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I’ve been registered blind since birth AMA

51 replies

JPWG2450 · 22/10/2022 10:32

Inspired by a recent goady thread about disability benefits

i was born at 27 weeks
And as a result am registered blind.
I do claim disability benefits

AMA, in an effort to educate people more on what living with various disabilities is really like

OP posts:

RaininSummer · 24/10/2022 21:19

Thank you. I can understand that cooking must be tricky for various reasons, not least not being sure how cooked things are.

Brokendaughter... That is really shocking. Did you report him to the police or his employer?


hopsalong · 24/10/2022 21:59

@Brokendaughter that's absolutely appalling. Really grim that a man in your house would take advantage of you like this, in such a mocking way. I hope you have reported the incident to the police and to his supervisor / boss.


Brokendaughter · 24/10/2022 23:21

I have raised it with his employer.

Haven't heard back yet, but to be honest I had to sit & think on it for a few days before I decided to contact them, so they have only had a couple of days at most to reply.


Asher33 · 25/10/2022 10:05

Many people (I understand this) focus a lot on the negative impact of disability. Do you feel there's a positive to your blindness? I always feel "lucky" that where I was born with a visual impairment, I never learnt to drive and was told years later I can't drive again for example.


dampgreg · 25/10/2022 10:11

@Brokendaughter that is absolutely disgraceful. I'm so glad you've complained to the employer.


Gwdihooooo · 25/10/2022 10:12

OP. What do you think of the little bumps in the road at crossings? And the twirly thing under the crossing box?

I always think they look useless! But I could be completely wrong!

Also, how much do you rely on your hearing in comparison to someone who isn’t blind?


Featherington · 27/10/2022 17:02

Great thread thx OP.
I was wondering about university, and socialising, my relative is completely blind, no light perception and at uni at the moment.
Uni work is going fine but they really want a normal uni experience of going out lots, drinking etc but are finding it hard to manage. People are v nice to them, no one has been mean but they don’t seem to make many plans with them for socialising. There mobility isn’t brilliant, they don’t have a dog and they feel quite trapped in halls. They’re talking about being lonely. Have you got any tips at all from your time at uni?


JPWG2450 · 27/10/2022 18:30

@BathTangle I tend to Google restaurants ahead of time and see if they have an online menu. I find it difficult to read menus and have always found it embarrassing to ask others to read it for me, but that’s more to do with my own independence and stubbornness than anything.

it can be helpful if someone reads the special etc that aren’t on the standard menu.

i do fancy my husband. I’d say I’m less bothered about physical looks than most, it be attracted more by personality
but it’s still important for me to find someone physically attractive.

Thats awful. I’m glad you complained!
I do worry about people abusing my trust, although I’ve never considered it in those terms.

I briefly went to a college for the blind where students would ask their mates with slightly more sight to do things like tell them their bank balance and withdraw cash/tell them which denomination a bank note was and it always made me extremely greatful that I was able to see enough to do those things myself because it was so open to abuse.

I don’t tend to tell people like workmen etc that I have a visual impairment unless it’s unavoidable but I appreciate that for some people it’s more obvious.

I did once tell a decorator, and he did a half assed job so I learnt from that.

OP posts:

JPWG2450 · 27/10/2022 19:00

i’d say that although it does have a lot of negatives, there are positive elements to it. I believe I’m more independent that I would’ve otherwise been, and I’m much more driven to succeed.
i think the harder you have to fight to live your life, the more it means when you’re doing it.
I appreciate the little things more.

ive never found the bumps helpful, but the twisty thing is amazing. Sometimes I can see the colour of the lights, but other times, particularly if it’s sunny, knowing I can feel that is so helpful.

id say I use my hearing far more. It isn’t true that your other senses are better (I actually wrote a paper on that at university) but I’d say I just use my hearing more and listen more carefully

i studied with the OU so didn’t have a social aspect to uni, but I did go away to college. I found it was easier to socialise there because everyone else was also blind,
but sadly, I have found that in a lot of other situations people do tend to exclude those with disabilities. I think a lot of people just don’t know how to relate and worry they’ll have to ‘babysit’ the blind person.
It’s really all about finding the right friends but that’s easier said than done unfortunately

OP posts:

jevoudrais · 27/10/2022 19:17

Hi OP. Thanks for doing this thread. Completely selfish post here, I volunteer for a charity and visit people who are socially isolated in their own homes or can't have their own pets anymore.

