Sunday, October 15, 2006

Can Do!

I came across a person who didn’t mean any harm. She was just a curious person. She knew that I was hard-of-hearing and had vision problems. She just couldn’t place herself in my shoes and see through my eyes and hear through my ears to understand what it is to live with Usher Syndrome. And I don’t expect her to.

We were discussing school, classes, and future jobs. She blurted, “Can you work?” Why do you think I am going to school? I admit she burst my bubble. I lost some self-esteem. I shouldn’t have felt that way. Am I a better student than a potential employee or what? For a while, I had to do some soul-searching. I had to get my perspective back. I am not the strongest person emotionally. My self-esteem can get crumbled easily. I'll just have to hold my head up high next time I get a question like that. I am not angry with this person. I will just have to educate her more next time I bump into her and the topic comes up again.

I mentioned this in my Pet Peeves post that I have gotten this question asked of me before, but not regarding work. Things like, “Can you see? Are you okay walking home?” Again, they mean well. Just because I cannot hear and see that well doesn’t not mean that I cannot do things “normal” people can. Sometimes I feel like they think I am an accident waiting to happen. What? Am I supposed to hole up in my house all day and not venture outside in case I trip or get hit by a car? If it’s my time, it’s my time. If it’s my destiny to get fatally injured by a car, well, that car may just ram through the house to hit me because it’s my destiny. Get my drift?

Next time some well-meaning person asks me, “Can you...?” I will just have to learn not to get defensive about it or let it rip my confidence to shreds. People just need to be educated about this. We need to band together and advocate. If that means I have to educate others myself or prove myself to others, then so be it. There are plenty of legally-blind and blind people working in all kinds of jobs-some earn a good living. They got to that point because they knew they CAN do the job and didn't let anyone stop them (or crush their confidence in their abilities).

Today is National White Cane Safety Day. How about a Deafblind Day called “Can Do!”?


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home