Tag Archives: society

The Dos And Donts of Interacting with a Blind or Visually Impaired Person

People come to my blog either because they like my poetry, or due to a post on a subject of interest to them catching their attention. Most of those clicking on this site are unaware of the fact that I am registered blind (unless they click on my “About page and see a photograph of me with my guide dog, Trigger, or they come across one of the few posts in which I talk about my visual impairment).

Not being aware of my blindness means that my readers interact with me as they would with anyone else (which is, of course as it should be for I am not defined by my visual impairment). However, when I meet people in the real (off-line world) I do come across individuals who are unsure how to interact with a visually impaired person, indeed some people are downright embarrassed.

A few days back, I came across this excellent post on “Life of a Blind Girl”, https://lifeofablindgirl.com/2019/06/02/the-dos-and-donts-when-interacting-with-a-blind-or-visually-impaired-person/, in which the author talks about the dos and donts of interacting with someone who is blind or visually impaired. In essence, as the author states, one should interact with a blind or visually impaired person in the same way in which one would interact with anyone else.

However (as the blogger points out) many people do not follow this simple rule. Examples of the behaviour identified by the author (and experienced by myself) include: speaking to the non-visually impaired companion of the blind person rather than addressing the visually impaired person directly, asking personal questions one would not address to a non-disabled person and being afraid of using commonly utilised language such as “see you later”.

In terms of the latter, I have lost count of the number of occasions on which someone has said “see you around” only to apologise to me for using visual language!

As someone who is blind, I use such language all the time and I don’t expect people to avoid utilising it when interacting with me. In fact by employing such language people demonstrate that they regard me (and other blind/visually impaired people) as individuals who are not defined by our disability.

There are too many self-appointed spokesmen who claim to speak on behalf of the visually impaired (and, I would add other groups), who say that one should not employ such and such language. Many of these people are well meaning (but wrong) while a few do, perhaps wish to use disability politics for their own unholy ends.

I commend this article to anyone who has ever felt unsure (or embarrassed) as regards interacting with a visually impaired or blind person.

Kevin

When The Chips Are Down

When the chips
Are down and order slips,
Who will stand, one with the other?
“You are my brother”,
(Tis so easy to say),
But when the chips
Are down and order slips,
Will I be your brother
Or something other
– A man who when order slips
And there are no chips
Says, through trembling lips,
“I am for
Whoever can restore
A semblance of law
Be he
Ever so cruel,
For when the chips
Are down and order slips,
Most men will grin
And save their own skin
For Hobbes’s rule
Applies when there are no chips
And order slips”.

Lonliness

Most things can be bought.
Peas and rice
Are nice,
And vice
That too can be bought.

I know
That one can buy
A semblance ,
A resemblance
Of love, though
Cupid’s arrow
Is never shot.

A hot
Date will thrill
The man of pleasure
But, at his leisure
A thought
May, perchance
Come, “’tis fun
To dance
With the escort.
To hold her tight
Throughout the night.
But, come the morning light …
Love can not be bought”.

Or perhaps he doesn’t care
And, with his graying hair
He continues down pleasure’s primrose path,
Where the devil does silently laugh
And whispers low
“You know
I will have you in the end
My friend.
Paid for charms
Can not save thee from the arms
Of the devil of lonliness

When her party dress comes off
You may hear me cough
And say
One day
You will die alone
Or by the side
Of a girl who can not decide
Her name
Which she does change
Like the weather.
It comes to the same
Thing in the end,
Though you may pretend
Otherwise, and avert your eyes
From the truth
Of the descending roof”.

What Does It Profit A Man

What does it profit a man if he gain a good education
To benefit the nation,
In a subject he comes to loathe?
The wild rose
Goes
Unsmelt
But he dwelt
Amongst those
Who wore fine clothes.

What good does it profit a man if he considers wealth
A supreme good in and of itself?
His health
He loses,
Boozes
Away
To help him cope with his stressful day.
He may pay
For a yacht
But he has got
A hole
Where his soul
Should be.

I can not agree
With those who would level down society
For variety
Is good
And we are not all of the same wood.
Yet to glorify economics at the expense of all else
Leads to an obsession with the self
And rich young things who sit, in groups, alone
Playing with their telephone

In The Desert Of The Heart

In the desert of the heart
Any touch may start
A flame

Any hand
May command
A hot
Flush
(Wanted or not),
But who are we to rush
To blame?

Is this thing called shame
A social construct that keeps us low?
Many prefer not to go
Down that path
Of enquiry. They laugh,
Make a smutty joke
And on their own hypocrisy choke.

The Truth Of The Matter?

The unvarnished
Truth is on display
When she removes her paint, at close of day.
Alone in her room, with tarnished
Skin,
She broods on sin
And the he
Who corrupted she.

But was the man to blame?
For an answering flame
There was in her,
He would swear,
Were he there
In the lionesses’s lair.

Is Adam to blame
For Eve’s shame
If he find an answering spark
Within her heart?

Yet he lit the match
And his pleasure took when she did catch
Alight
That night
Long ago.
She did not say “No”
But what a temptation
To dissipation
Is hard cash to a young woman in debt,
And yet …

They did it because

A young student ‘twas
Who did it because
She had spent her loan
And being alone,
Took a decision rash
To raise some cash.

A man of the world he was
Who did it because
He saw
Just another she
– Merely a whore,
For what does it matter
When a girl’s dreams shatter?