Forget Your Sightlessness

来源:有人杂志   作者:杨永全   2015.05.04 15:26  浏览692
摘要:Though I forget that I'm blind, it makes no difference. My calmness in the face of my sightlessness can cause discomfort in others. Someone or something always reminds me that I am blind when I dare to forget it.

A few days ago, I went to iFly on business with Blade and had dinner with its members. We ate, drank, and enjoyed each other's company. As we were the only blind people among the dozen at our table, Blade and I became ambassadors for the blind, answering questions on life without sight.

The first question people inevitably ask is about the difficulties the blind face when travelling alone by train. They imagine it to be very difficult. Some are amazed to hear that we book tickets online. Indeed, news stories highlighting computer use by the blind are sensationalized despite the fact that screen readers for the blind were popularized in China over 15 years ago. Thus, as members of a screen reader development team, we spoke with iFly team members about our work.

As with previous conversations I've had with those with sight about being blind, iFly members were curious to learn about the world in which we live. They familiarized themselves with the issues that we face: online verification codes, the pros and cons of taxi apps, the decline of Motorola, the collapse of Nokia, travel between Suzhou to Gansu, etc. Having heard what we had to say, they knew not to pity us.

On the way back to our hotel, Blade and I recounted the dinner conversation and reflected on the fact that we often forget that we are blind. Indeed, unless I am directly confronted with my disability, I don't label myself as such. I first realized this when I was interviewed last year. I was asked how I overcame various obstacles in a world of darkness. My first reaction was, “oh, that's right, I'm blind.” When I thought about this question more carefully, I found that I could not answer it as I instinctually overcome any challenge I face.

In the end, I stated that my serenity is rooted in my acceptance of the fact that I cannot see. I do what I can on my own and turn to others for help when I need their assistance. This is life. As for the difficulties that I face, I questioned what they were. Not enough money? No place of my own? These things do not bring happiness and have nothing to do with blindness.

I can so easily forget the fact that I am blind because I have come to accept it. Acceptance has given me a new perspective. I no longer consider myself burdened by the label of blindness or feel inferior when I speak with others, update my MicroBlog, or use WeChat. Sometimes, however, the fact that I can forget that I'm blind makes no difference. My calm acceptance makes others uncomfortable and someone inevitably reminds me that I am blind.

Spring is a warm season filled with fragrance; a season to realize one's dreams. In this warm and sunny time, the YY and Fengyasong video communities along with the Blind Arts Auditorium will hold a recital of works by the blind. Famous and amateur performers alike are invited to participate both in person and online and experience Spring through their words.

How do the blind experience Spring?

What are Spring nights like?

Do the blind experience Spring differently from the sighted?

Do the blind and the sighted belong to two different groups?

……

Though the blind have lost their sight, they nevertheless perceive the world. While some perceive the world with their eyes, others use another sense. Some blind people capture the world with their minds; others interact with it virtually with the help of a screen reader.

Why, then, should I always be reminded that I am blind? Is it a crime?

Blade suddenly said, “Forget that you're blind. Forget it. It is not a crime. Go to sleep.”

Yes, it’s time for bed!

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