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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...

I'd like to start by saying I'm also blind, so I don't mean to pick on anyone or hurt feelings. I also realise that everyone is different, but.....

it really irks me when I hear this from people, especially when they have more vision than I do. They also get jealous of me because i have a job in a different country, etc. I worked SO hard to get where I am and i never focused on my blindness, just on how to accomplish my goals.

haas anyone else been in thee same situation? I am hoping that blind people will see what i do as an example, and a lot of them do. I work in Vietnam and I've been able to do a lot for people here. One of the things I'm tring to do is get rid of the "I'm blind, I can't" stereotype and way of thinking.

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Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



I think the problem is that the blind community is just that it is a large and diverse group of peole whom are all vastly different and have very different experiences personalitys and work ethics and are just like everyone else except that we are cut alot of slack and judged twice as harsh as any other person just because we are pathetic or inferior in their eyes. because they cannot phathem that we aren't all the same or all normal and that each of us is unique because many will only see a few of us and most will not know any. Attacking eachother is a waste of time given that it proves nothing to the world at large and is just a waste of time and causes more division in a group that is to small and forgotten by the public at large to begin with.


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



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Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



Wow, them's fightin' words.


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



BTW, to the original poster:

I am proud of you and of any blind person who succeeds. Please understand that you are the exception rather than the rule. 86% of us are either unemployed or grossly underemployed. Perhaps it has to do with the "pity me/help me" attitude. Perhaps not.

I'd love to know what breaks you got because of your blindness. Scholarships? Connections? Perhaps you are of higher intelligence than the mean? Were you raised in a wealthy family? Were you born blind, or did you lose your eyesight later in life? All these questions are pertinent, because you presume to judge the behavior of your fellow blind.

So bring it. Show me what you've got. How do you survive in Vietnam, a nation which I believe still has not adopted a system of braille? (you'll correct me if I'm wrong on this, I'm sure...it's in your nature).

You ever see a blind guy's table manners, if he hasn't had education in how to eat with a knife and fork? It ain't pretty, believe me. Do you even understand how your lack of ability to read subtle nuances in body language and facial expression holds you back in your career? Do you realize how frequently blind people, even those who are quote successful get patronized by those who see?

Man... I love people who cop an attitude of superiority over others in their social subset. It's particularly glaring when it's from someone ho admittedly is making it. "look at me. I do all these wonderful things with my life. Why ae you whining? You're blind like me, and I'm not whining, so why are you whining?"

I'm getting sick to my stomach. I'm now going to vomit, if I can find the bathroom without a guide rope...


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



There are a lot of blind whiners. I am one of them.

I whine, because I'm sick and tired of banging my blind head against every wall imposed upon me by the sighted world. Friends who rudely walk away from me when I'm speaking, not informing me that they've left (hell, maybe I'm just that boring). Jerks who drive, who are going the same direction as I but who feel imposed upon if I ask for a ride (no public transit here in Smallville).

I am sick of labels I can't read, books and magazines of which I am deprived (because the Library Of Congress practices censorship in the name of fiscal responsibility). I have been denied rehabilitation services since I lost my eyesight (no available itinerant counselor; quit your job if you want rehab) etc. etc.

And I am sick and tired of those blinks who born blind, were able to learn life on a normal curve without eyesight.

So don't preach to me that I'm somehow weak, just because I ask for help Show some empathy. And if you don't find it to be an offensive word, some sympathy.

I lost my eyesight fairly late in life. I do need help, maybe more than you do. So sue me.

You are now free to get back up on your soapbox and continue to preach your superiority.


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



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Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



I think it starts with the parents. They start feeling sorry for the kid and eventually the kid starts believing what the parents say. The parents know it won't be easy...OF COURSE IT WON'T BE EASY! It takes a lot of hard work to let a disabled child live an almost normal life like I did. By the end of next year I'm hoping to get a job; I don't know how I'll manage it with all their little employee safety crap but I will somehow. I just want to give examples that blind people are perfectly capable of being independent if their attitude towards life is positive. I obviously feel sorry for those kids but I would still treat them like normal people just how others treat me normally. Parents just need to do their job regardless to their child's condition and make the appropriate adaptatios.


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



Perhaps someone can help me with this kind of attitude. Let me explain some background first. I am not blind. I work for a non-profit mental health agency managing group homes. These homes provide a temporary place for individual to learn or re-learn daily living skills after long hospital stays, been in a nursing home for a while, or never lived on their own.

About 5 months ago we received someone from a nursing home who is blind. She has been in the nursing home for years because she stopped doing things for herself. She is capable and very intelligent. But she is not motivated to do anything for herself. She expectes everyone to be at her disposal day and night. No amount of discussion about the real word has helped. She does not want to go back to the nursing home but is not ready for the real world. Do you have any suggestions for how this attitude can be turned around?


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



Oh yeah. I've been having to change that attitude in myself a lot. i spent a large part of the last 20 years in the "negative emotional ride". I finally got tired of it.

It helps to have friends who are willing to tell it to your face like it is. I tell any new friends this (tell me to shut up if I'm babbling, etc). I do have one that goes a little overboard at times, but then, I don't expect any punches to be pulled.

I've had more than a few friends growing up that were blind. they didn't hold back.

As an aside, i lost my eyesight at age 23. it was sudden and near total. This last year, i finally decided to crawl out of my self imposed exile and start doing something with my life (I am now 45). Its time i asked "what can I do?" instead of concentrating on what i can't.


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



I work with the blind in Toronto, and I hear it a lot. When the vision loss is sudden and dramatic, and it has happened fairly recently, I am willing to cut them some slack. However, there are those that don't even make the effort to learn anything.

One time, I was talking on the phone with a lady who was complaining she was blinded, and needed some high tech equipment. I looked up her vision report... not only was she not eligible for high tech equipment, her complaint was that she needed glasses to be able to read. With glasses, she had enough vision to read a newspaper at arms length. When I pointed out that glasses were able to correct her vision, she proceeded to swear at me and tell me our organization was completely useless. :O


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



My husband has retinitis pigmentosa and has lost almost all of his vision. I've been listening to "I can't" for years. I believe this has more to do with a person's positive or negative life orientation rather than his/her specific handicap. There's a quote that has been attributed to a number of different people that goes like this: "Whether you believe you can or you can't, you're right". I applaud your positive, life-affirming approach. You will always be successful.


Re:the "I'm blind, help me" attitude...



Like everything else, I believe it starts with the parents. Many parents start out with a self-pitying attitude that gets passed to the kid. This more often than not fosters an over-protection, and becomes the please help me case. I grew up on a farm, and was expected to do all the chores, though I had both my eyes removed. I did free-style dirtbiking with my friends jumping ramps, and bunny-hopping stairs. I'm not saying i was great, but it grows you as a person, and makes you realize sight isn't everything. I have a saying "every trip to the emergency room translates to some success down life's road."I think if more people had this attitude, the perceptions of blind people would change. This is important because the folks who walk around with their hands out perpetuate the stereotypes the rest of us are trying to dissolve. I realize people sometimes have additional limitations leading to legitimate needs, but just as some sighted folks take advantage of the public assistance programs, there are lazy blind folks, too; not because they're blind, just lazy. Helen Keller is a perfect example of what can be accomplished by a motivated person. I knew a blind girl back in college who was in a car accident, and wound up in a wheelchair. I think most folks would've thrown in the towel at that point. last i heard she had her own successful travel agency, and is married. She is a true inspiration. I also think the more blind folks who get into the workforce, the more some of the corporate giants will pay attention, and maybe a braille display and its supporting software wouldn't cost you your first born.


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