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Misconceptions and Myths about Blindness

  • Most people think that all blind people live in total darkness, but actually blindness ranges from legal blindness with 20/200 acuity or severely restricted fields to total blindness, with many varying degrees in between.
  • When talking to a person who is blind, you should use words like “see”, “look” and “blind” as you would in ordinary conversation with a sighted person.
  • A person who is blind or visually impaired may have interests similar to yours. Speak directly to him or her, not through another person.
  • Many people think that people who are blind or visually impaired are endowed with other highly developed senses and skills. This is not so. Loss of eyesight means learning to do familiar tasks and learning to use other senses differently.
  • Many people think that people who are blind or visually impaired can not live alone or work independently, but people can readjust living and working skills to their new situation. This is accomplished through specialized training and with the help of many aids and devices available.
  • There are many misconceptions about traveling. Some people who are blind or visually impaired use guide dogs; others travel around their communities by using white canes. They travel on public transportation to far-off places and also enjoy theater and other cultural and community events.
  • Students who are blind or visually impaired attend public schools. Job opportunities are opening. Many new electronic devices, computerized Braille and large type books are available to aid people who are blind or visually impaired in their educational and career goals.
 
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