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Daily Annoyances as a sight disabled person.

1. “Why didn’t you bring your caretaker with you today?” The idea that all blind people need caretakers is insulting and degrading, yes we might need assistance doing certain tasks but we can handle most day to day activities. I am able to dress myself, cook, clean, walk the dog, shower, browse the internet, play instruments and have sex. just because your business isn’t ADA accessible doesn’t mean I should have a caretaker who acts as my maid. the suggestion I need a caregiver is like saying I’m unable to complete basic tasks or have a high intelligence.
2. “thank you for choosing MC’UnAccessible, What can I get you guys? What would your friend like to eat? The kids meal menu is on the second page.” When going out to eat in public I’d appreciate it if servers didn’t take my order through my friends. Also referring to me as “He” is despicable and makes me feel even more of an outsider who shouldn’t ever show my face in public because I’m a disgrace to society. I’m an adult and I eat adult food, it is not okay to suggest the kids menu. I do not know why blindness is often associated with mental retardation or why people need to yell at us as if we’re deaf.
Once I ordered a steak with shrimp pasta and crab legs and a coke and rum. The server lost her mind and refused to take my order because she was afraid I’d choke on the steak and crab legs, when I asked to have a rare steak she felt that I didn’t know what rare meant and that I’d not eat a bloody steak. The coke and rum became a problem because blind people shouldn’t drink because we don’t know what we’re putting into our bodies and how we could be taken advantage of.
So in the future please remember You should just ask me what I’d like to slobber all over and make a big mess with!
3. It is almost never rad to walk up to me and grab my arm and start pulling me in the direction you think I should go, my secret awesome blindy GPS is usually fairly accurate, we’re like homing pigeons after all. The only time it’s okay to grab my arm is if I’m about to walk into a dangerous situation like stepping out in front of an electric car or as I call them the blind persons assassin. I’d also appreciate it if you could help guide me around mailboxes, damnable tricky inanimate objects.
4. Changing your vocabulary to be sensitive to my blindness. IE… “Hey did you se-listen to that new episode of Family Guy?” This isn’t being sensitive as much as being super annoying and lame.
There is this cool feature called Audio Description that will narrate the visual aspects that’s going on during the show. the government made it so that any major broadcasting channel has to have most of their shows describe and Netflix has outdone all of them by far. Netflix has over 60 different shows and series that contain audio description and this list is constantly changing and expanding.
5. “Hey Zack, is Ray Charles your role model?” No, not all blind people see famous blind people as role models or super awesome people. In fact growing up I hated ray, Stevie and Helen Keller they set the bar too high for a blind child to be compared against While I respect what historical blind people have done I have better people to model my life on and really rather be my own person than copy and mimic others.
6. “It’s so nice you’re helping this disabled person, you’re such a good soul.” the people that hangout with me do so because we’re friends or family, they’re not my care takers or nor are they being forced to be around me. thank you for insulting my personality and showing me how you feel about people with disabilities. I know because we’re blind you feel that no one would dare be friends with us, we could bring shame down on their houses.
7. I am not a trophy for you to earn brownie points to look good to your friends and society. Quite often a few of my “friends” would tell their friends about me and make it seem like they were my caregivers. they’d make it seem as if they did everything for me and turned me into a big burden to gain sympathy points and be seen as a good person in the eyes of their friends. I removed those people from my life and will continue to do so if it continues with other people.
The biowomb use to do this to seem like a good parent within her church group. I often heard her telling her friends how hard it was to take care of a disabled child and how the lord blessed her with a life bettering miracle. what’s funny about this is she walked away from me when I was a baby and came back when I was 10 or 11. I’d go visit her one weekend every month or so and I guess during those two days it was hard taking care of me. the biowomb barely cooked dinner and would spend hours cleaning the church, talking to her friends on the computer, doing homework for college and working on her crafts.
I am a person who has feelings, thoughts and ambitions and if you only see me as a way to advance yourself off of my disability you’re a scumbag.
8. “Guess who?” Approaching me in public and asking me to guess who you are in front of a bunch of people is not cool. If I’m wrong this makes me look stupid and puts me on the spot causing peer pressure and needless stress. It’s no different than someone in a mask jumping out of the shadows and asking you to guess who they are.
9. “Is your girlfriend blind as well?” First of all the fact that you think sighted people wouldn’t date a blind person is scary. Second no rule or predetermined set of ideas says blind people must only date blind people. I have only been with two sight impaired partners and the other women were sighted and as far as I know they didn’t have a problem with me being blind.
10. “Where’s your dog?” Not every blind person deserves or needs a guide dog, they take a lot of responsibility and a conditioned schedule that keeps the dogs training fresh. Guide dogs are amazing but there is a time and a place that is good to get one and at my current spot in life I decided that a dog isn’t a good match right now. My living location is constantly changing and I’m going to be super busy with college and my medical condition is never reliable. I would love a guide dog eventually but I’m responsible enough to know that it isn’t a good idea for now.
11. “You can understand what your computer is saying? It sounds like some alien chatter.” If you mock my screen reader you’re an asshole. I do not find it witty or amusing when you make dumb noises or speak gibberish attempting to be funny. If I didn’t understand it why would I have it setup the way I do? I don’t make fun of the fonts and colors you use on your tablets and phones or the brightness levels you need to use. I don’t mock your abilities to read, I don’t mock the speed at which you read because its rude. It doesn’t bother me if people ask smart questions about the voice and screen reader to learn about it but I will not talk to you if you just want to be a jerk about it. I already have to isolate myself or where headphones while using my phone or laptop, this creates more feelings of being an outcast and builds a gap between me and everyone else. I can’t just stare at my phone and use it with the sound off like a sighted person can.
If given a chance I’d love a faster, quieter and more universal way of interacting with technology but for now I’m stuck listening to a robot that allows me to read faster than most of you can comprehend. I can read and understand with 98% accuracy a hundred chapter book in less than four hours. That’s about 770 words a minute which is about 3 pages.
12. “This is my blind friend Zack.” Why is it always that I’m introduced as a blind person? Out of all the interesting and crazy facts about me you choose the blind factor and that’s just off-putting to me as your friend. In high school and now college my peers refer to me as that blind guy, this blind guy has a name and really prefers you use it.
I don’t walk around introducing my friends as “Hey this is my fat friend.” or “Yo, Jake come meet my friend with the missing leg!”
If the blindness factor needs to be addressed you should probably let the blind person bring it up or make a casual opening remark about it. In some situations it does come up right away usually when someone goes in for a handshake and I am not aware they’re standing there with a hand held out and a look of confusion on their faces. You can then quietly say hey he can’t see but don’t make a big deal out of this and for the love of social etiquette do not shout my disability across a room.
A girl waved to me once and looked upset that I didn’t return the wave so a classmate yells across the crowded room, “He’s blind, give him a break!”

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