There are so many myths out there about blindness and what we are capable of doing. So many of these myths simply are not true and we are capable of everything you believe us not to be capable of.
Three of the main myths that I run into on a daily basis are :
Blind people are not able to work.
This is not true at all there are only 1/3 of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted who are employed not because they are not capable, but because they are not given the opportunity. Many people who are blind or partially sighted have a vast variety of skill and or degrees if given the accommodations such as a screen reader, large print, or scanners we can all be productive members of society.
I have always been employed up until 3 years ago when I lost the remainder of my vision, the only thing that changed was that I was not able to hide my visual impairment. I have the same skills, the same drive and the same desire to have a successful career however as soon as my blindness comes up I am not able to get the perspective employer to look beyond my disability and see me as a person. All they see is my guide dog and sunglasses and they assume what I am capable of. Given the chance I would prove you wrong, I am independent, capable and willing to work look at me as a person first and not my disability as my disability does not define me as a person.
2. All blind people see black.
There is a wide spectrum of blindness, I personally used to be legally blind when I was younger and could see colour and shapes and large print up close but I could not see fine detail like facial features. When I would look at a tree I would see that it was brown on the bottom and I would just see a puff of green on top, I could not see the detail of the leaves and the branches intertwined in amongst the leaves. Now I see small amounts of light and no shadow or movement so I am completely blind but I can tell you when the lights are on or off if the light is bright enough. There is a wide spectrum of blindness from people who are able to read large print and people who can not see even light but most do not see just black.
I wear sunglasses because the light really bothers my eyes, it is quite painful to be honest so it is more comfortable for me to wear them even inside. I am not hiding my eyes because they do not look normal I am simply saving myself the pain and discomfort of having the lights shine in my eyes. So just because you see someone with a white cane or a guide dog do not assume that they can or can not see anything.
3. Blind people can not live on their own.
Why Not ? What would be stopping someone from living alone. People who are blind or partially sighted are more than capable of cooking,cleaning, grocery shopping, paying bills, answering a phone, telling time so what would be the reason that they can not live alone. This one is ridiculous to me, this notion that people who are blind are helpless individuals who are in need of help all the time is crazy. There is absolutely no reason why someone who is blind needs to be treated like a toddler.
There are many myths about blindness out there, we need to remember that people all have different abilities and lifestyles and their disability should not be a factor in why you think they are not or are doing something.