Monday, July 30, 2012

Very concerned about the interview about blind people regaining sight.

I am writing with great concern with regards to your interview
tonight with the eye doctor and regaining sight for blind people.
Let me start by saying that I love your program and listen to it
faithfully through your podcast. But, what I heard tonight, made
me furious and outraged. I truly believe that the view that both
your host and the doctor expressed about blind people, is a very
negative and harmful one. I am one of those kids who has been
blind since birth. I see only a tiny bit of light in one eye.
My parents were told to treat me like a normal kid and not to
pray for a miracle. I grew up doing what other kids did. I was
encouraged to do anything and everything everyone else did. I
played sports and music and without my blindness would never have
had the wonderful experience of being a paralympian. I live a
normal active life. I have never pined away for my vision. Not
seeing is normal and natural. I just got on with life. I'm not
heroic or pathetic or saintly. I am blind. I was born blind. I
learned to read and write braille, then type, then computers and
braille displays. I use I devices, computers, and have a guide
dog. I travel independently. I work. I participate in sports.
I play music. I am a storyteller. I attend concerts, movies and
other performances. I have many friends and an active social
life. I volunteer assisting others. My life is not dull. I can
run down the stairs. Your doctor said that a blind person could
not do this. He also described his clinic as a sad and gloomy
place. This is not what blindness is to me and I do resent it's
portrayal in this manner. Blindness is a part of who I am. It
is fun, interesting, infuriating, fascinating, frustrating,
wonderful but it is a part of me. A part I would not change.
The real barriers I come across every day are attitudinal
barriers when others believe that blindness is nothing but
misery. If you would like to read my blog "great things about
being blind" I provide the link below. It concerns me that the
first person parents of blind children meet is a doctor who
believes blindness to be so negative.
Thanks again for your shall.
Kim Kilpatrick

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