so I've been thinking about this for an hour or so, and so I decided to go ahead and post this. my question to you guys is quite simple. in your opinion, does blindness have limitations? if so, why? if not, why not?
I'll post mine later on, want to see other's views first.
so I've been thinking about this for an hour or so, and so I decided to go ahead and post this. my question to you guys is quite simple. in your opinion, does blindness have limitations? if so, why? if not, why not?
I think I don't really understand what you mean, do you mean with limitations that blindness makes a person not able to do certain things, which is true up to a point, or what do you mean?
hi, I mean, do you people find that blindness itself has limitations, not necessarily adaptations, or difficulties that we can overcome, but rather, flat out limitations? things that you wish you could, or want to do, but you know you never will be able to? or find things a struggle?
#4 (edited by Chris 2018-07-12 04:32:20)
It seems to me that the main and only issue with blindness is that it's an information barrier. Nearly everything in the world is designed to be used or interacted with visually because 99% of the population has vision. The only things we "can't" do are those tasks that absolutely require vision such as driving. We can technically do these things, it just wouldn't be very safe for us or those around us because we lack the ability to perceive visual information. This drives me absolutely insane!
I'm baffled by all these stereotypes and misconceptions people have concerning blindness. We are still humans and yes, we are still capable of sexual reproduction and everything else that comes with being an autonomous creature. The only thing that's missing is the ability to perceive information visually. This is why I'm really excited about mainstream technologies like voice control and computer controlled home appliances. They have the opportunity to level the playing field for us.
I was talking to someone about this and he said that the blind benefit from the laziness of the general public. I completely agree with this. For 99% of the population, these things are conveniences. For us, they're incredible opportunities to interface with things we used to have to adapt. I know it's still not perfect, but it's better than nothing and many things like inaccessible touch screens could be resolved if they connected with a program on a phone or computer that worked with screen readers.
I've said this time and time again, but I'm glad I was born recently, not 50 or 70 years ago. I'm 21 and have the next 60 or 70 years if I'm lucky. None of this existed 20 years ago. This is the best time to be a blind person. There's so much potential going forward.
Even the hard limits now might not be forever. SO, in and of itself, I'd have to say no. I'd say there are certainly challenges to overcome. you have to learn to advocate for yourself, be able to solve problems proactively, anticipating them before they even come up sometimes. It makes things more difficult, but are there any flat out limitations? For now, a few, but down the road, who knows. I will say this, there are a lot more things that a blind person can do that sighted people think they should not do.
Yeah from a very basic stand point it all boils down to how society runs and the fact that everything is done with visual queues. Like imagine if everyone were blind: There'd be purely feedback in the entire world based on every other active sense that a human has, but because blindness isn't a barrier to the general public, it is "odd" to do that and things are all ran on visual senses and we need the adaption for things.
This question reminds me of the Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder Episode of the Twilight Zone, which deals entirely in how what someone perceives themselves to be is fully based on how society runs. But from a basic framework of "Could I exist without sight?" the answer is yes because...we all do on a daily basis lol. So really it's society that sets barriers and things that need to be adapted in front of us, and the lack of vision isn't the limiting factor in the equation.
Certainly yes. I believe that many blind people are hooked on the idea of it purely being a societal problem than a blindness one. However, it is obvious that it is a blindness problem, as the things we struggle with now, would be non-issues if we could see. The biggest problem that blindness creates is mobility. Can you go to a place you've never been before, and navigate it as efficiently as a sighted person? I would think not. A sighted person does not need to memorize routes, or take certain routes. A sighted person can just follow signs, and find a place that way. Also, a sighted person can see a building or structure from considerably further away than you get audio feedback, so they can adjust their course.
