Hello Everyone, welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s blog.
In this post, I am going to share with all of you my experience of walking in a blindfold-this has been part of my Orientation and Mobility training. I hope you will enjoy this thrilling experience as much as I did!
Are you afraid of the dark? Have you ever tried or wondered about whether you can walk with your eyes closed? I answer yes to both of these questions. I have been fearful of the dark ever since I was young, this is because I have night blindness. I may look like someone who is independent enough traveling in the outdoors during the day, but as soon as the day ends and it turns into nightfall; or that I am in a dark environment(like entering into a movie theater), I began to panic because I would lose my sense of direction, since I see nothing at all in the dark.
One of the main reasons that I made a necessary transition to live and accept myself as a visually impaired person since coming to realize and understand my vision loss, it allowed me to get out of being fearful. I’ve feared of being different from others because I have poor vision and I’ve also feared of the dark because I have night blindness.
Throughout the process of learning how to use the White Cane with an Orientation and Mobility instructor, I have learned how important and also how fascinating it is for blind and partially sighted people to travel independently and effectively with the cane. It is also something that sighted people could not understand, because people with good vision often rely on their vision and do not realize that other senses in our body could also help us ‘see’ even without using our eyes.
However, since the end of April, I’ve decided to take a step further in my O&M lessons.
I experimented walking blindfolded and have the experience of a totally blind person. It may sound dangerous or scary, but it was neither of that because with my sight being temporarily taken away by the blindfold (I also had my eyes closed), I put more trust in my cane to guide me. Yet, I will admit that it is somewhat (unexpectedly)stressful to walk like this, but that is because I’m still in the process of learning. Despite all of that, the reason and purpose for this training is that I want to build more confidence by having experience navigation without depended on my sight. Also, I want to get out of the fear that I’ve had of the dark from night blindness. More importantly, I want to be fully independent, whether it is during the day or at night.
Certainly, it was very uncomfortable and also a nerve racking experience as I take each step in total darkness. I know myself that I have feared the dark almost all my life. But, I also know that I must step out of this fear to achieve the success of being independent that I have been desperate to be free from for so long.
To my surprise, I was truly amazed of how effective the White Cane really is: because I never walked off the sidewalk or get injured in any way despite I see absolutely nothing. I came to a conclusion that: Trust is very powerful, because I was able to trust my cane that it will guide me safely when I have no sight at all under the blindfold; I also trust myself and my hand as I move my cane across the sidewalk with each step I take along with it. Nonetheless, this is definitely the kind of training I need and I am fully prepared and determined to continue my lesson. I trust that with hard work and time, I will be comfortable walking during the day and also at night. Then, that is when I know that I have achieved both confidence and independence as a person living visually impaired.
By: The Invisible Vision Project