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    Trust your body

    Listen to your body when you feel that something is off. Don’t ignore how you feel. Trust your gut.

    For the past few weeks I’ve been experiencing flashing lights in my right eye. I got an emergency appointment with my retina specialist today and he found an Operculated Retinal Hole. He did a laser procedure on it, along with some of my abnormal vasculature of my retina. It was so painful and I’m struggling with a lot of pain in my eye and head all around the area. It will take a few weeks to heal and hopefully seal the hole. Hopefully after the hole is sealed the flashing lights should subside. I have an appointment in two weeks to get re-scanned. I have to rest and take it easy now.

    I was going to wait it out and ignore my symptoms because if everything looked “okay” I didn’t want to waste my doctors time. Ultimately, after my mom and my neurologist persuading me to go, I made an appointment and I’m so glad I did. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and in this case, I was experiencing vision symptoms of an emergency that could and probably would’ve turned much worse had I not gone to the doctor.

    #trustyourbody #LegallyBlind #Blind #Blindness #blindnessisaspectrum #blindnessawareness #VisionLoss #VisuallyImpaired #vision #retina

    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Im full of lie anxiety

    I got an email for a job i contacted them they called and we had an interview i met the owner and his head of HR and we all did the interview i felt like i aced it and i asked almost every question and i answered all of theres. Honestly i feel like i got the job it went so well ill know by wensday, but i didnt tell them i couldnt drive, it didnt sound like i need to because they have a work van that has to bring their equitment to the worksites so i could ride along.

    The rest of the day i was riding high thinking next week im gunna have a job i have nothing to worry about but today it suddenly hit me what do i do if i get the job and show up the first day getting a ride from my mom or dad or sisters. I feel like im going to lose the job on the spot or atleast the end of the day. Im feeling like garbage right now like what am i going to do. I feel like i lied to this guy whos only trying to grow his small business and ive already damaged the relationship. A lie of omission the hr woman called and even asked me if i had my own vehicle before the interview and i said i have transportation where ever i need to go which isnt a lie but i know what i did. honestly im hoping they dont call me to give me the job .

    #TheDisabledLife #VisuallyImpaired #LegallyBlind #Anxiety #Firstjob #LIESANXIETYTELLSYOU #WhatYouDontSee #Anxiety #lie #failure #FailureToThrive

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    Community Voices

    Where COVID-19 and ablism collide

    <p>Where <a href="https://themighty.com/topic/corona-virus-covid-19/?label=COVID-19" class="tm-embed-link  tm-autolink health-map" data-id="5e678dcff3e6f44cb2d93fd4" data-name="COVID-19" title="COVID-19" target="_blank">COVID-19</a> and ablism collide</p>
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    Community Voices

    what avice do you guys have about getting a job?

    im 25 and ive never had a job. i volenteer alot and i have a nice looking resume and all that. ive gone on indeed and ive applyed to over 98 different places and i havent had any job interviews. im legally blind and cant drive other then that you'd never know that i have any issues. it seems like im just wasting my time at this point and i need to reachout to someone. im really deperate because i have found that my selfesteam and confidence is directly linked to feeling that im helping or that im needed.

    there are no employment agencys where i live and alot of them seem to be a waste of time aswell they have part time work one day a week everyother week, type work. im now at a loss as to why i never get called back or why its so hard to actually find work when i see these burnt out druggies and alcohalics getting high paying jobs from week to week like its nothing. i just bully the crap out of myself telling myself all these negitive things about myself as reasons why i didnt get called back. i just begining to hurt inside and feel unwanted.

    #Anxiety #Depression #Disability #LegallyBlind #rejected #why #Work #Job #Jobs #self-doubt #Welfare #Whatswrong #Whatsthepoint

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    Community Voices
    Courtney Cole