#8 (edited by Amine 2018-07-12 11:30:49)
No matter how you look at it, blindness is still a limitation. There is no denying that. Geting adapted to it yes, that's easy, but getting over the fact that you are blind doesn't mean at all that you'll be able to surpass some of the limitation blindness puts on you, for example walking in the streets, everyone knows that blind people can get used to that though it may take a little time. There are others who have to rely on guyds taxies and what not to travel because they didn't bother to surpass that one limit. As there are things you can cross, there are walls you can not break through. I know how to drive, as a matter of fact if I weren't blind I'd have a great chance of getting a driving licence next year, however, that's one of the many things blind people just can't do. I was able to drive ok in empty areas, but unless I wanna die I can never do that in the highway. I'd say that is a disadvantage, eg, what if you were alone with someone and they got sick. They have a car, but you can't drive. There is no way to get them to the hospital. People may say call emergensy but we all know in some countries that's not an option. And I gotta say it's iritating not being able to help. You say it's how society is run, I'd agree with that, but then, it's not society's fault the world follows the rules of majority wins.
That's how I view blindness, there are things you just can't replace. Your senses are one of them. If you lose one, you'll be at a disadvantage no matter what you might think. It's a fact, and a fact is something that can not change or be denied.
I would have to disagree slightly on the point of sighted people not needing to memorize routes. If this were the case, there would be no need for maps or GPS systems.
In my opinion, this is a stupid question. Of course blindness is a limitation. Being deaf, losing a leg, having some mental disability ... all of those mean you won't be able to do certain things that an average person can. Thinking that blind people can do anything is a lie; no one can. It is pointless to pretend so, we must just accept there're some things we'll never be able to do and try to make the best of our situation. There are some things that we can do as good or better than a sighted person if we try hard enough, but there are some that we just can't do. Life sucks, I know.
#11 (edited by flackers 2018-07-12 12:50:41)
Apart from the practical limitations, which almost always have some way of getting around them, there's the fact that a lot of things are just simply beautiful and rewarding to look at. Like when I was on holiday: no verbal description of the Med and the little fishing boats out to sea with their little lights twinkling, the rising orange moon, or the sun setting behind the mountains is ever going to compare with seeing them first-hand. The amount of information sighted people are enjoying in a single instant would take pages and pages to describe thoroughly, and then for it to stir the same feelings, these pages would have to be written by a great poet, and even then, it's still not the same experience. You can't dwell on this stuff of course. Most people on the planet will never see the Taj Mahal or the great pyramids first-hand , but they don't sit around moping about it, and neither should we. We have to let stuff slide and get are rewards elsewhere. But blindness does limit us for sure.
Firstly yes, we all know that blindness has limitations, for example we won't be able to drive cars, fly planes and the like.
but many things that might look impossible to do at first can be doable with some adapting and learning.
What I noticed though is that many blind people outright say that they can't or don't want to do something even though there is no danger in trying.
Some just want to stay in their own bubble of sitting at home and playing games. Ok, this might be a bit to harsh, but the general point is they never leave their known little space to try out something new.
I am not saying that you can do everything, but your abilitys are probably far higher than you might have initially thought.
#13 (edited by CAE_Jones 2018-07-12 15:29:44)
At 7: I think mobility is close to the worst example, with the sole exception of people who drive their own vehicles, which is not even that popular everywhere in the world. So if you live somewhere that is horrible for walking, yeah, blindness will slow you down. And big swaths of America are indeed like that. But, like, 4 years ago, I was pretty bitter about how difficult traveling independently was, and assumed all the blind people who could were some manner of super-gifted demigods. Then I got training that was actually good, and now I'm leaning more toward too few people getting the right training.
And you will say, "sighted people don't need training," to which I reply "Yeah, they kinda do." The difference is how much of that can be learned passively, by watching others. It's possible for a blind person to learn by example, too, but it's harder because seriously when's the last time you went on an adventure with a blind person with world-class travel skills? This isn't blaming society, per se, so much as a limitation that comes from being a minority, not from blindness itself. (You can get me for blaming society with regards to the crappy quality of the most common training, though. World Services for the Blind is not a place to go for anything other than job certification, IMNSHO.)
