A week or so ago I asked for input on a blog. I had this idea to write a blog about the dumb questions sighted people ask blind people. Eventually dumb statements were added on to that, so without further ado, here you go.
Here’s a note before we begin. A lot of these were sent in to me. I did not include the twitter names of anyone who sent them in. I will include the answers after each question. Remember that the first, or second part of the answer may be sarcastic. That’s just us making fun of you, the sighted person. I hope you enjoy!
Is your dog in training? A lot of my friends with guidedogs get asked this question a lot. Here’s the real answer, no. Usually a dog in training wouldn’t be allowed off the center’s grounds without a trainer/instructor present. Sarcastic answer: Sure, I’m training he/she to bite stupid people, which includes you. At least that’s the answer I’d give.
How do you eat? Answer: How do you as a sighted person eat? We eat just like you do. Except we may occasionally touch our lips with the the silverware. Though, sometimes we miss our mouths just like you do.
How do you feed yourself if you can’t see your mouth? Answer: This is the stupidest question I’ve ever seen. You can’t see your mouth either. Unless you sit at a table with a miror in front of your face. How Vein is that? All sarcasm aside though, we sometimes use our fingers to make sure that the food is going into the spoon. If a spoon is what we’re using. It’s the same with a fork. I learned in school to cut away from me when using a knife, but that’s all I know about that one.
“You don’t sound blind.” Answer: How am I suppose to sound? I’ve always wanted to know. Am I suppose to sound like I have a speech problem, or something? lol. Seriously, I’d really like to know. If someone who has said this could explain to me how they think blind people are suppose to sound. I’d be very grateful.
*person yelling* Answer: Wrong disability there bud. I’m deaf, not blind. Seriously, I’m not deaf/blind. No need to yell at me. For those who truly don’t know there is actually a group of one disability. We don’t always have multiple ones. Though, I do thank you for the concern. I do wish you’d save it for someone who is deaf/blind. If you don’t know how to treat just blind or visually impaired people just ask. We’ll be glad to share our knowledge with you.
Can he/she sign their name? Answer: Can you sign your name? If the answer is yes, then you have your answer. Even if it looks like a Doctor wrote it. At least I know no one can steel my identity that way. If our signature does look like a Doctor wrote it, or is other words unreadable you, or someone else may have to serve as a witness. An example of this is if I were to go and get a passport. So, yes in most cases we can write our name.
What’s a matter, are you blind? Answer: Are you sighted? My mom use to ask me this all the time. Though, she meant it as a joke. Yes, I’m blind, and sometimes I have a hard time finding things. I actually don’t mind this question if you’re only joking. My usual response is “Are you blind?” However, if you’re being serious, the answer is, yes. I once went to the hospital with my white cane, and the nurse didn’t notice I was blind until she went to lead me into one of the rooms at the E. R. Until then I thought it was fairly obvious to everyone. I mean, hello! Girl with white cane here. White cane signals my blindness.
Can’t you read? Answer: Can’t you read? Sometimes I wonder. Especially when the sign says do not inter, and you do. Yes I can read, though what I read isn’t print. It’s called braille, and I don’t like it being referred to as dots. Yes I’m aware that’s what it looks like. You wouldn’t want print to be referred to as lines, curves, and weird shapes, would you? Braille has a name. Please use it. Just like you’d use print’s name. I once had a kid ask me that on a bus. She didn’t believe I could read braille, and we got into a fight about it. So, yeah I can read; it’s just not print.
Blind people can’t read twitter. Answer: Oh really, then how did I get an account, and how am I tweeting right now? Seriously, I’ve seen this before. I use a program called a screen reader (text to speech), and a twitter client. If you’re on a mac, Iphone, Ipod, or Ipad it’s called voice over. If you’re on windows the following are available: NVDA, Jaws, window eyes, and Narrator, though it’s not as great as the rest. The twitter clients vary depending on what you’re on though.
Toddler asks why your eyes are closed. Answer: I love little kids. They’re so expressive sometimes. Just explain to them that they’re closed because you can’t open them. If anyone can come up with a better explanation, let me know. Parents, let them ask. That’s how they learn, and most of us don’t mind answering them. It doesn’t embarrass us in the least.
Sighted person either doesn’t say anything, or excuses themselves, and jumps over your cane. Answer: This happened to me all the time in high school. You should teach your kids that it is not a thing to jump over. It’s for us to use, so that we know what’s in front of us. I use to purposefully move it when I knew they were planning to jump over it, so that they’d trip over it. At the same time teachers need to be aware of this, and watch out for it. It’s not cool!
“What’s wrong with your dog’s back? He’s wearing a brace. Did he break his back or something?” Answer: lol. I’m assumming that it’s the dog’s harness. The guidedog’s suppose to wear them when it is working. When they’re not working they do not have to wear them.
5-year-old girl: “Dad! Dad! That dog’s wearing a backpack!” Answer: You should explain to them what it is, again I’m guessing harness. Keep in mind that I don’t have a guidedog. If you don’t know feel free to ask the handler (owner) of the guide dog. I’m sure they won’t mind answering your or your child’s questions. If they tell you that they are running short on time, please make it a point to ask all the questions you need too in the allotted amount of time. If we tell you that we are busy feel free to google your questions, or research it in any other way that you see fit. News flash! The handler’s the one who is letting the dog guide them.
The following comes from missanonymous94. I thank her for this. If you would like to follow her on twitter her twitter name is the following: @missanonymous94.
