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Hmm, what do you think?

(9 Posts)
LollipopViolet Fri 29-Aug-08 17:14:32

I'm quite confused about something a colleague at work said to me today. As you know, I've got sight problems. Anyway, we're talking about uni etc and whether I'd be doing weekends during term (can't as it'd be too much with coursework/fi;ming). Anyway, she asked how I could see a camera with my sight and I said, "Oh it's distance reading I have a problem with." She then comes out with:

"Actually, you've done well here, considering your sight, haven't you?" I was quite shocked, because my sight has never stopped me doing this job. It was problematic when it was sunny (I work selling tickets at Alton Towers and the sun was glaring off that metal tray people put the money onto). I was left thinking it was either a compliment, or she expected me to struggle.

It's not the first time. One of my supervisors is obsessed with pointing out tactile things to me. Like checking money "You can feel the raised paper". Or when she showed me how they do credit cards during a power cut "Oh run your finger along there." etc etc ad nauseum.

So which way would you take these comments? Oh and for some background info, here's what I told my college about my sight on my application 2 years ago:

I suffer from a range of visual problems, including optic atrophy, left hemanopia (loss of visual field on left side), Nystagmus (involuntary jerky movement of eyes), hypermetropia (Long sighted), Restricted distance vision, but good near vision. Low vision devices: magnifier and telescope. Registered partially sighted.

salsmum Fri 29-Aug-08 17:20:41

It depends how it's said i think...is it said in a patronising manner or a clumsy way of beein helpful? frustrating I know but I think take each comment on its own merits IYSWIM.

2shoes Fri 29-Aug-08 17:20:55

not sure what to think realy(you need wannabe she would know)
sounds a bit like people are not sure quite what you can see.
if you have good near vision, does that mean you can see through cameras ok?
sorry if that is a silly question.

Thomcat Fri 29-Aug-08 17:21:46

Hmmm, difficult but I'd try and see it as ignorance and try and educate them a bit. Until you know, you don't know, you know???!!!

LollipopViolet Fri 29-Aug-08 17:27:55

2shoes, I can see through cameras fine Not a silly question. I think with today's comment, it was probably intended as complimentary but came out wrong...my supervisor on the other hand, I'm not so sure about, I don't think she likes me too much but yeah, maybe it is just ignorance.

Another one that amuses me is trying to decide what to refer to myself as. When I used to use "partially blind" as my mum told me, I'd get "So, which eye are you blind in?" Same with partially sighted. Visually impaired is no better. In fact, a taxi driver who used to take me to college once said, when I'd told him I would be filming later, "If you're blind, how can you see the camera?" I don't use any sort of cane or guide dog!!!

It's a mad old world.

Blu Fri 29-Aug-08 17:29:57

It sounds as if they are just clumsy and inexperienced, really. Various degrees or types of visual impairment can be hard for people to grasp, and everyone has very stereotyped fixed ideas in their heads about what 'blind' people are like and the kind of help they do - or in your case, don't - need.

I have a friend who walks with a white stick - and she often has people grab her without warning to 'help', and once she was even bundled across to the pavement with the advice 'here's the wall, you can feel your way along' shock

Your colleagues have no doubt found it an enlightening revelation that you have no diffficulty doing your job or using a camera. It doesn't sound as if they mean any negative connotations, but have rather over-compensated in trying to be supportive.

2shoes Fri 29-Aug-08 19:17:33

it is interesting. there is a lady who helps at the local art club, she is very good at art, yet people refer to her as being blind. you have made me realise that there is more to it.
sorry not helping am I.

LollipopViolet Fri 29-Aug-08 19:28:53

Yes you are! Just by listening all of you have helped me lots.

PS: Veering a little off topic but 2shoes, if you know of anywhere I can get some clear perspex/hard plastic discs, I'd be very grateful, am trying to help my friend out- she wants to see about some spoke guards for her chair.

coppertop Fri 29-Aug-08 19:37:17

It sounds as though they might think that all people with sight problems have little or no eyesight. A similar thing happens with deafness. People either think they have to shout at you for you to understand them or they think that because you can hold a conversation (with hearing-aids) you must be making it up for some unknown reason.

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