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The Thoughts of a Blind Woman
Dawn is a blind woman who's married with two kids. I asked her about being blind and it's affects on her.
Q: How long have you been blind?
A: I've been legally blind since birth. I used to be able to watch TV and read large print. I was nine when I lost full sight.
Q: What is your condition called?
A: i have what's called a detached retina. It has detached three times. After the third time they put on special oil to help it heal in place, but the oil can cause bubbles on your cornea. That happens to me.
Q: Has being blind affected you differently as a child and an adult?
A: Well I did a lot of the same things as other kids. I actually did more things than other kids because of being blind.
Q: How has being blind affected you and your family?
A: My husband has to do more things like grocery shopping. Since i live in a city with little transportation my husband has to take time off of work to get the kids to doctor appointments. Transportation has really affected us.
Q: How did you come to the decision of getting a guide dog?
A: A lot of research and talking to people who have a guide dog. Also research on schools.
Q: How has Baskin, your guide dog made it easier or challenging?
A: He's helped me a lot, but I have to make sure to get up in the morning to take him out. Just normal dog care stuff.
Q: Can you see light?
A: Usually, I can see the sun. It depends on the day and the bubbles on my cornea, sometimes I can see the lights in my house. It just depends on the day.
Q: What is the greatest strength and weakness about being blind?
A: Probably the fact that people that can see judge people on their looks. I don't have that ability. It's hard when I go to a new place and it's hard to get around.
Q: Do you ever think about what people think about you, like your appearance?
A: It's not something I really think about much since I know it doesn't really matter. I don't worry about what they think. What I found that's funny is when I meet people I forget to tell them I'm blind. I have to remember that those people don't know I'm blind, so I have to remember to tell them that I'm blind.
Q: Are there any helpful tools that assist you?
A: I have a color detector that if you put clothing up to it, it will tell you what color it is. I can now do the laundry. I have a braille label maker that I put on the microwave, the stove is also labeled. On my computer which I use everyday talks to you. Things for the blind cost a lot more than they should because they are specifically for the blind. I don't have a lot of tools because of that reason. I have a long list.
Q: How do you do everyday things such as getting dressed, brushing your teeth, and walking around your house?
A: Just like everybody else. The only different thing is while I'm getting dressed I use the color detector to help me decide what to wear. I wear jeans a lot because they go with everything, and I have mostly white socks so I don't have to worry about matching socks.
Q: Do you have any blind friends?
A: Yes, a lot of them are online friends. Some of them are close like the ones I met when I went to camp as a child. Some of them still visit me.
Q: Can you relate more to your blind friends or you're seeing friends?
A: Some things when it's blindness related things like getting around. It's those friends who I can relate to more in those type of situations.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Knitting, reading, e-mailing people, chatting online, and sailing.
Q: What were your hobbies as a kid?
A: Rollerskating, ice skating, reading, crocheting, going to camp, talking on the phone I did that a lot. I also competed in gymnastics for the blind.