Today’s post is about the awkward moments that I have experienced due to the fact that I’m severely sight impaired.
#EndTheAwkward is a campaign created by disability charity, Scope. The aim of the campaign is to End the Awkwardness surrounding disability.
It is said that ‘Two thirds of people feel awkward around disability’. This really needs to change.
Thank you secretsofbeauty13 for tagging me to share my awkward moments for #EndTheAwkward
Disclaimer: I do not want to offend or insult anyone, I am doing this to raise awareness of disability.
1. Using a cane
I was using my cane around school, doing the usual left-to-right motions when I accidentally knocked someone with the cane. This person was in the same year as me and because I slightly knocked her with my cane she started shouting and swearing at me in the corridor in front of others. I felt really embarrassed because it was an accident. This really did knock my confidence when using my cane and at one point I didn’t use it at all because I was so anxious. I have always felt that when using my long cane it makes me stand out so I don’t look “normal” so as you can imagine, this encounter really did have an effect on me.
2. ‘Everyone close your eyes so you know what it’s like to be blind’
It was my first day of year 7, like everyone else I was very very nervous because I was starting a new school and meeting new people. I had my first P.E lesson (I hated doing P.E) so I wasn’t really looking forward to it but I had to do it anyway.
Things were going well until one moment which changed everything, the teacher said to the class ‘everyone close your eyes and carry out this activity so you know what it’s like to be blind and you know how Holly feels.’ I felt embarrassed and upset and angry. Not only was this wrong, I also thought that people would just have that opinion of me, ‘the blind girl.’
I would just like to point out and say that this is not a representation or a true picture of what it’s like to be blind. Many people that are blind/severely sight impaired, including myself do have light perception or other vision.
The teacher did eventually apologise but this is something that I will always remember.
3. ‘she’s blind, she can’t sit there’
A few years ago I was going on holiday with my mum and dad and was pretty excited. We arrived at the airport to check-in etc and when it came to getting our seats this is when it all happened. My mum and dad asked if we could sit near the front and the woman behind the desk simply told my parents ‘she’s blind so she can’t sit there.’ They asked why and she didn’t really say. We came to some arrangement but then she said ‘Does she even have a passport?’ Just because I’m blind why would I not have a passport? I’m just like everyone else. I felt quite self-conscious and embarrassed.
Also, why couldn’t she have asked me myself instead of asking my parents for me? Whenever this happens I do speak for myself all the time but it still makes me feel very awkward in situations like this.
4. You’re blind so how do you have an opinion?
I’ve come across many people that think that just because I’m blind, I cannot have opinions or like things the same as everyone else. I have often been asked this when I’ve been talking about a band/artist I like or clothing for example. I’ve been asked it when I’ve been going to a concert. ‘You don’t know what they look like so why are you going to see them live?’ I have other senses that I can use to determine my opinion.
5. You’re blind…how do you play in instrument?
I’ve been playing the flute since I was 9 and have been in a band and taken part in many concerts. One thing I often got asked was ‘how do you play the flute when you’re blind?’ I always say ‘just like you are doing. I learn in exactly the same way apart from the fact that I read braille music.’ People with disabilities can carry out normal activities just like any other person.
These are just a few of the awkward moments that I have experienced, they might not seem awkward to you but there’s so many more that I could include – I just had to select a few.
If you have a disability please feel free to do this and share your awkward moments. Personally I think that if you aren’t comfortable with your disability, can laugh about it or talk about it then it makes other people feel uncomfortable about it as well. If we share our experiences then we can raise awareness and help #EndTheAwkward
Find out more information about #EndTheAwkward here: http://www.scope.org.uk/awkward
As always, thank you for reading!