Limitations, though, yeah. I revisit my question: if there was a civilization consisting entirely of totally blind people, how long would it take for them to discover the moon, stars, planets, etc? One of the popular theories regarding primate color-vision is based around identifying food sources, such as fruit. Identifying snakes is a pretty big part of being able to survive a venomous bite. Blindness doesn't lend itself to noticing when there's something to read until one has already touched it. Visual art is visual. The Grand Canyon is boring without depth perception, IME. And we're on an audio games site, probably entirely due to how inaccessible most video games are and have been.
Leaving all else the same, but making blindness much, much less rare, these would still be limitations.
Often, people will bring up alternatives to the inability to appreciate something visually. For example, "I can't see the leaves change colors, but I can hear them rustle in the wind". ... OK? I feel like that rather loses the point. I mean, what happens when you then lose your hearing? "I can't see or hear the leaves, but I can smell them!" Sure hope you don't come down with an unyielding sinus infection that lasts for 2 months, then. The point isn't "at least I still have x, which I appreciate more now that I have no better options." The point is "Yeah, that is a limitation. At least everyone who lives in regions without seasonal leaf cycles like this are proof I can live without it. Would still kinda like to see those leaves, but would also like to have a bottomless bank account, so meh."
Some of these things are luxuries. Some of these are "how to not die when in the wilderness". And, yeah, some of them are because civilization was built by and for sighted people. The former we lament as we lament any other imperfection. The latter we strive to change. It's that middle category, though, that seems grossly underacknowledged.
Speaking of fruit, I'ma check on the status of my apple tree. Then write a list of ideas for a traveling-while-blind video series or some crap like that.
This is like asking if chickens lay eggs. Of course blindness is a limitation whether you see it as one or not. I echo what has been said here about driving I wanted to drive ever since I was 4. I wanted to be a fire fighter when I was younger and unlike most kids my age my interests didn't change what changed was realizing that I couldn't be a fire fighter if I was blind. I could work in dispatch but that's not what I wanted to do. Other jobs I'd would of liked to been able to consider are architecture, air traffic controller, or a pilot. All of which require sight. You can't move as fast as others with sight and you will always be looked at differently by those that have sight. This year alone in my grad program teachers and advisers have treated me differently. Trying to tell me whose class I should be in so they can keep an eye on my progress. Never mind the fact that I got into the honors society, show up for every class, and have done well so far with my internship. Someone is always going to judge you because you are less than they are and it’s easy to do. They may be a great person and they may not mean to judge you but they are unconsciously. We all judge people without meaning too but being blind makes it easier somehow. None of us are blind by choice and most of us I'm willing to bet would see if they could. It's just the shit we've been dealt and we have to adjust to it. I will never be happy that I am blind and I will never accept it. However I will live with it because it’s my only choice. That does not mean that I am never happy. I consider myself an optimistic person and I always try to look on the positive side of things. Doesn't mean I have to except the hand I was dealt cause no matter how you look at it being blind is a limitation.
For me the answer is yes, but I've found ways around most of those limitations. Some involve assistive technology, and some just require a different way of doing things.
For those few limitations that have no solution at present, I just set those aside, waiting for the day when medical science can restore my vision.
Unfortunately, I don't believe that will happen within my lifetime.
Unfortunately, there are some limitations that we will never be able to surpass without having vision. One of them is visual ques. Most of face to face communication is done by visual ques. There's so much information that you can gather just by looking at someone's face or into their eyes. Sadly the blind people will never be able to access this. Not to mention that we don't even know how some one looks, what's his stature, what's his skin collour, how does his hair looks like. To a blind person these things aren't that important because he doesn't know what they are, he doesn't have the knowledge acquired only by visual perception so those things mean only words. These are the real limitations that I think we face, I hope they will vanish one day.
nothing is impossible.
I don't think that blind people can develop sighted like travel skills with NFB training. And claiming that sighted people are also limited because they need GPS is like comparing apples to oranges. The fact of the matter is, a sighted person gains alot more information from their environment, than a blind person, and they only need the gps once, and in very complicated places.
