Icebreakers

When we meet, don’t be ill at ease. For both you and I – remember, these are just icebreakers-

  • I’m an ordinary person, just blind. When speaking to me raising your voice is not necessary. When out shopping or eating in a restaurant, don’t ask my friend or partner what I want – ask me.
  • If we are walking together, don’t grab my arm. I’ll take yours. I will keep a half step behind, to anticipate doors, grocery isles, curbs or steps.
  • I like to know who is in the room with me. Please speak when you enter and introduce me to others. Including kids, tell me if there are pets too.
  • Guide me to a chair and place my hand on the back so that I can seat myself.
  • Left partially open, a room door, cabinet, or a car door can be a hazard to me.
  • At mealtime or out eating I will not have trouble with ordinary table skills. However, when describing food on a plate, use the clock method to describe where the food is located on the plate.
  • Don’t avoid using words like “see.” I use it too. I’m always glad to see you, too!
  • My sense of touch, smell or hearing is not better because I’m blind. I rely on them more, and I get more information through those senses then you do, that’s all.
  • I don’t need pity.
  • As a guest in your home, show me the bathroom and the light switch. Are the lights on or off?
  • I have lots of interests and hobbies as you do. My blindness is an old story to me. We can talk about it if you are curious.
  • When counting out money, please tell me what it is with the larger bill first then go on. This is true with coins as well.
  • Don’t think of me as just a blind person – I’m a person who happens to be visually impaired

Definition of Blindness

On the one hand, we have legally blind persons and on the other hand, functionally blind persons. 

The “legal,” “economic” or “administrative” definition of blindness provides that – Visually impaired persons are considered blind if they have at least 80 percent loss of “normal” central distance vision (20/200) or is severely limited in their field of vision. In clinical terms, this is usually defined as visual acuity of not more than 20/200 or less in the better eye with best correction or vision acuity of more than 20/200 if the widest diameter sub stands (or extends to) an angle no greater than 20 degrees.

The “functional” definition of blindness is the inability to read newspaper print, even with glasses – Whether one uses the legal or functional definitions of blindness, the elderly are known to have a higher rate of blindness per thousand population than any other age group – 

While one in every thousand persons 60 to 74 years of age is blind, among those 85 and over, nearly one out of every 27 persons is legally blind – Regarding the functional definition of blindness, those 65 years and over make up 70 percent of those who have reported severe visual impairments.

By contrast, blindness is comparatively uncommon in adults of employment age, it can be described as a rare condition in children, and the degree of vision loss older persons have suffered is more severe than is found among the young.

 

Finding New Friends | Renewed Attitudes

Question - My eye specialist told me that I have glaucoma. What is that? Will I become blind?

Question - I have a friend who is depressed about his vision loss. How can I help him remain the person he used to be? He is not alone!

     Everyday we want to help our friends and family members deal with physical loss of sight, cut – importantly – handling that emotional feeling.

     Loneliness is the first feeling for that elderly person who is experiencing sight loss. If you just lost your sight, family and friends may be sympathetic, but they can’t really know how you feel – someone who has been through what you are going through – truly knows!

     As we age, there may be other physical health issues to deal with, in addition to loosing one’s sight. You feel you are a burden on your family and friends. 

     With frank and open discussions we at Teachable Moments can help you work through these issues – showing you that you still have much to offer to your family, community and to yourself. 

 

Call us at 614-266-9563

Eye Definitions & Conditions

CATARACT A clouding of the internal lens of the eye. Normally, the lens is like glass. Light rays pass through the lens and are focused on the retina in the back of the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, light cannot pass through and vision is no longer clear. Some children are born with cataracts. Most cataracts are connected to aging.

DIABETES AND VISION LOSS According to the US Department of Health and Human Services 300,000 Americans have diabetes and visual impairment. It is the number one cause of visual impairment and blindness among working age adults. As you continue your self care task of monitoring your sugar levels in your blood, learning to do these tasks as a blind person is not an added task.

GLAUCOMA A disease of the optic nerve, which affects peripheral vision, causing “tunnel vision” and then advances gradually into the central vision field.

Living with Vision Loss

Every seven minutes, someone across America will become blind or visually impaired. 

            In Columbus/Franklin County in figures released by Prevent Blindness Ohio is 9,921, age 40 plus (2012.)

            According to the US Department of Health and Human Services there are 5 point 5 million people who are age 65 and older who are blind or visually impaired.

            Looking at ethnic and racial groups – 80 percent are white; 18 percent are black and 2 percent represent other minorities.

 

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