The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


September 8, 2007

disABILITY: Perception, not sight, important in life


Others will be told by their family, friends and community that they can’t become anything.

Those people will find someone willing enough to attend to their every need for years and years to come. It’s sad, but inevitably true for some people out there.

Personally, I cannot imagine a life like that. The day I left my mother’s womb was the day I declared my independence.

At this particular moment in my life, though, I have mastered living independently.

I do not live with my parents anymore, which means I pay my own bills, clean my own apartment, cook my own food and do every other task any other "head of household" does.

It’s not scary, it’s not really difficult, it’s just part of life and I do it all because it needs to be done.

There are inevitably going to be things I cannot do exactly like a sighted person does them. I know I can’t drive a car, but that doesn’t stop me from getting around town by foot or by bus.

I can’t read my mail or sort my laundry exactly as a sighted person does it, but that’s what a talking scanner and a talking color identifier are for.

I have a talking money identifier, talking kitchen scale, talking alarm clock, talking color identifier, talking computer, Braille labeler and Braille note taker for school.

Each one of those things are ways of making typical life more accessible to me.

Other than that, I learn how to know things by feel, sound, touch or smell. You’d be surprised at the actions or activities of daily life that seem like exclusively visual perceptions.

Think again, though. There’s likely some way, even if you have to get really creative about it, that can adapt it all for a blind person.

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