    Orientation and Mobility Training as a Legally Blind Young Adult

    I’m leaving home tomorrow. Even though a few months ago I left for the first time, this feels more real and substantial for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m going alone. Not that I’m flying alone, but that I’m going to really be “ on my own ” when I get back to my orientation and mobility training program in Seattle. This time, no one is coming with me to help, but it’s not a bad thing. Neither I nor my parents have any doubts — I can handle all of this. To a lot of people, this kind of thing happens naturally and isn’t a big deal. But even though I’ve always been intelligent, things were more difficult to learn because I had much less vision than others in a sight-dependent world. After graduation, I decided to take a gap year. Even though many young people do this, I wasn’t excited about it at all. I didn’t want to be any more different from other people than I already am. It turns out, the problem was really my perspective. Living and working with other blind and visually impaired individuals at this program has really opened my eyes (pun intended.) It hasn’t been easy. Going to this program feels like your disability is being shoved in your face every day, and that’s hard, especially knowing I am going to lose more vision as I get older. Everyone there has a lot of emotions about their situation. Each person has a story, none of us are perfect and we don’t always get along. Blindness doesn’t discriminate. Rich, poor, tall, short, thick, thin, all kinds are affected by this impairment. To put it simply, the OTC (Orientation Training Center) is a lot of imperfect people trying to make the best life they can for themselves despite the challenges they face. That’s not a mantra or anything, just my personal assessment. At first, I was a little disappointed looking at my friends’ college pictures, thinking “that should be me.” I got over it, though. This year was my chrysalis. I have two acceptance letters plus scholarships to great colleges and a ton of possibilities. I love myself and have more confidence than I ever have before. To be honest, it’s a wonderful feeling. Although I’m surprised and proud when it comes to my metamorphosis, I didn’t write this solely for that reason. School was really hard. I was a caterpillar at one time. Sixth grade to 11th felt like I was crawling on my belly, trying not to get eaten. In 12th, amazed I survived to that point, I started to make my chrysalis. I know I’m not the only person who felt like school was more about survival than having a good time. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but if you’re thinking about giving up on yourself, don’t do it. Not for me or your S.O. or even your mom, but because if you give up, you will never get to know all the wonderful things you can be. Follow this journey on The Blink Butterfly. The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

    Living With Low Vision in the Sighted and Non-Sighted Worlds

    Meeting the world on its terms after losing much of my eyesight was difficult. Prejudice, inequality and inaccurate presumptions, though not new, were now based on my disability. “As she steps forth to face the crowds Some will stare, some will pass. Captures attention as she goes What do they really know?” You’ve probably heard the phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know.” For example, I didn’t know I couldn’t see until I put on my first pair of eyeglasses. Prior to wearing eyeglasses, I functioned quite well because I wasn’t aware of what I couldn’t see, so as far as I was concerned there were no limitations to what I could achieve. “She walks on by, her head held high Opinions form in minds. Some only see the stick she holds What do they really know?” Likewise, while I knew there was a significant disparity between the abled and disabled communities, I was stunned to find myself caught in the middle of two worlds. Many times I felt alienated for not being fully sighted, yet also not fully blind. “I’m sick of people staring at your cane. It’s 2016, why do people still stare at people who use mobility devices?” my son asked me when we were on a recent outing. “With cane in hand she proves she’s strong. Breaking through opinions She’s changing minds, she’s changing views Shows them what they should know.” I am grateful that I can’t see the gawking, however this is the reality of living with low vision in the sighted and non-sighted worlds. Sighted people can’t comprehend why a person who appears to see uses a white cane, and on the other end of the spectrum, blind people can take offense to people who aren’t totally blind being referred to as such. Acceptance, the one thing most people yearn for, can seem especially elusive when living with a disability. However once we become confident enough to accept ourselves with our disability, we can begin to meet the world on our terms. Abigail. We are living in an era where people with disabilities are aggressively finding creative solutions to overcome the obstacles we face. Abigail, the poem by Jazmin Ruiz contained within this article was inspired by the stylish new white cane icon. “Strength and beauty is what she holds. Walking tall, head held high. And there she goes achieving goals That’s all they need to know.” Abigail has sight loss, yet she is fabulously chic as she walks confidently with purpose, letting her white cane guide the way. The icon was designed with a two-fold mission in mind: to embolden women who are blind or have sight loss to embrace their individual greatness, and to eradicate the stigma around all kinds of visual impairments. As a society, let’s begin a clean slate, operating from a standpoint of “we don’t know what we don’t know” to view people with an open mind. Let’s cease placing people with disabilities in a box of conformity based on what we think they can or cannot do. Once we are able to do this, we eliminate limitations. Follow this journey on Bold Blind Beauty. The Mighty is asking the following: Describe your experience of not quite fitting under one specific diagnosis or a label your community identifies with. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

