Friday 6 December 2019

Five Things I Love About Being Visually Impaired

Hello Everyone,

This month's post is inspired by Molly Burke's videos where she talks about the things she loves about being blind. In Molly's video she talks about the 10 thibgs, but I could only think of 5. I've been a fan of Molly for a while. She's one of the most well known visually impaired creatives or influencers out there, but she's also a successful motivational speaker. When you've been visually impaired your whole life it becomes normal to you, part of your everyday life. Yes there are things that suck, makes life more inconvenient at times, but there are some perks to it. So here's my list of what I love about living with sight loss!

1. People Are Nice To You:

Now this one might only apply to cane users like myself, because I know that for guide dog users there are times when people say they can't do certain things like go into a shop, when legally they have a right to do that. I'm not a guide dog user but from what I can tell, despite having a best friend that keeps you safe there are times when you need to fight for yourself more than other visually impaired people. The first point may also apply to me because I live in London, where everyone is busy, doing their own thing and it's always busy. No one really talks to people they don't know. I've heard that in places outside the capital people are a lot more friendly.

Anyways since I do use a white cane (a long cane to be more specific) I've found that members of the public are a lot more nice to you than they would usually be. Yes this also does include people being nice to you on the tube. Shocking I know. I nean I walk down the street with my cane out and people just automatically move out the way, there's no bumping into people! Oh and when I need directions, or am crossing the road people actually help me get to where I need to be, and even tell me when it's safe to cross (even if I didn't need that information in the first place). In terms of using public transport people tend to offer you a seat, tell you when the next train is coming, which one it is and the staff come up to you asking if you need assistance. It's great!

2. Adaptations Are Made For You:
Now this one might sound confusing to you. You might be wondering am I talking about technology, like why a lot of "blind" people love using iPhones more than Android? Or am I talking about special equipment that are for visually impaired people, like an electronic magnifier? 

The simple answer to that is no. I'm talking about how when I was in school I used to have adaptations made for me, so I could be on the same level as everyone else. This would range from having my laptop connected to the projector screen so I could see the slides on my screen and follow along in class to having a support worker who I became friends with, digital textbooks and handouts in my modified font. When it came to official exams this was where the adaptations became a great perk, I'm not referring to the enlarged exam papers I got or the extra time I was allowed. I'm talking about how for some subjects like Mathematics I would be given a few different questions to everyone else because the question they had would be difficult for me to do due to my disability. Oh and I got to have 3-D models of diagrams which really helped understand what lines or sections the question was telling about. It waa a lot easier than having to picture it in my head. I even remember that for English exams I had a PDF of the book we had to use to find quotes with the entire book in text. Which meant I could just search for the quote I wanted instead of javing to flick through each page. During my time at university I was allowed to get extensions on my assignments and in my courses we had seen exams in first and third year where you saw the essay questions a week before, plan your answer, learn it and then write it in timed conditions in the exam hall the following week. For me the situation was different because I got to get the paper, write my essays at home and email it on the day of the exam. Awesome! These adaptations during my time in education is one of the reasons why I love my disability, without it I wouldn't have these opportunities.

3. Disability Benefits:

Nope this is not about Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or the Blue Badge.  Number 3 is about the non-financial benefits disabled people can get. As a Londoner I love the fact that my disability means I qualify for a Freedom Pass. What's that you ask? Well it's like an Oyster card to use on the tube, buses and trams but you don't pay for your travel. You Baisically get to use public transport for free for a set period after filling out an application form for your local council and having them send it to you in the post. Once it expires I think the council sends you a new one or you have to apply for it again. I think each council is different. I love it becomes it allows me to be more independent without having to figure out how much to top up and things like peak time.

For those of you that live outside of London I know you can get discounts on the train with a disability railcard, which is great because train tickets are expensive! (So I'm told I've never actually travelled outside of Lonfon). Also there are organisations like VICTA and Seable that do accessible trips for people with sight loss. So you could go to places around the UK or to other countries and do activities you normally wouldn't be able to or would be too expensive at a much more reasonable price. Any plans to travel more in 2020? Then check them out. Speaking of these two organizations, watch this space I'll be sharing something related to them in a future post! 

On a non-travel related note another benefit is the fact that because of my disability I can get a CEA card (,I haven't gotten it yet though) which is a card you take yo the cinema and you only end up paying for one ticket because the other person is your "complimentary guest". These benefits make me feel lucky because without my disability I wouldn't have such luxuries.

4. Using Touch More Than Sight:

This is something I seen to do without realizing, it just comes naturally to me. Maybe some of you who are also visually impaired do it too? Baisically I'm referring to the fact that sometimes when I do something I don't need to see what I'm doing. My hands are my eyes, I can feel my way around the task and figure out what I'm doing in my head. This ranges from putting on earings, doing my make up, tying my shoes and finding things in my bag. Oh and doing my hijab pins. When I used to wear earings I found that I couldn't look at myself in the mirror and do it by eye. The earings would only go in when I stopped looking in the mirror and did it solely by touch. I do actually look at the item at times like when I'm getting something out of my bag I'm just looking into the darkness of the inside, or when I tie my shoes I'm looking at my trainer not the laces. I do this even if I can't really see what I need to do. I think it's a learnt behaviour from watching the way the people around me do things. 

5. Being Part Of A Community: 

Last but by no means the least is the way in which my disability means I'm part of a community. Growing up I only knew 3 people who were visually impaired (,because we all had to go to the same primary school) but I had heard that only a small number of people have lived with a sight loss condition their whole life. I'm glad that I'm one of those people and thanks to social media I get to meet other visually inpaired people too. Turns out the community is a lot larger than you would think it is but amongst your VI friends most people seem to already know each other from the different Facebook groups, events by charities or just from school. Plus there are a lot of visually impaired bloggers and content creators out there. All of this means I can talk to people about being VI with the other person being able to understand what I mean. They can relate to my experience, which is why being in a community is so important. My disability means I can meet like-minded people.

Those are all the things I love about my disability. I know love is a strong word so if you have a disability then let me know what you like about it in the comments down below. That's all I've got for this post. Bye for now.



  1. Thanks for sharing your list, Nanjiba! Your outlook is really refreshing and has made me reconsider how I feel about my endometriosis. I can't say I LOVE it but I definitely appreciate that it has made me more resilient.

    Hayley |

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this Hayley. I'm glad you found my post useful

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Nanjiba. Your I'm glad you're being positive and making the most of everything God has blessed you with! x

    1. Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Same to you too.