Blind Encounters

Emilia Judith Jordan

When you are blind or visually-impaired, it leads to some experiences that are a bit out of the ordinary. That probably goes without saying, and I just thought I’d share a few.

One of the most common is what I call the “state the obvious” encounter. You’re on a bench waiting for a bus, in a cafeteria, at an office, in a classroom, at a coffeeshop, riding a subway or a ferryboat and a complete stranger comes along and states the obvious. “You’re reading really close up.” “Your eyes look weird.” “Wow, your glasses are really thick.” “You’re blind!” “Is that a blind dog?” (to which some people, hearing this over and over, learn to reply, “I sure hope not!”).

Or there are the oddball questions. One time I was reading a quote on a small piece of paper, close up, and some stranger asked me, “Oh whoa, are you…

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