I was inspired to get involved with volunteering with individuals with vision loss when I heard Molly Burke speak in person at a Microsoft coding workshop. This Youtube video that she made is closest to the speech she made. I highly suggest you watch it to learn about growing up and living with vision loss.
10 Things you should know about people with vision loss
- According to CNIB, half a million Canadians are estimated to be living with significant vision loss that impacts their quality of life. More than 50,000 of us will lose our sight each YEAR.
- Most of the legally blind in Canada are NOT totally blind.
- Not all legally blind individuals will carry a white cane. Some individuals will carry a white cane just as an identification marker, not for navigation.
- If you see an individual with a white cane waiting at an intersection, do not grab him or her by the arm and drag them across the street. How would you feel if a stranger did that to you? For all he or she knows, you could be kidnapping them. If someone looks lost, ask first. But generally, people are very capable of getting around themselves.
- It is totally okay to use expressions such as look, see or watch out when talking to someone with a visual impairment. It’s awkward when it’s obvious that you’re avoiding visual verbs.
- Children who are congenitally blind are not born with more acute senses of hearing, smell and touch.
- Sight is the primary sense involved in learning about the environment. That is why it’s sometimes difficult for a child with visual impairment to understand some concepts such as riding a skateboard until he or she touches a skateboard and tries riding one first.
- A person whose vision deteriorates as a result of certain eye condition does not necessarily need to limit reading or watching TV to prevent further damage to his/her sight.
- Most children who have been visually impaired all their lives do not mourn the loss of their sight.
- There are different versions of Braille. Books, signs, menus and other materials are often written in a version of Braille that includes contractions. There are dot patterns that represent common letter groupings such as “ing” to save space.
If you’re interested in learning more, I highly suggest you look on CNIB‘s website.