Flying Blind

FLYING BLIND – A slightly different path

People don’t really know all that goes behind being someone with a visual disability. Now I am in no way saying it’s harder to be blind compared to other disabilities, but this is what I know so I’m just letting you into what its like to be me. There are many things that we have to do to learn how to live with a visual impairment. Some things are easier to learn than others but all in all there is quite a bit to get used to in the beginning. If we focus on the aspect of mobility, this is a very wide topic we could discus for days. Mi going to just try narrow it down a little though. A person with a visual disability cannot drive themselves around, obviously but there are other ways to get around.

We either hitch a lift with family or friends, kind of like having a chauffeur which is pretty cool if you think about it like that. Then there is the option of public transport such as the tube in London or the underground in New York. Others like taxis/Ubers or things like that, which are very helpful when there is no one to actually take us to where we need to be. We obviously need to learn the map for example if there is the use of the tube, as we need to know which stop to climb on or off.

On the other hand, there are things like the cane and a guide dog to help us walk independently around a certain place. This is not as easy as it looks because there are a bunch of training sessions behind using these as well. We have to know the correct way to use it so that we do not get put in risky situations when using either assistive aid. I have never really been one for the cane although I have named both the canes I own. I am more of a guide dog person. It make sense considering how much of an animal freak I am so I think it fits.

Now, if we had to look at communication. Technology has developed in amazing ways to assist us with disabilities. In terms of visual disabilities, there are things like desk top magnifiers and voice to text features on phones and computers. These are extremely helpful for people who have a range of visual disabilities. Some people can see more than others and have an opportunity to read enlarged print.  Others listen to such things as audio books.  This gives a new sense of independence. It’s great to have options like this, as when it comes to work or school, we can do things independently and have a feel of control over the things that we are still capable of doing.   Then there are many other cheat codes on a computer that we can use to navigate the device. I am not very pro computers, which is not the greatest thing considering how it could help.  There are loads of helpful functions that we can use. Short cuts, per say, that will let us send an email or find an application we need. I just learn it all by heart and learn as I go. It’s very annoying when there are system updates as some things move around from where they were. This means that I must relearn it over again.

This is just a small part of being a person with a disability. There are countless ways that the world keeps improving in ways to assist any disability, so I am grateful for the ever-evolving world. I just don’t want computers to rule over us one day so there has to be a line drawn some where…. I’d even advise anyone one to check out the accessibilities on your devices because it could help. Things like text to speech or speech or text, makes things a billion times faster. Well, there’s a tiny window into our world and I’ll be happy to share more or even focus on a specific point if need be to clarify. Hope this was insightful.

P.S.  Hint – If you use the text to speech function to read this blog you probably would have finished it ages ago.

“I have a disability yes that’s true, but all that really means is I may have to take a slightly different path than you.” – R M Hensel.

Jessica Pita

Full story can be found on
Instagram @x_flyingblind_x

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