(Guest Post) For those of us who can’t see, getting what we need and most of what we want is at times quite challenging. Sure, it’s challenging for people who see fine too. But for us, there are a couple of additional factors requiring extra attention. Let’s give them some thought here.
First, I’m only talking about those things we need or want that we would simply do or get for ourselves, if we could see. As it turns out, this can be a long list. I have discussed that in earlier episodes on BlindHow.net, so don’t need to review the list here. Suffice it to say that we each have a lot of items on our “would be easy if I could see” list.
For any of the items on our list, we have options. The easiest option is to skip the particular item, just get along without doing it or getting it. For me and most likely for you, the do nothing option is sometimes tempting and occasionally the choice we make. What we need or want is just not worth the bother right now. And that’s okay occasionally. People who can see do the same thing now and then. Whatever they want or need is just not worth the time and energy it would take right now. Their motivation is not strong enough, although they could do whatever without much extra effort.
But for most of us who can’t see and most of the time, doing nothing is not an acceptable option. Even if we can’t see, we are determined to do what needs done, determined to get what we want. I discussed that decision in the last episode of Blind How.
But how do we do that, how do we do what we want to do, get what we want? There may be more than three options, but I know of three general approaches that usually cover the challenge for me. First, I can get someone who can see to do it for me or get it for me. Second, I can enlist the help of someone who can see to assist me with doing it myself or getting it myself. Third, I can develop the skills and strategies I need to do it myself or to get it by myself.
It’s important for me to emphasize that each of these three options is perfectly legitimate at times and in some situations or circumstances. At other times, insisting on one option over another may be inappropriate or counterproductive. Those of us who can’t see need all three options and the ability and determination to use them as needed and as appropriate.
Each of these three options requires good communication skills and especially good conversational skills. Why? For the first option, having someone who can see act on our behalf includes our being able to help them understand what we need or want and what we think would be the best way for them to proceed doing for us.
For the second option, having someone who can see assist us with whatever we need or want involves even more and continuing communication. As for the third option, think of observing someone who can see while he or she does what you want to do, actively participating while you work together to do what you want done and then working increasingly independently over days, months or years to perfect your ability to do it by yourself.
Here’s something to consider. Each of us, whether we can see or not, have needs, problems and vulnerabilities beyond our individual ability to cope. We all need other people with skills, talents and resources who are available and willing to help us compensate for our limitations. Our challenge is to learn about those people and resources and then access them for our benefit. Meeting this challenge for those of us who can’t see, among other things, rests firmly on our ability, and on the ability of those who advocate on our behalf,to effectively communicate our special and general needs and wants, and the best ways to satisfy those needs and wants. Parents do this for their children who can’t see, teachers do this for their students and you and I will either do it for ourselves or it likely will just not happen.
If it is to be, it’s up to me, getting people who can see, to:
• Do it for me,
• Get it done by working with me, or
• You know, don’t you? Sure, I’ll just have to figure out how to do it for me. If you have a tip for doing it myself that you are willing to share or a question about how to do it yourself, pop it into an email and send it to Tips@BlindHow.net.