[blindkid] Would you accept 20/20 vision if you could?

Barbara HAMMEL poetlori8 at msn.com
Fri Aug 1 01:27:00 UTC 2014

I used to see a very little but because I love poetry and am fascinated by painting, I would do it. Yes, I know a blind person can paint, but the can't watch as they spread that color out and tint or shade it, They can't fuss over getting that orange in the sunset or the perfect blue of someone's eyes.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jul 31, 2014, at 8:22 PM, "Penny Duffy via blindkid" <blindkid at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> My daughter (who lost central vision at age 6) told me once.  "WHY would I
> want my vision back? "
> On Jul 31, 2014 9:08 PM, "Arielle Silverman via blindkid" <
> blindkid at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Just for fun, I asked my blind friends on Facebook whether or not they
>> think they would accept a treatment to give them 20/20 vision without
>> medical risks. I got a lot of thought-provoking answers on both sides
>> of the question I wantd to share. Names and identifying info have been
>> removed, but otherwise these answers are verbatim and unedited (note
>> the dictation mistakes). This is not a representative sample, just my
>> friends, but I think it's important for parents of blind kids to
>> understand blind adults' perspectives on this issue, especially when
>> deciding how much to invest in sight-preserving treatments for your
>> son or daughter.
>> Best,
>> Arielle
>> 1.
>> I feel before going through such a process of getting vision back, I'd
>> have to survey the general public on something to the effect of--do
>> they appreciate the contributions I and other blind people make to
>> society, or is homogeny in ability more important? In short, I'd put
>> it off until later, when my work as a blind guy is done:). Evidently,
>> this perspective of mine is based on a civil rights and disability
>> rights understanding and appreciation.
>> 2.
>> Being blind for me is just as much a part of my identity as the rest
>> of me. I will always complain about transportation being difficult as
>> I think that's the hardest part of being blind, but I would not want
>> to see. There are people who treat us in inappropriate ways ranging
>> from vilification to worship fullness and all strange points in
>> between. There are people who believe we should not marry, should not
>> have children, should not work in their industry, should not go out in
>> public, should be institutionalized etc. my belief is that humans are
>> part of the universe trying to understand and perfect it's
>> consciousness. I believe blind people and other people who are not of
>> the more standardized varieties are here to eventually help humans
>> realize our full potential.
>> 3.
>> My answer would be no, i probably wouldn't do it, why bother, I'm
>> grateful for my life as it is without getting another sense. I don't
>> know if it's an age thing entirely, because i know some people who
>> have been blind since birth who would be first in line to get eye
>> sight. My answer would have been the same as it is now at age 16 or
>> earlier.
>> I have more to say. I really wouldn't want to do it. I'm proud of who
>> I am as a blind person, I'm honored to be familiar with blind culture,
>> and I value diversity. I think that if I randomly decided to get rid
>> of that part of me in order to increase convenience in some areas of
>> my life, I would be sacrificing too many beautiful parts of my
>> identity.
>> 4.
>> my answer would be no for couple of reasons. First, I've not had any
>> vision so, I don't know what I would be missing. Second, I feel that I
>> was made this way for a reason. I know others would say that I am not
>> whole, but I disagree. So in essence my answer would be no.
>> 5.
>> I would without thinking about it for several reasons.
>> 6.
>> I don't think it's an age thing, not engirely. I know when I was
>> younger I would have been all over getting sight back. Some of it was
>> because of the usual adolescent desire to fit in, but it was also due
>> to a the fact that I didn't have training or an abundance of positive
>> blind role models. Now though, I consider sight as something I don't
>> need. Sure, it might make somethings easier--maybe. And well sure I'd
>> be interested in experiencimg it, maybe. But the learning curb would
>> be ridiculous: learning a whole new way of traveling, reading,
>> interacting with my environment... Nah, I'm all set
>> 7.
>> I would do it without so much as a second thought and hold onto my
>> long white cane as a souvenir. To be clear: i'm confident in my
>> blindness skills and ability to figure out alternative techniques when
>> I need to, for the most part blindness is only a minor barrier that is
>> relatively easy for me to jump over. However i'm tired of most people
>> acting under the assumption that blindness is pretty much my main, if
>> not my only defining characteristic so I would be thrilled to give up
>> that implicit part of blindness which I really have no control over.
>> Also, having good vision would, I think be useful in a lot of ways.,
>> 8.
