blind in the USA

Articles from or About the Blind Author

The items in this group are from my personal experiences as a blind person. They represent only a few of the many and varied stories that could be told of blind individuals across the United States, of those blind from birth, and those who experienced blindness at some point later. They are posted in the hope that they might bring encouragement to other blind individuals, and to those who have close relationships with them.


Comments from the Site Manager and Author

My only experience as a blind person has been in the USA with many advantages in technology, legislated accommodations, and public awareness of blind individuals. I progressed from having poor eyesight to being legally blind, and finally to having only light perception. I had already started to develop some of my own adaptive techniques such as "seeing by ear," "seeing by touch," and in general compensating by the other senses and some adjustment in my approach to various situations, before I sought help from a public agency. I was continuously employed from 1964 until retirement from municipal employment in January 2004. Through rehab under the Ohio Bureau of Services for the Blind (now BSVI) in 1974, and subsequent membership, and some leadership, in organizations of the blind for about ten years, I met a wide variety of blind men and women. Blind individuals are as varied in talents, temperment, education, knowledge, skills, and domestic backgrounds as their sighted counterparts. Limitations of both information/observation access, and indoor/outdoor mobility/manual-functions through eyesight , are two major distinctives that set apart blind persons. Technology advances continue to eliminate or reduce a number of these limitations for the blind. I have retinitis pigmentosa, as do three of my brothers. My employment experiences as a visually impaired person, provide examples of employer accomodation and some relational factors with other employees. My personal adaptive techniques and those I learned through rehabilitation training have been helpful at work, at home, and in service and social activities. My family and friends have been able to enjoy some unique teasing as I learned not to take myself or my blindness too seriously. the Hoover long cane, tactual markings, talking specialty devices of various types (such as clocks, calculators, portable devices with synthetic speech for reading text or playing MP3 files, and screen reading software for microcomputers), all help to minimize some limitations. Talking portable reading equipment and the Pc with screen reading software afford me access to information, recreation, and record keeping that is roughly equivalent to the access I might have as a sighted person. In my personal experience however, the most important factor of my blindness in my life is that it led me to salvation in Christ Jesus as described in Being Blind Improved My Life. My wife and I have been married since 1976; we have two adult sons, and one adult "daughter" who came into our family as a teenager. Throughout the years, we have been blessed by sharing our home with others who have lived with us for periods of from a few months to a few years.