They ask my mom all the time, “If your daughter is blind, are you learning sign language then?” She’s like, “No, but we learned Braille.”
A doctor asked me how I lived alone for the 2 months before I got Macie. I’m rarely asked questions like that by educated people, especially those in the medical field. I was surprised more than I was offended.
People always ask me and my mom how I cope with my blindness.
They ask me all the time how I pick up after Macie, how I take her out, how she lets me know she needs to go out, etc. They think it’s a huge ordeal.
Whenever I’m at a store or restaurant or whatever, and a sighted person is with me, the waitress or customer service person always asks the person with me, “What does she want?” rather than asking me directly. Some people answer for me, others say, “I don’t know, ask her!” and point at me.
Don’t know if this counts, but people called my cane a stick or poll all the time when I used a cane. (A note from Stephie) My dad calls mine a club.
When me and my brothers walk around sometimes, people see us and me in particular and say, “Awwwww, poor thing.” (A note from Stephie) Why do you feel sorry for us? It seems like you feel more sorry for us, than you do any other disabilities. There’s really no reason to feel sorry for us. We can get out, go grocery shopping, read the paper, pay our bills, and some of us have jobs. In other words we can contribute to society just like you can. I’m not sure why I often want to go on the offensive when I get asked this question, but I do. I try not too though).
People ask me and my mom where I go to school, where I went to school, like the thought of public education doesn’t even cross their minds. (A note from Stephie) Here is the last known figure of blind students who are being mainstreamed, or other wise going to a public school that I have in my brain. Because it’s in my brain I’m not sure how accurate it is now. The last figure that I saw, said that it was about 85% of all blind students attend a public school. When you think about it that’s a lot. Not to mention that there’s no colleges that I know of specifically for blind people. So those of us that choose to go to college have to go to a regular one.)
People ask my mom, “Who helps her when you’re not around?” The idea that I’m independent doesn’t even cross their minds. (A note from Stephie) Hey, unless we say so. Just assume we can do just about anything you can. If you don’t know, ask us. 🙂 I’ve learned in my short life that usually when you assume something without asking first. It is usually wrong, and results in someone, or multiple people being mad at you.)
A Catholic priest asked my mom once, since I’m blind, what is my view of God like? There’s really no answer to this one. (a note from Stephie) Everyone’s vision of god, and heaven are different. Just thought I’d point that out.
Lots and lots and lots of people have said that God will heal me someday, they’ll pray for me, I even had a circle of girls one time put hands on me, cry, speak in tongues and pray over me.
A preacher put his hands on my face and prayed, then when he was done, asked if I could see. He was dead serious too.
A Paragraph from Stephie. I’ve debated about putting this story here, but why not. When I was little there was this old guy who was always in town. Every time he’d see me he’d put his hands on my head, and pray for me. I’ve always found it a bit weird, and uncomfortable when people do that. I wouldn’t tell them no though, because that’s rude.
People have also told my mom that because of her sin, my blindness is how she has to pay for the sins she’s committed. (Note from Stephie) Why? Just why? I don’t truly understand the thought process behind this statement.
Someone told my mom that if I put magnets in my shoes, I would be healed. (a note from Stephie) This is folklore. I’m sure there is tons of this kind of stuff that you believe. It doesn’t make it true. Please, please, do research. I don’t care how. Just please educate yourself. Because, like I always say, when you stop learning you’re dead. 🙂
Someone told my mom that she should have aborted me, and because she didn’t, she had to pay for it by me being blind. (A note from Stephie) I always love to challenge people’s beliefs. Especially when they’re beliefs like these. 🙂
People never ask me, but my brother has heard people talk behind my back asking how I use an iPhone when I can’t see the screen. (A note from Stephie. I’ve seen tweets about this so many times on my timeline. My friends, and I have experienced people being amazed that their Iphones have something so powerful on them. Something that can help us, and that we can pick up any device with it on there, and use it. I or my friends have to explain that it’s called voice over, and how to use it/get to it. I don’t mind.)
Someone on twitter tweeted, how do blind people know when to stop wiping their ass? He was joking, probably never knew a blind person would actually read that. (A note from Stephie) I have no words to write here. I’m speechless.
Someone asked me on twitter, “Who tweets for you?” as if I can’t use twitter myself. (a note from Stephie) Yes, we can use a computer *looks at the person writing this blog. Because I have to dictate it* lol. That was sarcasm. Yes, If I can use a computer that also means that I can do just about anything on the internet that you can. Even use twitter. The only thing I can’t seem to do is access anything with flash enabled.
Someone asked me today how I get dressed. I said, “you mean how I match my clothes?” And he said, “Well, that too.” He didn’t know how I could physically put clothes on without being able to see.
Me and my friend were in a gas station once and a crazy lady saw us with our canes. She asked my friend’s mom if we were blind, and she told her we were. Then the lady said, “Why do they have eyes then?”
My boyfriend has some vision, and he holds his iPhone very close to his face to be able to see it. At least 2 or 3 times now, people have drove by while he was waiting on the bus and said, “Ya forget your readin’ glasses, buddy?”
One day, I was in the store, and this guy just came up and started petting Macie. I said, “Hey, can you do me a favor and please ask me before you pet my dog?” He just stopped, all surprised, and said, “What??!!” I said, “Can you ask me before you pet my dog? She’s a service animal.” He said, “Well, if you’re gonna be all grumpy like that, then…” he turned around, started walking away and said, “You can just go to hell.”
I hope this helps you, or at least amuses you. Thanks for reading!