[nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

Prows, Bennett (HHS/OCR) Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV
Mon Feb 11 14:10:06 CST 2013


Nicely put, Marci. 

My folks used to have me wear glasses with clear lens in them. They didn't like the stereotypes associated with sun glasses, but I'm sure they wanted me to have attention drawn to my eyes.. When I was a kid, they told me the glasses would protect my remaining light perception in the eyes from things I could run into like bushes, etc. 

AS an adult, I took them off for many years. When I wanted a different look some years ago, I got some new clear lens glasses, and got more grief from blind folks than sighted about my wanting to look good with the cosmetic glasses. ... Nevertheless, I only wear them now as part of a costume.

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of mjc59 at q.com
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:02 PM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

I have some movement in my eyes, so even though i can see people I don't make eye contact. For me, I would feel like wearing sunglasses would be hiding behind something and also catering to sighted people's stereotypes about blindness; that my eyes are somehow ugly and must not be seen by others. I believe that the way I carry myself and speak to others conveys who I am. Sighted people who are that hung up about eye contact will always find something to be uncomfortable about being around a blind person. I bought a T-shirt at state convention that sums in up, at least for me. It has the eye chart numbers in 2 columns on either side, and the words in the middle say (in smaller and smaller print as you look farther down) "I am who I am. Your approval is not needed"

When a sighted person does bring up the issue of eye contact I am not rude. I just say something like "Yes, my eyes do look different." I might tell them that I know someone is nearby because I can hear them moving or their breathing. Then I move the conversation to another subject. 

Well, that's my perspective on the matter. You are a beautiful person, Lauren and as Dr. Jernigan always said; It is respectable to be blind. I hope we get to see each other again sometime.

Marci

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kaye Kipp" <kkipp123 at gmail.com>
To: "NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 6:19:28 AM
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

Well, I have the same issue with my eyes.  They're usually half closed, but 
I don't want to wear sunglasses.

Kaye
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lauren Merryfield" <lauren1 at catliness.com>
To: "NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org>
Cc: "NFB of California List" <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 2:39 AM
Subject: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses


> Hi,
> I know this may seem odd, but it would be interesting, and possibly 
> helpful, to get some feedback about the pros and cons of blind people 
> wearing sunglasses.  I know that a long time ago, Dr. Jernigan wrote a 
> piece about it but I haven't been able to locate it.
>
> In my case, my original eyes were very weird--the right one was enlarged 
> and purplish in color.  My left one was small and sunken in.  Kids used to 
> comment on them or ask me about them.  As an adult, I wore sunglasses.
>
> I eventually had both of my eyes removed due to very painful glaucoma.  So 
> then I had pretty, blue eyes.  I had the unusual opportunity of choosing 
> my eye color.  So I figured that meant I didn't need to wear sunglasses 
> anymore.  I also felt kind of like I was hiding behind the sunglasses.
>
> But most of the time, my eyes are half-opened or half-closed, whichever 
> way one wants to think about it--like the glass being half full or half 
> empty.  Some people assume I am asleep, unapproachable, or withdrawn 
> because my eyes are not wide opened.
>
> So now I am wondering if I ought to wear sunglasses again.  I could try it 
> just to see if sighted people respond better to me or not.
>
> I know I do not have good eye contact and that seems to bother some 
> sighted people.
>
> Well, there's some food for thought.  Yeah, I know, I always get back to 
> the subject of food, hahaha.
> Thanks
> Lauren
>
> advice from my cats: "meow when you feel like it."
> The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be
> understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
> -- Ralph Nichols
> Visit us at catliness.com
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