“What is the dog for ?” He is my Guide Dog I am blind, “really you looked right at me !”
Things like this happen all the time to people who are partially sighted or blind. I have also used the response to some people “What does blind look like ?”. They never have an answer for me, this is because they don’t really know what blindness should look like. Assumptions like we are all older males that wear dark circular sunglasses and bump into things with a cane or we all have cloudy looking eyes, these are all things that are assumed.
This is the farthest from the truth, my eyes are not cloudy because I don’t have a condition that causes this, yes I wear sunglasses but it is because I have extreme light sensitivity and it is agonizing if I don’t. This does not mean that I don’t go to events and places without my sunglasses and when I do my eyes look fairly normal. They bounce around because I have a nystagmus and they are not always looking in the same direction as each other and my pupils are always really really dilated. However none of these things are what cause the vision loss, it is what you can not see in the back of my eyes.
Being told that I don’t look blind does not hurt my feelings or offend me. However when you question whether I am truly blind this is what will send me over the edge in about 2.5 seconds. I am not sure why anyone would pretend to be blind, it is not glamorous, it does not get me things that the sighted community does not. What it does get me is people asking whether I am truly blind, people questioning my ability to be a mother, employers looking the other way when I apply for a position, people petting and fawning over my guide dog when I just want to buy tampons in peace, people questioning my ability to live an independent life and do simple tasks for myself. So if you figure that I would go through all of these things in my day to day life just to pretend to be blind then you are sadly mistaken.
The one thing that I want people to know is that Blindness does not discriminate ! This means that no matter you age, gender, race you can become blind or partially sighted ! And the only thing that may change about the way you look could very well be the addition of a white cane or a guide dog !