Since my ocular accident, where am I now? Here is some thoughtful education about the #visuallyimpaired.
Degenerative eye diseases have no cure. PERIOD. The comments I hear often when wearing my stylish prescription glasses or sunglasses during the day (when it is getting dark) are “you’re not blind” and “you’re faking it.”
In my case, depending on how bright or dim it is during the day will depend on whether or not I’ll decide to use my white cane. I almost always use it. Living in a dense metropolitan city is very difficult at times. If the sun is full strength on a clear day, I use the silhouettes I see to gauge where objects, people, and animals are. My sense of hearing, smell and feel have become very acute, and I use these functions to get me places unless I am unaware of the area (then I will use something like a Google Maps to verbally get me somewhere). When it is dark, I will always use my blind cane and wear my sunglasses. I will rarely use my prescription glasses at night since I almost always can’t see the curb!
According to a 2014 study by The American Foundation for the Blind, over 80% of people who use white canes, and other assistive technology, like myself, still have some remaining vision. This number continues to grow because cures and treatments are being created to SLOW the progression of some eye diseases. Never assume what someone can and can not see, overestimating someone’s vision can be offensive (and for me, I will give you a verbal shit storm). If you ever see someone with a guide dog or white cane, just treat them like any other human being. And PLEASE do not tell them they are “faking it.” Experiencing vision loss is a constant struggle, it is something you continuously fight. The last thing someone experiencing vision loss wants to be told is that they’re “faking” something that causes them so much pain and stress.