Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

A Sighted Guest

by Donna J. Jodhan

In the normal scheme of things, much of society is used to greeting each other in the mainstream way of shaking hands, hugging and/or kissing each other, and waving and/or smiling to each other. However, it can be different when it comes to how blind and visually impaired persons greet each other at functions and this was brought home very clearly to me recently when my sister-in-law reminded me of a time when she attended a luncheon with me.

She told me that at first, she found the room to be so noisy because people were calling to each other in order to determine where their friends were sitting. She remembers how someone called out at the top of their voice: "Donna! Where are you?" Then when I responded my friend and I both got up and proceeded to find each other by sound and greet each other. It took my sister-in-law a few minutes to understand the whole thing but when she did so, she had to smile and nod in understanding.

This is one thing that much of the sighted world is not familiar with; the level of noise that prevails at functions for blind and sighted persons and if you stop and think for a minute you'll understand why. The sighted world greets each other after they have recognized each other visually. We as blind persons do it through sound. First, we use sound to identify if any of our friends are close by and when we do our next step is to identify where they are; and we do all of this through sound.

True it is that the noise level is extremely high but it is unavoidable and necessary. We also use sound to help each other find objects. Many times, we would bang an object on the table to help each other know where something is; like the salt and pepper shakers, and so on.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and tell the world that yes indeed! Blind persons can certainly enjoy things by using their sense of touch. If you'd like to learn more about me, then you can visit some of my blog spots at:
Donna Jodhan! Advocating accessibility for all:
Weekly Saturday postings on issues of accessibility:
blogs on various issues and answers to consumers concerns:

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