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The Checkered Eye Project

People wearing this symbol have partial blindness aka low vision.

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Perceiving My Perception

This photo depicts me standing in fron of a stuffed moose on the porch of an old tourist shop.

Recently I’ve had some illustrations of how hard it is for people to be able to understand what I can or can’t see.

 

I took a road trip with my sister Sue in early June.  We drove from Thunder Bay to Sudbury.  Sue has taken this drive many times and she knows how beautiful the scenery is.  As we drove along and I frequently exclaimed  “oh look at that”, she told me that she’d been puzzling for weeks about how she’d be able to describe to me the gorgeous vistas we’d be encountering all along our way.  Clearly she didn’t think I’d be able to see them.

 

Before our trip Sue and I had been in Thunder Bay to attend her daughter Kara’s graduation ceremony at Lakehead University.  Our Mom had also attended the event.  Having all come from out of town, Mom, Sue, and I all stayed together in a hotel.  My Mom brought her tablet with her and was struggling to get it connected to the hotel’s internet.  I got out my little magnifying glass and, with considerable difficulty, managed to get her connected.  As the evening went along, she’d periodically hand the tablet to me in order for me to do something for her.  Clearly she’d forget that I can’t see it very well.

 

It seems like there were 2 or 3 instances within a few days when my son Sam noticed that I spotted a little tiny wee spec of something on the floor or on a counter. Each time he’d ask in amazement “Mom, how did you see that?”

 

So if you’re an average sighted person, don’t feel bad if you make an assumption about what someone can’t see and then they point it out to you!  And if you’re a person with low vision, be patient with people who forget you can’t see well or who think you can see even less than you can!

 

P.S. During the northern Ontario road trip, I saw a moose grazing at the side of the road!  Yup, they're huge!

Comments: 2 Comments

2

Comments

  • Comment by Kerry on Jul 20, 2014

    I have very low vision, but one time at the border I spotted a stop sign. It is in places like that where I not only surprise others with how much I can see, but I surprise myself.

  • Comment by Rosalind on Aug 14, 2014

    Hi Libby,

    I just read your post on perception. The kind of experiences you had with your mother and sister sound so familiar, this kind of thing happens to me all the time. I have been married to my husband for 40 years, but it's only in the last ten years that my vision has been really bad, and he still can't judge what I can see and what I can't. Next week I will be off on vacation for one week in the Lake District in England, with my sister and my niece. It will be interesting to see if they have a beter idea of what it means to be partially-sighted, by the end of the holiday.

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