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Friday, April 20, 2018

Legal blindness

Tonight on the PBS NewsHour there was a segment about legally blind poet and professor Stephen Kuusisto and his guide dog ...

I'm legally blind too, with a degenerative eye disease diagnosed just after I graduated from college. I really didn't want it to be true and since I could still see pretty well then, I acted as if it wasn't true. I wouldn't go to live at the California School for the Blind, wouldn't learn Braille or how to use a cane, wouldn't get a guide dog. Instead I tried to pass as wholly sighted, especially when looking for jobs, which led to a lot of problems.

In the end, technology saved me, sort of - adaptive software let's me use a computer and because of the Kindle I can read books again. But I still can't drive, can't read all the normal stuff everyone else can read, from cash register receipts to street signs. Can't see if someone at a distance is a man or a woman, can't see cars coming until they're really close, can't see if the person I'm talking to is smiling. And people treat you differently. I've had a long time to get used to it, but you never really get used to it.


Anonymous Dyan said...

That made me cry - so beautiful and inspiring.
Have you thought about getting a guide dog now?

8:12 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Thanks, Dyan. Ha - the cats would stage a rebellion ;) I'm lucky now that my sister helps me do so much stuff that I can't see to do myself.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Dyan said...

LOL! Of course they would ;) It's good to have family and friends that are able and willing to help!

5:50 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Yes :)

2:37 PM  

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