Thursday, January 24, 2013

Some Misconceptions About Blind People

On one of my information seeking journeys on the vast spacial plane that is the interwebs (internet for non nerds) I came across some information about misconceptions about blind people. Many sighted people and even some people in the blind/visually impaired community often believe these misconceptions simply due to ignorance. One article I found was Delco Daily Top Ten: Top 10 Misconceptions about Blind People. The article was by David W. Wannop who "is a music journalist, talent developer, booking agent, and show host based in Center City Philadelphia.


Here are just a few of the misconceptions Mr. Wannop cites based on his experiences being blind:

1. Blind people have superior hearing. Not true. We will learn to concentrate, discern and derive a lot of meaning from sound, and make use of it in innovative ways. We are not distracted by sight, but, this is listening qua paying attention. On a straight up listening test, blind people hear at a normal level. I work in the concert biz so my hearing is probably at the low end of normal now.
2. Blind people need to be spoken to very loudly or they won’t know you are addressing them. Actually, I ignore loud speaking people for I find them rude and vulgar. More likely I am ignoring the loud mouth. Introduce yourself properly and speak with a normal tone. How is it that sighted people think I can hear a pin drop in the next town but can’t hear someone right in my face?
3. Most blind people are totally blind. Actually, the definition of legal blindness covers a range of conditions. Some have tunnel vision, others peripheral. Some can read large print. Others have focusing difficulties. Most blind people are not completely without sight. I have light perception. I often look away from bright light. I can make out no color, shape, or detail, nor depth. I can tell when the sun is shining or a light bulb has blown.

Click here to read the rest of the article. I also want to thank the author of the Delco Daily Top Ten Mary Ann Fiebert for allowing me to use excerpts of this article. 

So what misconceptions do you have about the blind/visually impaired community? Do you agree with Mr. Wannop's  points? Leave your comments below.


Excerpts of this post originally appeared on the Delco Daily Top Ten blog and are reposted here with permission.


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