>> I wouldn't change being blind. I have no desire to go out and get
>> site. Like Like others above have said, I feel that there is a purpose
>> for my being blind and, if I were not blind, I may not be able to
>> fulfill it in the fullest sense. I don't think it's an age thing. I
>> think it depends on how comfortable you feel with yourself as a blind
>> person and with yourself generally. I think it also depends on your
>> perceptions of what sighted life would be like. I personally don't
>> think that they really are all that different from us. If all I would
>> get from being sighted is the ability to reprint and drive, I don't
>> think it's a fair exchange. Yes, these would be useful, but my
>> experience isn't so hampered by not doing these things in the usual
>> manner. I still get around where I want to go and I find other ways to
>> gain access to visual information. I think it also helps to recognize
>> that other populations that can see have similar difficulties.
>> Dyslexic's can't read standard print very well and people don't drive
>> for a myriad of reasons. Obviously, reading and driving are
>> significant challenges for these populations, but most of them
>> wouldn't necessarily go out and change some fundamental part of their
>> life in terms of their identities.
>> 9.
>> I want sight because even though I have been blind since birth, I
>> "feel" sighted. Another way of putting it: my brain feels sighted. I
>> have an intense desire to express myself through visual media and to
>> work with colors (in a more fine-grained way than adaptive painting
>> tecniques would allow). I think I have a pretty good sense of who i'd
>> be as a sighted person, and I wouldn't be all that different, just
>> more myself because I'd have more opportunities to express my passion.
>> 10.
>> Attitude definitely improves with age and experience. But I'd still
>> take it if it was free, So I wouldn't change my 32 years of Blindness
>> for anything.
>> 11.
>> Its such a bug part of who I am. If it was totally free and absolutely
>> no side affects maybe I would. But I would still identify as a blind
>> person.
>> 12.
>> For me, I'd have to learn how to be a compitant independent sighted
>> person. Its ironic, but true. Also, folks have mentioned blindness
>> being an intigral part of who they are, and it is the same for me. I
>> devote so much time and energy to working with blind people because I
>> can identify, because I'm there myself. Were I to magically become
>> sighted, would I be that effective? Would the blind youth at Chemistry
>> Camp etc. still look up to me as someone who is overcoming the
>> challenges they are facing? Not likely. I'd probably have to change my
>> whole focus. In short, no!
>> 13.
>> I agree with ___, even if one gained full sight, or if I did, I
>> believe I'd always identify as blind. I just don't think that much
>> experience could be undone, nor would I want it to be.
>> 14.
>> I wouldn't jump at the opportunity to have sight for many of the
>> reasons that others have already mentioned. I certainly identify as a
>> blind person--not that blindness is the first and foremost
>> characteristic that defines me, but I feel I would be kidding myself
>> if I were to say that blindness hasn't directly shaped how I perceive
>> and appreciate my environment, or indirectly contributed to my having
>> certain incredible opportunities and experiences throughout my
>> lifetime so far. For me, I don't believe that age has had much to do
>> with this; I remember from a very early age feeling bothered when
>> others sometimes suggested that it would somehow be better if I could
>> see. This being said, if I were to ever choose to experience sight, it
>> would only be for the sake of curiosity about having a new experience.
>> Sure, some tasks such as driving or looking at scientific data would
>> be easier with sight, and therefore I feel that I would see sight as
>> an assistive technology (which, like most other technologies, I'd
>> expect to have an on/off switch). Meanwhile at my core, I would very
>> likely still identify as a blind person--albeit one with access to
>> extra information, not as a sighted person who has somehow been
>> "fixed" or made whole in some way by gaining eyesight. Because I have
>> four other fully intact senses which I highly value and trust, I would
>> only even begin to consider vision if it were not to interfere with or
>> cause me to in some ways sacrifice my other senses or nonvisual ways
>> of interacting with the world. In other words, I feel that my
>> perceptual experience of the world is as rich as any sighted person's,
>> and I'd only think of taking sight if it were to enhance and in no
>> ways detract from my quality of life as it is.
>> 15.
>> I feel like I never quite fit into the cure, no cure conversations.
>> I've found that too many people just have to hear that disabled people
>> passionately want a cure so they can somehow accept that person while
>> hanging onto all their negative notions about disability. I don't want
>> that. But, I also find it unsettling the way rejecting a cure has
>> become a badge of disability pride. I don't choose to put my energy
>> into thinking about a cure, and I find myself feeling depressed when I
>> come in contact with doctors who are all over the cure. I also,
>> however, experience blindness as inconvenient and painful, and I'd
>> love to see everything my beautiful daughter is doing. I believe I can
>> still hold onto my convictions that disabled people have every right
>> to participate fully in our world, but also say that I think vision
>> makes things easier and I'd take it. In short, I'd take a cure, but I
>> generally reject the cure narrative, which suggests we should put all
>> of our energy into finding cures.
