Everyone knows that blind people have little to no vision, but there is much more to this serious and life altering condition that the general public does not realize.
More People are Blind Than You May Think
There are over 15 million visually impaired and blind people in the United States alone. 21% of people over the age of 65 are visually impaired.
Blindness is Not Just for the Elderly
Over 17 million school aged children around the world suffer from blindness or another serious vision impairment. Reasons that young people can be blind include accidents, optic nerve malfunction and retina damage during the first year of a child’s life.
Misconceptions and Stereotypes
Many people may think that all blind people see nothing but darkness. In reality, only 10% of legally blind individuals can see nothing at all. Anyone who has vision of less than 20/200 can be considered legally blind even if they can still see in some capacity. On television shows and in the movies, it seems like almost every blind person can read by using braille and use seeing eye dogs to get around. In reality, 90% of visually impaired people do not use the braille system. Many blind people can also get around fine with a cane or walking stick and do not opt to use a seeing eye dog.
Blind People Like to Be Treated Just Like You
Since many people have never met a blind person, some people get nervous and feel like they have to treat blind people in a special way. It is important to remember that blind people like to socialize just like you do. Blind people want you to make jokes, tell stories and have you treat them like any other person. Don’t assume that all blind people are completely isolated. Many blind people hold jobs and have hobbies. As technology continues to improve, there will be even more options available for blind people to be handi-capable.