Because of my sight problem, I get taxis to and from work, the cost of which is subsidised by the Access To Work scheme (I still pay a chunk of each fare myself, and I’m happy doing that). Access To Work have also paid for the magnification software and CCTV video magnifier I use in the office. It’s such an important scheme, as it really helps disabled people in the workplace. It’s certainly helped me for about a decade now. I suspect not all employers are aware of its existence however, and there are probably some disabled people who don’t know about it either. So it’s worth noting that it’s there.
I’ve just received, and have happily started watching, Doctor Who Series 9 on Blu-ray. I’m drafting a separate review post of that as I go along, but coming from a visually impaired person’s perspective, I’m very pleased to see they’re continuing with audio navigation and audio description on the discs. Sherlock gets the same treatment as well.
It’s not a feature I personally need to use, but I do have friends who use it. And it’s understandably frustrating that such audio assistance isn’t more widespread.
While looking around Youtube channels and blogs by other visually impaired people, I’ve seen the VIP (Visually Impaired Person) Tag come up numerous times. And thanks to the wonderful Emily Davison from Fashioneyesta, I was finally tagged to do it.
It was originally created by Chatty Chelby, and it’s an interesting way of telling the community about yourself. So I’ve put my answers together in this post, and have also produced a video version too. I hope you enjoy my responses!
I don’t have a guide dog, because I can see well enough not to need one. But I have many friends who do use them, and I would certainly consider applying for one if my sight ever deteriorated to a level where it might be useful. They are the most beautiful and amazing animals, and I have a lot of respect and admiration for them, and for those who train and use them. They aren’t just pets, they’re a real lifeline to their owners, enabling so much freedom and independence.
And yet, sadly, there are still people out there who don’t understand or respect guide dogs or the blind people who need them – something which has, yet again, become clear in the past few days.
A summary of this post was featured in Scope’s blog for Anti-Bullying Week.
Today I wanted to look back at how my confidence has developed over the years, after a difficult start. At home it’s never been a problem – my parents are both visually impaired, so they and my relatives have always been understanding and supportive from the outset. But away from the family, it hasn’t always been as easy. I’ve also made a video about my school days which relates closely to this post.
One of the things that some non-disabled people find surprising about me is that I’m not easily offended, and that I’m more than happy to make jokes at my own expense. I touched on that point fleetingly in my previous post, but I wanted to go into it a little more.
Today, through a link on Facebook, I saw an old blog post called Mind Your Language on the Action for Blind People website. It’s an interesting analysis of the type of language used to describe people’s disabilities.
I personally describe myself as ‘visually impaired’ or ‘partially sighted’, as it succinctly describes what I am (and I am registered as ‘partially sighted’ with my local council).