision but things are so hard to navigate around and then I don't want to be in the way of any one else and for some reason when ur half blind lol it's like u think everyone knows it or is focusing on u in a negative way maybe its just me but moving on try smaller stores or making suggestions to managers.
And as for the "its over there" phrase. I look at them like they've just sat on a stove top and ask "WHERE is over there" sheesh those dorks sorry that was mean lol

Re:Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you.

Man do I know how that feels! I can really only see fog and outlines of objects. I have no depth-preseption so my sight is basically useless to me. Right now in Mobility we are working on Grocery Shopping. Last week I finally understood what you were talking about. I can't tell you how many times I've smashed into desplay signs, or into racks that were in the way. It was so anoying! I wish people would understand that there are people in this world who can't see very well, or can't see at all and need help. Don't put signs where people will smashinto them! It all can be quite a pain.


Re:Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you.

Hi Cavelion;

Welcome to our world! I am visually impaired and I shop by myself. It's no big deal. I've been doing that for decades. I know exactly what you are talking about. I have a tough time convincing store employees that I truely have a visually disability and I need extra help. I am not just being lazy. They love to point and say, "It's over there." Even though my white cane is extended and I have it in my hand. My eyes look funny when you stare at me, so I'm not lying. I do talk to management when I think they should be doing something to help me. I'm always thinking about the next blind or visually impaired person who might come in after me. I wish they wouldn't put the aisle numbers so high on the ceiling. If they could lower them and make them darker. I use a hand held magnifier so I can see the name of products and their prices. Sometimes a person may see the device and want one for themselves.
My supermarket is helpful, especially if I tell them I am visually impaired. The market I shop at had a comment card asking, "How can we improve our customer service?" You bet I made some suggestions.
I think society wants to believe that we always bring someone with us when we shop. It is not always the case.
I hope that someday, we can form some kind of advocate program where banks, stores, transportation centers, and offices could best servie the needs of the blind and visually impaired. We have to care about this just like those who happen to use wheelchairs or those who are deaf. Their communities have raised their concerns passionately and look where it got them.
Let's let them have it folks!

Re:Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you.

I've got what my mom calls "white cane rage". It's like road rage but instead of a set of car keys i've got a white cane with a red end. I know society is largely ignorant to the partially blind and sometimes the blind. It is frustrating when the large super stores re organize and then you can't get an associate to help you for beans.

Sometimes folks don't get it until they have to walk a mile in someone elses shoes. My sister did not get it when i told her off for her friend's braizen act of taking away my cane when we were in a public pub on a saturday night after to much liquor. And sometimes we just have to turne a def ear to the "hey watch were you are going" when we accidentally tap into someone while navigating the store. We are doing the best we can and maybe it's the rest of society that must adapt for a change.

Re:Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they can't see you.

I understand what you are going through.You wife will be fine since she is geting help. I have some vision like looking through a tunnel. once she gets moble train with a cane she can get around in stores or any where. Maybe a guide dog would help. I am on my seven mounths with my first dog it a takes a lot of work but get out and about better. carol in ca

Log in to Post a Reply