The lady I currently visit is registered blind but did have sight until a few years ago. She uses a lit magnifying glass to try and read some things in big letters and can see some shapes, eg. She can see I wear glasses because they have a dark frame, but she can't see my features.

She struggles with eating now, and tends to choose simple foods she can eat with a spoon. Things like sandwiches she finds hard, and things that need cutting. She can chop an apple but not peel one etc. i was wondering if there is anything you could suggest that might make this side of things any easier for her? She does have caters a couple of times a day, but struggles with small daily tasks and doesn't have much other support.


jevoudrais · 27/10/2022 19:17

*carers, that should say!


Swissnotswiss · 27/10/2022 19:23

@Brokendaughter That's awful! Never mind the employer, I would go to the police if you can face it.

Interesting thread OP.


EmmatheStageRat · 27/10/2022 19:35

@JPWG2450 , thanks so much for starting this thread. My teen DD (very nearly 15) is also registered blind. Like you, she just about has functional sight in one eye. I took my DD to the British Museum today to ‘see’ the Hieroglyphs exhibition (she is a massive Egyptology geek) and by the end of our session, I was wishing that her long cane had spurs to take out ankles. Please, people, if you see an obviously blind person with a long cane coming towards you, they really cannot safely move around you as you’re ambling along on your mobile phone or walking four abreast in a busy area. It’s not a case of who will crack first to move aside.

And breathe…Also, to the man who tutted as my DD leaned into a case to do her utmost to read some of the text, here’s a big, fat fuck you.


bathbombaholic · 27/10/2022 19:37

@Brokendaughter please report this to the police- it's a crime. Sexual exposure at the very least. never mind morally what he's done. Don't wait for the employer to come back to you- please report to 101. I hope youre ok x


EmmatheStageRat · 27/10/2022 19:39

@Brokendaughter , I have now read the full thread and I agree; please report this sex crime to the police.


EmmatheStageRat · 27/10/2022 19:41

@JPWG2450 , sorry to bombard you, but did you by any chance attend RNC? I am desperate for my DD to leave mainstream education and attend a specialist college where her VI needs will be met.


Violinist64 · 27/10/2022 19:51

I had a friend at music college who was registered blind. She had a beautiful guide dog . Everything was in braille in those days (nearly forty years ago). Is braille still used?
How do you coordinate your clothes?
Also the winner of the piano final of Young Musician of the Year was blind and his playing was exquisite. I thought he should have won the whole competition, not because he was blind but because he was such a wonderful performer.


GCAcademic · 27/10/2022 20:03

As you mentioned having a degree, can I ask how you found the experience of studying at university and if there's anything that you think the university and your tutors might have been able to do to support you better?


JPWG2450 · 27/10/2022 21:36

That sounds like a very difficult situation.
it’s very difficult with no, or minimal sight to eat and prepare a lot of things without it becoming so messy.
The RNIB has a great stick of kitchen gadgets that might be worth looking at, pretty pricey tho!

Some people are just so oblivious l, I know I shouldn’t say it, but sometimes ‘accidentally’ whacking someone’s ankles with a cane can do wonders for releasing frustration.

And yes, I went to RNC. This was 15 years ago so it could’ve all changed but they were so well equipped, unfortunately at 16 I was far too immature to appreciate it.

OP posts:

EmmatheStageRat · 27/10/2022 21:52

@JPWG2450 , haha, I have given my DD, who is the kindest girl ever, carte blanche to ‘accidentally’ whack the ankle of anyone who deliberately or stupidly-ignorantly cuts her up on the pavement or in public spaces. To be honest, I don’t think I would personally be safe in charge of a long cane as people can be jaw-dropping in their oblivion, rudeness and basic lack of courtesy towards some of society’s most vulnerable people. I would be responsible for multiple ankle injuries!