>> 16.
>> No, bause I don't think I could ever adjust to life as a sighted
>> person. I have lived my life as a blind person and have lived a good
>> life and I am not sure if I could ever mentally except my life as a
>> sighted person. This point is demenstrated in the movie "At First
>> Sight".
>> 17.
>> No. I don't think I'd take it. Maybe for curiosity's sake, but I'm a
>> blind person and have been for nearly 24 years. If I was sighted, I'd
>> be expected to read print, drive a car, and using my other senses to
>> do things wouldn't be acceptible. I already know how to read, use a
>> cane and a guide dog, and enjoy what my other senses tell me about the
>> world. Lol Not like I have super hearing or whatever... Plus, like
>> someone else said, working with blind peopple and to change things to
>> make a more accessible world would be different as a sighted person.
>> And I'm happy to have my current place in all that.
>> 18.
>> I wanted to put in my two cents because I totally have the same view
>> as ___. Before I had kids, I probably would've said that I wouldn't
>> ever want to see. Now, I'm not as clear-cut about it because being
>> able to drive when you have one or more kids would be a huge help.
>> Especially because we live in the suburbs. I have wondered what my
>> children look like at times, and when people say things to me like "oh
>> your daughter looks just like her daddy," it makes me wonder about
>> what that looks like. Not like it's a huge thing, just something I'm
>> curious about. But mostly it's the driving. I can get around without
>> driving but in the suburbs, I've had a very har time transporting my
>> children easily. Most days I'm fine with my blindness but there are
>> days wehn the inconvenience gets to me.
>> 19.
>> It strikes me that by debating the cure question we're letting others
>> (or our culture) dictate the terms of our conversation. The broader
>> culture has held tightly to the cure narrative, and we've reacted
>> somewhat defensively at times. What would it mean if we refuse to
>> engage in the cure question and instead imagine our own agenda? For
>> me, it would mean focusing on issues that would have a much broader
>> impact on many people's lives rather than just people with my specific
>> eye condition. Public transportation comes immediately to mind. Having
>> solid public transportation systems that are fully accessible can
>> transform the lives of many groups of people, including disabled
>> people, low-income people, seniors, and the list goes on. These are
>> the issues I'd rather see our communities focus their energy.
>> 20.
>> My parents have been adamant about me getting cured if it was possible
>> and I've always been against it for all the reasons people have voiced
>> above. But now, as I live more and more independently, I'm thinking
>> that it might be a good thing to just make things a little easier. I
>> wouldn't have to depend on readers or other help that I use once in a
>> while, I could drive which would make a big difference especially in
>> where I could live, dating would be easier because I wouldn't have to
>> deal with people's stereotypes, and just other social things could be
>> better. I could go to a loud and crowded club without worrying about
>> getting disoriented. But I'm not fully on board with sight because my
>> blindness is such a big part of my identity and because I also feel
>> that I was made blind for a reason. So I guess I'm open to the idea of
>> a cure but I wouldn't jump at it.
>> 21.
>> I would have to say, maybe not. Even without the risks and side
>> effects, seeing for someone who grew up without sight would be a bit
>> much. I know that a lot of people couldn't know exactly why I would
>> say something like that, but let's just say that I've done my
>> research.
>> 22.
>> Arielle, it's a hard question to answer, but I would really be fine
>> with what I've got.
>> 23.
>> Haha I need to wait till I'm out of college then I'll consider it!
>> (You get all the free stuff as a blind student in America!) But
>> honestly, If this starts becoming a reality like it is, there needs to
>> be rehabilitation counselors and sight-training teachers. It would be
>> like getting telepathy at age 20, then being thrown into a world where
>> everyone is an adept at telepathy and you have never had it before. It
>> takes some major major major major major readjustment and training to
>> start using sight as second nature. And like someone who loses their
>> sight at a late age, (20+), they will never be as competent as those
>> people who have been using it all their lives. They are behind so many
>> years and will only catch them up when they are at the end of their
>> life and everyone else starts losing their vision. The expectations
>> people will have of me as a sighted person will be very difficult to
>> deal with and frankly I'm scared. I would rather people still think
>> I'm blind till I'm used to the idea that I'm sighted. It is because I
>> know how to deal with expectations of being a blind person and have
>> not the faintest idea how I would cope with things in the sighted
>> world. And Beauty, that will completely change and I don't know if I'm
>> ready for that. But regardless, finding a cure is awesome and I am
>> totally for it and if someone offered it to me today, I would say yes,
>> but with vision muffling glasses.
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