Deafblind Awareness Week 2023: Delanie’s Experience – The Sighted’s Blindfold?

Blindfolded woman colourful and vibrant

As a visually impaired young person, I navigate the world with a disability that isn’t immediately apparent. I find myself explaining my unique needs on a daily basis, facing inquiries about why I don’t wear glasses or questions regarding what I can actually see? It’s an immensely frustrating and challenging task to articulate my visual experience. How can I effectively explain something as intangible as sight?

Being night blind brings its own set of difficulties. Dimly lit rooms become treacherous territories where stumbling over objects becomes a regular occurrence. The resulting embarrassment and frustration are difficult to put into words. Meanwhile, I watch my friends triumphantly pass their driving tests, a privilege I know I will never experience. This reality sometimes challenges my independence, reminding me of the barriers I face. Public transport, private hire or mums taxi are my only options which present their own challenges. Navigating bus and train stations bring a whole new set of issues, my vision becomes blurred with the various types of lighting and people rushing by which makes focusing on bus/train schedules and numbers totally impossible.

Through passion and empathy, I hope to shed light on the daily struggles faced by those with hidden disabilities. It’s vital that we cultivate understanding and compassion. Let’s create a more inclusive world where individuals with hidden disabilities can thrive, unencumbered by misconceptions or limitations imposed by society. Together, we can foster empathy and support, ensuring that every person, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, feels seen and understood.

The Sighted’s Blindfold?

In a world where vision reigns, The sighted navigate without constraints, Believing what their eyes perceive, Understanding through what they receive.

But behind my eyes lies a different fight, A struggle unseen, concealed from sight, I long for a remedy, a soothing potion, To mend the turmoil of my hidden emotion.

Mismatched shoes upon my feet, Colours clashing in my wardrobe’s heat, Roses may be red, violets may be blue, Yet, perhaps they appear green to me too.

Why must I conform to societal ideals? The naked eye often conceals, Would you trust my words to be true, If sickness forced me to accrue leave anew?

There’s more to life than meets the eye, A realm obscured, where secrets lie, Beyond appearances, a deeper meaning resides, In the realm of perception, where truth coincides.

Written by Delanie Lever, a visually impaired young woman and previous ABL Health employee.

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