The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train


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How did becoming blind affect your life?
Thoughful
davidbr1
I imagine that most people would consider the above to be an insensitive question to ask of someone who was born able bodied, but lost their sight through accident or illness. However this is what I heard when watching a news report on the BBC about 10 days ago. The person being interviewed was a former soldier that had lost most of his sight after trying to help someone that was being attacked in a street brawl. I thought he responded in quite a diplomatic manner, but I guess he must have been asked lots of stupid questions by the representatives of the media.

Anyway the reason he was being interviewed was that he was about to make an attempt at the world record for being the fastest blind skier. Since he had lost most of his visual function, he needed to rely on instructions from a colleague, who was to observe from above, and would tell him when and which way to turn as he made his way down the mountain. He did by the way succeed in beating the world record.

I do have some admiration for what he did: certainly it’s not something that I would have considered doing. However I do find it annoying that the media only seem to portray disabled people in situations where they are performing less well than their able bodied counterparts. Another example would be yesterday’s London marathon. Clearly an able bodied athlete will always beat a disabled athlete.

What I would find inspiring is learning about disabled people that have been able to cope with their disability to such an extent that they are performing as well as, or even better, than their able bodied counterparts.

Since my eyesight began to deteriorate I have continued working in the same role, although I now work from home. When I need to travel to work I go by taxi, paid for by the UK government. I can still perform my role as well as I used to (although it takes me longer to read documents these days). In fact better because I have not allowed the deterioration in my health to curb my enthusiasm for my work, or my commitment.

There are, I’m sure, a great many disabled people that have achieved a great deal in all walks of life. So why are we so invisible, and why are the media only interested in the disabled when they are performing sporting activities? To me it is condescending, and more often than not nauseating. Not as nauseating though as the wave of political correctness from a few years ago, where it was considered politically incorrect to use the term disabled, in favour of the term ‘differently abled’. This is nonsensical. I am disabled, so what is the point pretending otherwise?

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Hiya :-) I dont think its endemic to the disabled. I think its probably actually more about high profile people (able bodied and disabled) than the average mug on the street. We have an Order of Australia medal, supposed to be given to worthy aussies who have contributed to the country/community. 9 times out of 10 it goes to high profile or celebrity figures as opposed to charity workers, etc etc who probably deserve it more. I agree with your view, i just think the issue is more general perhaps. And sorry to hear about your sight.

Even worse here! You can buy a title by donating money to the Labour party. I know a peerage would set you back a few million GBP, but I don’t suppose an MBE would cost much.

I wasn’t attempting to be objective about this really: it was just me ranting. What I find upsetting is that whenever there is some news item on the TV, radio or in the newspaper that features a disabled person doing something, it’s almost entirely when they are performing an activity that would be done better by an able bodied person. Usually of course this would be some kind of sporting activity. If this is the only way that we are ever portrayed, then it gives the impression that whatever disabled people do, they will never be as good at what they are doing than their able bodied counterparts. This is of course totally wrong, but it would be nice to come across some news item that did not feature some kind of sporting activity.

*nods* i see what you mean and yes, i agree. There are areas that they will not be comparable for obvious reasons, but in others they can exceed.

Who listens to what music?

(Anonymous)
Hello. Good day
Who listens to what music?
I Love songs Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton

Re: How did becoming blind affect your life?

Given the topic under discussion in this post, your musical taste is hardly relevant, especially since you have chosen to remain anonymous.

A very good question indeed.

Perhaps in some ways, Sports can allow people to be enthusiastic about something larger than themselves without it touching themselves too closely.

Articulate individuals such as yourself will continue to enlighten, to change minds and to challenge the status quo with words such as are in this entry.

I would like to think so, but insofar as the BBC is concerned, I fear it is an uphill struggle.

Thanks you for your kind words.

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