    Mandy Ree

    'Zootopia': Why I Relate to the Movie Having Grown Up Legally Blind

    “Zootopia” has been one of the top movies for weeks. I originally thought it was just another silly kids’ movie, but it has brought me great inspiration, thanks to a little bunny known as Judy Hopps. Mandy (left) with her friends. Judy reminds me of myself. Growing up as a person who’s legally blind, I faced prejudice due to my differences. I was always told by my peers that I would never fit in and wouldn’t accomplish anything in my life. Judy was just a wee little bunny, and I was just a “blind kid.” And yet, despite the odds against me, I still had the determination to chase my dreams even though the neighborhood “foxes” would taunt me and try to bring me down. Like Judy, I also had compassion for my fellow “prey.” I always stood up for those who were facing challenges and wasn’t afraid to call someone out for any “predator-like” behavior. I was always a protector of the differently-abled, even if it meant getting beat up and taking one for the team. Judy’s ultimate dream was to leave home, head to the big city, go to the police academy and chase her dream job. It was the same with me. When I graduated from high school, I took a chance and moved to the big city. I wasn’t afraid to take life by the horns and chase my dreams. In those years while trying to find out who I was, I met my version of Nick Wilde, Judy’s sidekick, in my friend, Bill. Like the fox protagonist in the movie, Bill knew what it felt like to be different and judged because of his wheelchair, and yet he somehow never let it get the best of him. Like Judy, I failed many times trying to reach my goals. I eventually dropped out of college because of the economy and had to go back home to my small town for a few years. I missed the big city, but I eventually found my way back. What made “Zootopia” even more inspirational for me was the song Shakira sings at the end called “Try Everything.” The lyrics nailed my life experience to the T. I wanted to try everything even if I thought I would fail. But I didn’t give in, and I reached the top, making my dreams a reality. Life has its many challenges, and whether you’re a bunny trying to be a cop or a girl who’s legally blind trying to make it in the big world alone, you could find your way back to the top. It just may take some time, and a little help from a fox BFF, or, in my case, a man in a wheelchair. I know it may sound silly to compare myself to a cartoon bunny. But unless you see the prejudices that people with disabilities face (or those faced by the species, as played out in the movie), you may never fully be able to see life on the other side of the fence. If a bunny and a fox can team up to fight crime, imagine what humans with and without disabilities can do together united as one. Follow this journey on Legally Blind Bagged. The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a scene or line from a movie that’s stuck with you through your experience with disability, disease or mental illness. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

    Emily Parma

    Legal Blindness: Living in Between Full Blindness and Normal Vision

    When people see me read within five inches from my face, they ask me, “Do you wear contacts?” or “Do you have glasses at home?” To which I say yes, and then they have a look of confusion on their faces. For most people, vision is something that can and must be fixed. They snap on some contacts or glasses and have 20/20 vision. For me, my retinas are scarred and can only be changed so much. At this point in my life, I’m tired of people treating my vision as if it’s broken. I have done what I can to adapt to my surroundings, and I live a happy life. When I tell people how my eyes work, they feel sorry for me. I know I can’t get frustrated with this, though, because most people don’t understand what it means to be legally blind. Legal blindness is when your visual acuity is 20/200 or lower, with or without corrective lenses. It’s sort of a spectrum of conditions. No one person’s vision is the same, or happened the same way, but one thing we share is the stigma behind it — that we should fix ourselves. In my case, I have congenital varicella syndrome, nystagmus and I’m near-sighted. When my mom was pregnant with me, she had chicken pox during her first trimester and it scarred my retinas. My vision won’t weaken and can only be corrected to 20/200 and 20/400. For those who don’t understand what this means, let me explain: Something that’s 20 feet away from you appears to be 200 or more feet away from me. I wear contact lenses to help me see details further away, but I see better close up without any lenses. I don’t focus on the distant blurs, however. I choose to focus on what is in front of me and my better senses. My sense of smell and hearing are heightened because they compensate for my vision. When someone doubts my ability to complete a task, I prove them wrong. I am strong. This is a part of me, and I never let my disability hold me back. Living with low vision is often a struggle, but it can be transforming. Those who are legally blind are stuck between a culture of full blindness, where people use Braille to read, and total sight and never needing aids. We are in the grey area of blindness, and we’re pressured to choose a side: blindness or normal vision. I have good days where I’m an advocate for the visually impaired, and other days I’m filled with self pity. It happens. But when I am asked the million-dollar question, “If you could have surgery to fix your eyes, would you do it?” I have to say no. Why should I have to feel sorry for myself and fix part of my identity? I was born this way, and I can’t help but think there’s purpose in it. I wasn’t meant to live a life where I have to feel broken. I’m not bashing on those who have undergone surgery to help their conditions, but I don’t believe people with disabilities should feel pressured to be “fixed.” If a person chooses to undergo surgery, therapy or anything else, let it be from personal choice and not because of a cultural stigma. We are beautiful, not broken. The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post tocommunity@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.