#18 (edited by CAE_Jones 2018-07-13 06:31:30)
I will grant you that signage gives sighted people a massive advantage. Not GPS, though. For sighted and blind alike, it's a way to avoid asking for directions. The ability to read signs reduces the amount that sighted people need to ask questions, be it from other people or a gadget. Although, signs are apparently less common than I realized (I had to give directions and identify streets when my parents came to LCB, for rarity of street-signs.)
It sounds like you refuse to believe blind people can travel independently at all, and ignore counterpoints as though that makes them stop existing. It would be nice if, for once, someone I disagreed with would address my points, especially after I publically concede valid points that they make. I can't keep track of what we disagree about when my points are ignored. But, eh, I'm the one that turned it into a proto-debate, this time, so it's selfish to act entitled to responses in kind.
If we're going to do this, let's get specific. If not, then say so and I will shut up for the time being.
Here's an example: Memorizing Routes. First, that's a bad strategy for learning one's way around and it was pointless and useless when ESVI used it as a cornerstone of their Orientation and Mobility lessons. However, sighted people can get lost, going off-route, just as easily as blind people. The huge advantage that sighted people have at routes is being able to observe them as passengers in vehicles. Everyone else in my family knows their way around town because they've traveled those routes often enough to build a mental map. (I've heard my sighted cousins, as children, speak their evaluations of routes aloud, and ask questions about unfamiliar paths). Likewise, drop a sighted person into an unfamiliar place, and they're lost. This goes back to my point about passive learning, and to vehicles: sighted people can learn places by watching from vehicles, then drive said vehicles. That is the biggest difference between travel capabilities of sighted and blind. It sounds like we agree that this difference exists. Are there other major weaknesses a blind traveler has, in your view, that a sighted traveler lacks? If so, what are they, and can you give examples? [/edit]
[edit2]Basically, what, specifically, do we disagree about? I can't tell if we actually disagree, or if it's a difference in tone.[/edit2]
CAE_Jones, you say that sighted people can learn routes by passively observing them from vehicles. If I were to make a binaural recording of a route with me giving a lot of information about the roads and landmarks, do you think you would be able to learn the route from it? I'm genuinely interested to hear an answer to the question, but I unfortunately don't have any binaural microphones to try the experiment with.
On another note, what did you think of the structured discovery method of O&M instruction you received at LCB? Now you've tried that method, do you find that you have a preference for either the structured discovery method or the traditional method that you would have learned O&M with originally?
Enes, I disagree with your statement that sighted people gain more information from the environment than blind people. With proper training, I would argue that a blind person can gain quite a lot of information from their environment. Next time you travel somewhere unknown, try listening for the subtle details of your environment. Perception can be enhanced by using echolocation techniques such as FlashSonar. Does anyone here regularly use FlashSonar, and if so, what do you find you can detect with it?
Cae, put simpley, the biggest advantage a sighted person has is the ability to look around. This is a massive massive advantage. Deposit a blind person in a field, or on a hilltop, and he is lost until he orients himself. Do the same to a sighted person, and he can simply look around, and spot any landmarks, buildings etc, and make his way towards them. Also, I did not claim that blind people can't travel independantly. I said that a sighted person can do much better in unfamiliar environments.
TJ, unfortunatly I was not blessed with bat hearing, so I cannot build a vivid and detailed map. I can partially utilize passive sound, but that is about it. This is a talent, heavily dependant on one's hearing, and every blind person should not be expected to develop it. Moreover, it requires simetrical and good hearing, and since about 4 years ago, the hearing in my left ear is distorted a bit, and I cannot hear several high frequencies with it.
19: I felt like I actually got something out of LCB's travel instruction, whereas every O and M lesson prior to that was only marginally more than useless. I got much better at navigating at college when I just went out exploring one morning before dawn, rather than try to stick to the routes and warnings I was taught while I was half asleep the month before my first semester, and Structured Discovery is more like the former with fragments of the latter sprinkled in the earliest parts.
