by Chelsey Zumpano
A lot of my fellow VI/blind people use the word “sighted” when talking about people who don’t have a vision impairment. But I’ve never really used this word before. First off I want to say that I do not care if you use it! You do whatever feels right for you.
One of the reasons I don’t use “sighted” is because I still have sight, (limited sight in one eye, but still sight), and there for it doesn’t feel right for me to use that word. The second reason is that people use the word negatively and that sticks in my brain. They also use it as if it’s the only thing about them that matters! People do this the same with our blindness and that’s never okay! Treat others how you want to be treated and try to help others understand us.
I’m okay with using the word “disability.” To quote myself, “I have a disability, but my disability does not have me!” I prefer to put the person before the disability and you might say, but you’ve put “blind girl” in the titles of your YouTube videos? That’s because I want people to see that and not feel alone. Yes, i’d rather write “girl who is blind,” but sometimes that doesn’t flow right. We shouldn’t just refer to people just by one part of them because we are all people with feelings and lives beyond that one thing! I want people to know that you are more then just one part of yourself. you are many parts that adds up into one person.
The thing is I never refer to myself as being disabled: I usually say, “I’m visionally impaired or I have a vision impairment and that I have anxiety.” (And yes, I consider my anxiety a disability). I don’t like using the word “disable” because for me it sounds negative and like I can’t do anything. I never see my vision as an obstacle to get over and I just have to do some things differently, but you know what? Everyone does things differently! Everyone learns differently, has different shoe sizes, has different favorite movies, likes different foods, and that has nothing to do with a disability.
I use to use the word “differently abled” and I might start using it again. This word sounds more positive and includes everyone. It sounds better to me, then “disabled or even disability.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
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