The Blind Facts

(This page is meant to educate, not to criticize.)

My name is Tony. Iím legally blind. I have some vision, but it is poor enough to warrant the above legal classification. My IQ is about 135. Weird, ainít it. A "blind" man can actually be that smart? I have friends who are totally blind. Theyíre smart, too. They travel alone, live alone, hold jobsÖ We do all these things. We also feel.

In my travels, I have seen how the sighted community treats the blind. We are stared at, laughed at by children whose parents donít know enough to tell them to stop. If we must hold printed material extremely close, like me, we are asked why we donít get glasses. We are not poor. We can afford glasses. They donít help.

You would not ask a man with one leg why he doesnít buy a wooden one, would you? Please use some common sense. These remarks are RUDE. They are also annoying and embarrassing.

I have here a list of things that really hurt and annoy the blind.

  1. Those of us who have some vision and are gawked at for reading things close.
  2. Those of us who have some vision and are asked why we donít get glasses.
  3. If you wish to help a blind person across the street, ask. Your help will be appreciated, but please just donít go and grab someoneís arm out of the blue. Itís scary and offensive.
  4. Refrain from the word "disabled." We have the "ability" to do plenty. If someone has some vision, "visually impaired" is good. If someone has no vision, "blind" is fine.
  5. Weíre not dumb. Donít talk extra slow to us. We understand English and many other languages.
  6. We donít want to "feel" your face. If we want to know what you look like, weíll use our imaginations.
  7. Guide Dogs serve a purpose. Please donít pet them or have your children pet them. They are vital for mobility and are to be left alone.
  8. Please try to watch out for our canes. They are very delicate. If they are stepped on, bent or broken, we canít get home.
  9. If someone is using a cane but appears to have vision, he or she probably has "partial" sight. They are not "faking" anything.

Once again, I donít mean to criticize. I mean to educate.

Perhaps if you read this, youíll know more and stare less.

By the way, I, a legally blind man, typed this all by myself. Amazing, huh?

Tony J. Mirabella