Black/White, but no Grey

There is completely blind.
There is completely sighted, with or without the help with glasses.
But there’s nothing in betweeen, right?

WRONG! The black and white is being “completely blind” or “completely sighted.” The grey area in between these two is called “partially sighted/partially blind” or “low vision. Most everybody that has at least a somewhat progressed degeneration due to a retinal disease is “low vision.” This means that we aren’t necessarily blind, but we definitely aren’t sighted either. For some reason, most people don’t understand that there is this grey area. Did you know that only about 10% of all “blind” people are completely blind? The rest are “low vision,” and many of them consider themselves blind but they still have some sight or light perception. Completely blind is lacking light perception or using their sight to gain anything at all.

That’s why I think I get so many looks when I use my glasses and cane, or when I just have my cane and sunglasses and people are surprised that I make eye contact. My O&M instructor suggested that if I am in a situation where I don’t think people will believe me or I won’t get the help I need, to put those glasses you get at the eye doctor over my glasses. Not the ones that hook behind your ears, but the ones that just simply go over your glasses or eyes. I found this tip interesting, but also unfortunate that visually impaired people have to do that just to get the service or help they need.

I am hoping that by telling people when they ask and being so open with my eye disease that more will become educated about this “grey area.” I don’t mind if people ask me about it, or even are a bit hesitant to believe my situation. As long as they ask and give me the opportunity to explain/educate, I am happy.

Published by

Jessica N and Makiko

Jessica is a proud Texan. She graduated in 2014 with her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and is now employed. She is visually impaired and has a retinal disease, Retinitis Pigmentosa. Originally Jessica started blogging about everything from being diagnosed with the disease to where she is now, almost 9 years later. Then, Jessica went to Guide Dogs for the Blind and was blessed with Makiko, her new guide dog. Now, her blog "The Way Eye See The World" is about everything related to visual impairments, including guide dogs.

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