Since I’m a fan of Halloween and costumes and that’s on my mind lately, I’ll start off this piece with a mention of the blind superhero Daredevil. I still haven’t come up with just the right way to make myself a Daredevil costume, but I’m working on it. As the story goes he loses his sight in an accident where he is exposed to a radioactive substance, which ends up heightening his other senses. His enhanced senses become his superpowers.
BElow is an image of Daredevil. It appears that his white cane turns into either a whip or a rope. Very impressive!
While average sighted folk may find it amazing that things can be done sightlessly, I’ve heard some blind people get a bit cranky about others marveling at how they carry on at all living with what seems to be a devastating hardship. I’ve heard real annoyance expressed after someone was commended for merely walking across the street. I can understand how that might get bothersome if it happens day in and day out. Personally I kind of like it when people tell me how amazing they think I am!
Along the same lines, sensitivity training that involves blindfolding people and getting them to attempt various tasks without sight or any training on how to do things without sight, may give the wrong impression. It may give the feeling of helplessness and that blind people are not able to do much without help, unless they are extraordinarily talented. This may make them less likely to consider hiring a blind person.
I can see the merits of trying things blindfolded in order to figure out what changes might make them more user friendly for people with impaired or no sight. However if input is also gained by consulting and observing people who are skilled at functioning without vision, that would give a more balanced impression of the “blind experience”.
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