Regarding binaural recordings of places... maybe? I have doubts, due to all the things that would be missing (I've never had much success getting passive echolocation to record, and tactile/preprieceptive stuff), but I think it is something worth puting to the test. If it does work reasonably well, then such recordings would be a rather helpful resource for blind travelers in general.
20: I think there's a magnitude difference. I still couldn't tell you what the businesses I never visited are, even when I pass them every day, while a sighted person could identify most of them at a glance.
21: A hilltop in sight of familiar landmarks is a pretty convenient place to be lost. I wonder if you might overestimate how much a sighted person can see in the general case? On the opposite end of the place-to-be-lost spectrum, if you're visiting a new city for the first time, probably by plane, what would a blind traveler do, and what would a sighted traveler do? My experience suggests that the advantage would only come into play within the last dozen or two meters of the destination, since a sighted person could recognize it before a blind person, but everything involved in getting that close in the first place seems like it would be the same.
As to your example, though, of being dropped in a field or on a hill, there was this one evening in the Ozarks that might well be described this way. On both counts (there was this flat stretch, like a mini-valley, between two small-but-steep-and-rocky mountains). It was not a part of the area I'd visited, and the sun was not especially detectable, and I was far enough from the lodge that it wasn't visible (although, as it got darker, they might have turned on a light that could be seen pretty far away, but the lighting at first was perfect for confounding both that and sun-based orientation). As you might have guessed by my bringing it up, I got back quickly and without issue. It helped that sound carries well in those conditions, but, yeah, in this specific situation, I'm not sure where a sighted person would have had an advantage, since the idea was "walk away from this slope, go toward that other one that's at least a half kilometer away".
I think you are mostly right, in this regard, though. I still think you're overestimating the sighted and underestimating us, but it's a difference of magnitude more than direction. Once, while walking with a sighted person, they commented on something I did that was surprising, then mentioned that they saw a mutual acquaintance about 200ft (60m) away, to which I expressed confusion about the precise extent of their vision. As they described it, under everyday conditions, seeing people in detail at such a distance is actually really difficult, and it was more the broad, general details that made the person recognizable. Sure, under perfect conditions, visibility can be up to 3mi (5.4km), but detail drops off rapidly with distance, and perfect conditions are rare outside of mountaintops and vast planes under perfect skies (so 1850s Kansas). Binoculars, glasses, telescopes, and magnifying glasses were pretty revolutionary inventions, as were their sonic equivalents. And I should point out that broad, general details is a good description of the limitations of what passive audio cues (such as echolocation) can do.
let me try to cover a few points here. first things first, I have posted this topic, to find out whether it's just me, or if there are others out there. fortunately, I happen to not be alone. I'm honestly fed up of some blind people claiming blindness has no limitations. I could probably even find evidence of that right here on ag.net, in previous topics. and honestly, those people just get to me. they don't know you, don't know what you've went through, don't know how you were raised. so for them to come out and claim, blindness has no limitations, I can only imagine they were kept away from the freedom of world, of discoveries, and explorations.
I can only assume those people have never wanted to see sun Set, they clearly never wanted to drive. at the age of 7, I was climbing trees, and jumping through fences, if they weren't tall enough. once, I climbed on a tree through a fence, I wasn't tall enough otherwise. everyone going for driving lessons... I could have technically gotten my license this year, so it's kind of... the older I get, the more it hits me, honestly. I'm far from depressed, at least, depressed in the sense, that because I have no sight, but there is no day passing by, when I don't get reminded of, or find a new limitation. more often than not,sighted is the only answer. as for mobility, well I should, but shouldn't get in there. I gave up on my mobility instructor, when she gave me a bag of carrots to identify at the age of 16. she clearly didn't know how to handle me, and if she doesn't know that some people had carrot planted in their garden, rather, doesn't even consider the possibility that over 16 years, I may have seen a bag of carrots, I have no words. I've not seen or used a cane till the age of 10, so my school forcing me to do it just discouraged me even more. so here I am, fully independent at the age of 18, except... no mobility skills at all.
you tell me to cross the road, first thing I think of, I get ran over. I don't trust myself, nor I trust a cane. haven't played with a guide dog, so can't comment on that. the older I am, the less help there is, and that mobility seriously needs looking into, otherwise I'm fucked.
