What means to be a Blind-Autistic at a work place. #Blindness #LegallyBlind #Autism
Having impairities or disorders may put lots of barriers over our life line or even make ourselves and our self stem fall in a state of comfort zone. But it's not always bad nor it should be seem as something negative, in my experience I heard a lot of people criticizing me stating that "You talk like you praise being disabled."
No, first of all, I don't see myself as _disabled_, I'm very able of doing absolutely anything I aim for and work hard to gain even if I can't see more than some little colours and near movement with my best eye, and even if my social skills are compromised, or tolerance to some high stimulations like noise, touch (In Brazil we have a huge touching culture), smells and emotions. And yes, I aknowledge that I'm not able to see in a very seeing focused world.
Second, my blindness, autism and BPD are not bad nor good, they are characteristics just like any other, like my sense of humour, or my interest in cats, or being a person that doesn't laugh much, they all have up and down sides to them. And here I tell some that I experience in my workspace:
1. Not always I greet my co-workers if they don't greet me.
Of course it's not because I'm rude, when I'm entering my workspace I always greet everyone I can, but as soon as I do my routine of washing my hands, washing my water bottle, filling my water bottle, positioning my cane and bottle in the table, etc. I just focus on what I have to do, so those who enter the place after me I either don't see them or am too focused with my activities to hear their steps, voice or objects like keys, white canes, or smelling what kind of perfume they usually use. So unless they make their presence to me using my name while doing so, I don't say anything untill I myself stop what I'm doing and realize the person arrived so I go and greet them.
2. I'm too focused on timing.
That's good and bad, I make an effort on being efficient and want to make my co-workers proud, mainly cause I'm an intern, so I have to show them I can keep up the pace and learn to do things properly and not fall in the intern stereotypes.
So if someone give me an activity, I don't stop doing it untill I'm done, I analyse and find strategies to do it more efficiently without commiting mistakes and not getting dehydrated because I love water so my 1,1L water bottle is always by my side while I work.
Problem about it is that when I'm not able to keep up the same pace as normally because of something else, I feel like I'm tarding everyone and put too much responsibility on myself wanting to do my work faster to get in the pace again. But my co-workers keep telling me to chill out because nothing is tardy, the pace is fine, and everything is okay, and I'm not messing up anything. Note: they tell me it without I even mentioning that I feel like I'm messing so I guess they can sense my worries.
3. I'm a fast learner
That's certainly a good one. I learn fastly absolutely anything that strikes interest in me, because I always devour every bit of knowledge I find about the subject. Of course, I never stop trying to learn because it's foolishness instead of intelligence and wisdom. That means as someone who struggle with low self stem, everytime I do it unconsciously, I get compliments and it makes me feel so good. So I always aim for more, and what I am good that others are not because they didn't have the same contact as I did (like in my workspace I'm the youngest and also the one who most had contact with computers.) I always try passing what I know to them so they can also learn something.
It doesn't matter our age, we always can learn and teach.
4. I tend to be methodically organized.
That really is good for the kind of work I do. For context I work in a Braille Library, although I'm currently on Biomedicine School. But being organized about things help me a lot on understanding how to find and put away a book, how to organize the system, how to keep up with dates when we do certain events, how to organize what books do I scan what books do I review for producting, where to find informations I need, what to say on the phone when someone calls, everything gets easier because organization, and even if you know some autistic kids' rooms that are messy, believe me, we know where to find what we want in our messes and changing where we put our things may end up badly for us emotionally. Bonus about being in a place for blind people is that hardly will the sighted workers change anything to another place without previously informing, because we need to be able to find things there, and the users also need to be able to orient themselves inside there.
Well that's all for now, I don't remember anything more since it's late/early in dawn, so I should try sleeping. Hope this post was informative and can help people realize that their "disabilities" are never to be seen as disabilities, but indeed if seen from another point of view, they can be a huge help on living and great talents to be proud of.
Image Description: it's a rectangle with the borders black and filled by a pattern of a puzzle with the pieces coloured with the autism puzzle colours, with a highlighted blind person icon. (Those that has a man holding a white cane) The icon is completely black, taking the shape it stands for.