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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

Expanding possibilities for people with vision loss

What are the difficulties of being blind?

Hi my names is James, I am a final year design student studying in the UK.
I have just started a national design brief centered around the blind and partially sighted. I understand one of the main problems is dealing with the arrogance of people not understanding what its like to be blind. However if there is any area of your life that you find difficult or any task you find particularly tedious please let me know as I would love to hear your responses.


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Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

WOW!!! boy is this a loaded question...when I am out and trying to be a normal blind person I get asked some of the dumbest things. but I think the dumbest question is this one;
when you cook your food how do you no it is the right food to cook...I just tell them once in my life before i went blind i was a Chef and now I can tell what I am cooking because I place braille or other items on the cans or the frozen products. then they normally ask the following question? no, how do you tell if it is done? and if it is been cooked long enough...I ask them did they no they just asked the same question twice? ..but in my case I tend to tell most people they need a day in my shoes and then if they can take another day then I will teach them how to cook just as good as me...most of the people never wish for another day of cooking class,because it is never easy with a blind fold on there eyes,lol they must learn as well ,?right?

Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

Hello James:
After twenty-nine years, of being blind my biggest difficulty is dealing with ignorant people. Sure, I want to be autonomous, but I would like to know how is it possible for me to go to the store, and and pick up my favorite tooth paste or cereal. Without asking for help? If there is a way, I guess that I have not learned yet. No, I am not looking for pity, I simply acknowledge, that blindness has both freedom and restrictions.
I hope it helps. If

Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

hi I'm a new member here from Kuwait. An Arab country. I think the biggest problem is people who don't understand that a normal person but you can not see they deel with you in very carefully and think that you have a very big problem and sympathize with you. thanks

Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

Hi James, I am Shelby and I am 14. My acuity is 20/400 and I have a disease called Stargardts. It effects the central vision. My mobility is fine but I can not always recognize people from a distance, even if I know them well. I know that I have a hard time seeing the overhead projector and whiteboard in the classroom, and I am also colorblind. I have been legally blind since I was eight, so most of my friends know that I am blind. I have only had one incidence when a girl asked me how my book smelled, because I read with the text about four inches from my face. Other than that, most people are pretty nice, because they know.
I hope this helps!

Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

There are many things that are difficult but the main one that I have a problem with is the vacuum cleaner!!! I think blind people should get a free life time supply of sweeper belts!!!

Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

hen looking at college football and the difficulty of being a Division I quarterback, I could not help but think of how much easier they have it compared to that of a Division III quarterback. There are plenty of reasons why.

Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

Oh My G-d, PLEASE do not take this as 'pity', but that last story about the TV and your sight was really sad.


Re:What are the difficulties of being blind?

Well I am blind, but not sightless. I'm sure your research has shown you that only 10% of all blind people are sightless.

When people ask me "how, ya doing" or sup? I usually respond "As well as I can, but I'm having a GOOD day today, as I think my shoes are on the right feet and so far I've hit the inside of the toilet bowl, each time...."

It's the little things like not seeing curbs/kerbs, uneven sidewalk stones, the age, race or gender of an approaching moving blob till it is less than 5 feet from you......

You mention people not knowing about how it is to be blind or low visioned, I'll relate this story:

I had spent the morning with a friend and we had stopped at his house and he turned on his large TV and said here if I run a bit long watch this while your waiting... So I couldnt use the remote, and got up to the TV to change the channel found something, and was watching it when my friend returned.

Even though it was a 40 or so inch TV I was so close my thighs were almost touching the stand

What are you doing there, why didnt you sit down? He asked.

This is how close I have to be, to see anything, I said.

He took a minute and said jeez, I hope my eyes never go, I just now realize how bad your eyes are, I can see the TV from two rooms away....from the stairs even....

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