I've mentioned this in the past, but I don't understand how or why, people wouldn't find 100% relying on public transport a limitation. sure, it works, but it's a limitation. even if we can adapt, the bottom line is, we're limited. using a GPS like sighted would... I'd argue that if one has good enough mobility skills, they can follow the root provided by the satNav. but say I went into a shop, a super market, I've never been into. I'm either going to have to ask for an assistant, and if I'm on holiday, and they don't speak English, well just good luck with that, or feel around the shelves. the latter would look rather weird to people. the bottom line is, blindness has limitations. some of us just deal with it better than others. oh and BTW, I seriously feel I would be lost entirely without my light perception, I really would.
with that said, light perception doesn't help me with dressing, in terms of matching colours, or navigating the BIOS on windows, or pinpointing things in the distance. and yes, I do care about colours and things, people like to judge others for their clothing, and colour choices. going out to nature, well if no public transport gets there, the only way is to walk, or ask someone to take me there. which again, I shouldn't have to do. we're also limited in terms of sports, and all those, one can't exactly join in with the sighted playing tennis, unless the tennis ball has some sort of sound, which it usually doesn't. again, I just don't understand how some don't find not having sight a limitation. it's beyond me, and it always will. if in the next 60 years, there will be some kind of operation, I will go for it.
#24 (edited by Ethin 2018-07-13 18:10:59)
@enes, you seem extremely negative towards blindness. I've got something to say: Get over it. Deal with it. There's nothing you can do about it. Got that?
Also, about the never being able to drive cars and such, I will disagree quite vehemently on this point. Saying "we will never be able to do x or y or..." is just setting yourself up for failure. How about I say "We will never be able to do anything" over and over until its drilled into your head. By that time you'll believe it, and you won't be able to do anything. You want evidence that driving for the blind will be possible someday? Check out https://www.techradar.com/news/driverle … explained, http://www.alphr.com/cars/1001329/drive … mous-cars, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ … ving-cars, http://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar... you can find more by following this google search URL: https://www.google.com/search?source=hp … _szxVC5uY. So there's that thrown out the nearest car door. What about planes, you ask? Hmmm... Well, there's this (http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/07/technol … index.html), and even this, by the guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 … ed-to-know). Go look up more: https://www.google.com/search?ei=g8xIW8 … y4e5YsA_A. As for the crap about "we won't be able to play video games" and so on, I can happily say this is utter crap. Before you say you can't do something go try it. Saying "Oh, I can't play fortnight" or "Oh, I can't play x or y or z because of AA" when you haven't even tried it is just stupid. I have to keep saying this over and over and over and over.... one of these days I'm going to leave all of you up as a hopeless cause of co-dependents. At least some of us try to to play video games....
23: "don't know what we've gone through"? "don't understand how you were raised"? Very true. I don't know how you were raised. I don't know how you grew up. I don't know what your life was like. But this post seems overly-full of assumptions. You don't like those who say that blindness has no limitations? That makes me think you're extremely close-minded. Those who say that blindness has no limitations (like myself) are being open-minded. perhaps we're thinking outside the current form of reality. But we're also thinking of the future, of what blindness might be in 30-50 years. But at least we're willing to try new things. Those who say that blindness is a hindrance and that you resent and hate it have to be the most close-minded set of individuals out there and I really, really do feel sorry for you. Guess what? Deal with it. I've pretty much given up on you guys already as a hopeless cause purely because nothing I say will ever change your views. At least us open-minded people will remain hopefully; those who are close-minded have already lost hope and are just living vegetables, it seems.
I know this was harsh, I know it was rude; but it needed to be said, and there's no other way to say it.