Tiani4 · 28/10/2022 23:24

Brokendaughter · 24/10/2022 21:13

I am losing my sight & finding some parts of it really hard - mostly the way other people treat me as it becomes more obvious.

Do you have problems with people abusing your lack of sight as a woman?

I had a workman flash me in my own home a couple of weeks back, after he realised I couldn't see well enough to be 100% clear on what was happening right in front of me - I just saw a fuzzy skin coloured smear that had been trouser colour before & wasn't entirely sure what had happened until after he was gone.

My security camera however has no problem seeing what is going on & he hadn't noticed it so I know I didn't imagine it.
It didn't catch him at an angle you can see everything, but it shows him undoing his trousers & dropping them with his undies clearly enough you can be sure of what he did.
Without that camera, I would still be doubting it happened because I sort of still can't believe it happened.

I found it really shook my faith in people, to have someone treat me that way because they thought they'd get away with it.
A couple of years ago he wouldn't have tried it as my vision was better.
It made me feel really vulnerable in a way I never have before.

Pretty sure what he did was a criminal offence of indecent exposure. And you've got it on cctv?
Don't bother with his employer - report to police and fh d them copy of cctv video. He will regret doing that. If he's flashing a blind adult woman you know he will be be doing it to vulnerable people, as he thinks he can get away with sexual offences.


Hellocatshome · 28/10/2022 23:27

What actually does it m


Hellocatshome · 28/10/2022 23:29

I'll try again.

What actually does it mean to be 'Registered' blind? In a previous job people used to tell me they were 'Registered Disabled' and I've never understood what that actually means as opposed to just being disabled. I have a disability but no one has ever put me on a register as far as I know.


Guidedogowner · 29/10/2022 08:18

I disagree a bit re cooking.I am an excellent cook, have 0 sight, and cook everything from scratch and have my own cookery podcast which has nothing to do with blindness but everything to do with the emphasis we insist on putting on presentation.

To PP above mine, people aren’t actually registered blind any more, they’re now registered severely sight impaired. This means that it takes account of those who do have some vision as people used to assume that being registered blind meant that you couldn’t see anything.

However now it means that people assume that you mus have some sight, which in turn can make it slightly more challenging for people like me who have 0 sight.

The bumps in the road are useful for being able to know when a crossing is coming up. If I walk down the street with my guide dog, I can immediately tell him to find the crossing when the bumps appear, and in some other instances, I know that the bumps ending mean the road is starting.

Also, tactile at the edge of railway platforms means that you are going to stop before the edge. There has been a campaign ongoing for all stations to have tactile after a blind man was killed by a train when falling off a platform which didn’t have tactile last year.

Again, twurly things under crossing boxes are useful especially if the crossings aren’t audible. Because you can then be sure when the lights are changing, especially when there aren’t other people at the crossing. It should also be noted that a guide dog doesn’t tell you when to cross the road, that’s my responsibility, but he is trained that if I should get it wrong, he will stop.


EmmatheStageRat · 29/10/2022 09:37

@Guidedogowner , I’m sure my DD would love to know more about your cookery podcast, if you’re happy to share the details here or via a private message.

I agree regarding the confusion of the terminology around the registration. However, since the Certificate of Vision Impairment still does use blind and severely sight impaired interchangeably, that is what we do, mainly on the advice of my DD’s QTVI and ECLO. Anecdotally, I found that using the term ‘severely sight impaired’ meant that a significant proportion of teachers and support staff would downplay and minimise my DD’s impairment (you’re not blind-blind, are you?’ being a memorable comment!) so that she did not receive the support to which she is legally entitled. I think the assumption with the expression ‘severely sight impaired’ is that one has poor vision that can be corrected to 20/20 with a quick trip to Specsavers!

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