Thinking about that, I guess in the past I’ve had a little bit of a fear of visiting new cities by myself. It wasn’t until I did it a few times, and figured out I could have a local mobility instructor for the blind show me around the new territory I was visiting. It seems such an obvious request and step to take for me, but the fear of being alone and lost in a new place shrouded my ability to think clearly and logically to realize that. And if it hadn’t been for certain necessities at certain points in my life I would have never learned the skills of traveling alone as a blind person and would have been frozen in place, hung up on my fears. So I would say that often the phobias unique to a blind person have everything to do with a lack of education or training on how to adapt. The more I’ve learned how I can adapt to the sighted world around me, the fewer fears I have.
Kate Pavlacka, a graduate of the State University College at Oneonta, has been totally blind for 11 years.