Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Disability

I wasn’t going to write about negative things on my blog but after a recent post I put on the VI Talk Facebook page I thought I would put my personal spin on what is a serious issue. So here goes.The post read – ‘’How many VI staff does the RNIB employ?’’ A simple enough question that merely was attempting to find out what proportion of RNIB staff are VI. But the reaction was quite different to what I expected. I don’t want to pay too much attention to the disappointing figures but what I do want to do is to champion the cause for the abilities of those of us who are visually impaired.

Just because someone has sight loss it makes them no less able to do many jobs than our sighted counterparts. I know VI people that are computer programmers, office managers, chefs, care workers, cleaners and work in many other fields. I know of visually impaired pool players who are better players than most sighted opposition. I know of lecturers who have lived in the real world with sight loss and can teach people with sight loss because they have experienced it.

The abilities that many disabled people have are extremely underrated. It is not a case that just because someone is perceived to be less able that they are. In actual fact, give the person a chance and you will probably be surprised.

I don’t think I am too far wrong by saying that if you employ some who is VI that you will find they work harder to overcome their difficulties and will take nothing for granted. You will find that they are loyal because jobs are hard to find . but most of all, you will find that people who have the get up and go, and the drive to not sit on their backside living off the state will be more dedicated to working hard than most of the sighted team you already employ.

It is a simple fact that people are often scared to employ those of us with disabilities for many reasons. It is my view that this has to change. The potential for all of these people is huge and the adjustments needed are minimal. If someone has the will to get up and wants to work, they will be more than capable of explaining what support they need. Then you have access to work which is there to support people with disabilities not only get into work but to retain jobs as well.
Adjustments for sight loss are not major overhauls, it is not as if the whole of your building and staff will need to cater to a disabled person. We know how to live, what you think we do the rest of the time. We don’t just sit in the corner bobbing our heads up and down to the beat of a talking book. Many of us play sports, many of us have sighted friends that we go and see and I am sure many of us consume the odd drop of alcohol. Dare I say it, most of us are just like you. We don’t want and in most cases do not need special treatment. We just want the chance to prove ourselves and not be left to feel unemployable and useless in the job market.

I myself have a job, I have been employed for over 8years doing the same job. I am now also at university. People say I am lucky to be where I am, truth is, I am not lucky. I work extremely hard to do the things I do. I have spent years building my knowledge and reputation, but all it took was for me to be given one chance all those years ago and that gave me the ability to make a real impact. If you have read any of my blogs before, then take a look back and have a read over some of the things I have done.

I hope this message gets spread through as many outlets as possible, I wouldn’t normally ask you to share this but as this is not designed for laughter, I urge you all to spread the word as far and wide as you can.

That’s it for now.
Until next time
MRWG

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Let’s Talk About Sight Baby

Just recently there have been a lot of online contributions about ‘What I See’. More people with sight loss are trying to explain what they can see. I find this notion very difficult indeed to describe to people. I mean it isn’t that I can’t say what I do see but how can I tell you what I don’t see? I would never know it wasn’t there. So when people ask the age old question ‘So what can you see’? After I shake off the utter distain for the 12 milliontth  time I have been asked this question I realise again it is near impossible for me to put into words the blurry nothingness that is my vision. But never the less, if I carry my moses stick I will always be asked the same question. So, I simply reply, ‘I see shapes of things and not much more’. This is about the size of it. I see shapes, some big some small. But they are all shapes. This doesn’t really answer the question properly but it seems to satisfy.

I am a very outgoing person, I enjoy a good drink and I enjoy meeting new people. I enjoy making people laugh and I enjoy a game of pool. I am not your ‘stereotypical blind person’. This whole idea that if you have a white stick you must be completely blind and not ever do anything to enjoy yourself and improve your life is utterly laughable. It still gets to me when you hear people say ‘look at him on his phone, he aint blind’. Or if you are walking down the high street there is always one or two that have the odd word to say as they are walking past. Granted these are few and far between but still.

I often feel like turning around and saying ‘look at you with your stupid face and crappy dress sense, you must be blind yourself. When it comes to it, just because someone has a white stick, it doesn’t mean they are totally blind and it certainly doesn’t mean they are anything less than anyone else. It is the shameful few that like to act like bullies because they never grew up before they started to reproduce themselves. It does make me rather concerned about the future at times.

The bottom line is, a lot of people with sight loss will use some kind of walking aid, could be a dog it could be a cane. But it is not anyone elses right to doubt that person and to fling abuse there way for no reason other than your own self pity from your own unfulfilled life.

I realise this page is entitled Real Life Humour and for the most part that is what I aim to write, but there are times when you just have to get something off your chest before you can start to find the funny side of things again.

That’s it for now, Next time I will try and be a bit more upbeat.

MRWG

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Sight Baby