[nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses - Email found in subject

Nightingale, Noel Noel.Nightingale at ed.gov
Wed Feb 13 17:13:43 CST 2013


Stephanie and others:

Most of us started out with some or full sight.  I believe it is about 20 percent of the blind or less are born blind.

Getting to the point, I know many, many blind people, both totally blind and partially blind, who care about their appearance.  Just like some sighted people don't seem to care about their appearance, some blind people don't either.  I participated in a training at work last week conducted by a trainer contracted for by my employer.  The trainer was fat and wore a tight t-shirt that was both inappropriate for the setting and emphasized his weight.  He didn't seem to care much about his appearance and he is sighted.

You are not rare in being blind and caring about your appearance. I care about my appearance, but even though my eyes may not appear "normal," I don't plan on wearing sunglasses as I think that would not be consistent with current standards for dress and I also think it would harm my own self-esteem as it would make me feel like I have to hide my blindness.  

I spend a lot on my hair to make sure I am keeping up with current styles and my hair color complement me as I age.  I am careful to get a sense of what my coworkers wear and I dress in a similar manner than them or better.  (It is often said that one should dress for the position one would like to have rather than the one they are in.)  I spend more on my clothes than I should so that I keep up with current fashion trends.  

I also care about the appearance of my blindness-related tools.  I find that most white canes besides not being effective look geeky, and I prefer the NFB's sleek, long fiberglass or carbon fiber white canes  By the way, you can get a free one off the NFB website.  I care about my watch, so I use a braille watch rather than a talking one as I don't like interrupting conversations or meetings with the talking and because I find the braille watches to be nicer looking.

This has been a fascinating conversation and I hope it continues as I assume many others on this list have views on this topic and I don't recall it ever having been raised before.

Noel nightingale

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Stephanie Koetje
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:32 AM
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses - Email found in subject

I've only been blind for 7 years and it sounds like I'm one of the rare ones who cares about my appearance. I wear a shell in one eye because my eyeball is shrunken and foggy-looking. Not sure if it's because I had sight for 26 years but I'm able to open my eyes all the way and look almost directly in people's eyes. Could this be because I've had sight? This is only for myself. I would not judge or think differently of anyone who didn't wear shells over shrunken, foggy-looking eyes.
 

Stephanie Koetje | Administrative Support and Volunteer Coordinator
Northwest Center Foundation - People of All Abilities
7272 W Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108
office 206.378.6365
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-----Original Message-----
From: Gloria Whipple [mailto:glowhi at centurylink.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 9:30 AM
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses - Email found in subject

Either did mine.

I where the shells for cosmetic purposes.

Gloria Whipple

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Mike Freeman
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 19:06
To: 'NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

I don't know why people worry about this so much. Dr. Jernigan's eyes never opened that widely, either.

To me, the only reason for wearing dark glasses is if the face has been severely disfigured.

Mike


-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Debby Phillips
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 3:16 PM
To: NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfbwatlk] question about wearing sunglasses

I find this interesting because I have problems with my eyes being half open sometimes too.  I have wondered if there is some sort of physical therapy that would help with this but thought it might sound silly.  It is very hard to always think about whether my eyes are opened or closed or not so your
question has definitely struck a note with me.    Peace,  Debby

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 11, 2013, at 1:56 PM, merribeth.manning at comcast.net wrote:

> 
> 
> As a partial, with no iris, I wear my sunglasses when it is to bright;
even if it is indoors sometimes. 
> 
> Most of the time I don't wear them inside. 
> 
> My step-dad Ray would wear them when he was in public.  I never asked 
> him
why. 
> 
> I think it is probably a personal preference .  
> 
> I have grown up in the NFB and it seems like most totals don't wear 
> them;
but there are a few. 
> 
> Beth Manning
> 
> 
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> 
> 
> 
> 
> From: "Bennett Prows (HHS/OCR)" <Bennett.Prows at HHS.GOV>
> To: " NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" < nfbwatlk @ nfbnet .org>
> Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:10:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [ nfbwatlk ] question about wearing sunglasses
> 
> 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@ 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@ gmail .com>
> To: " NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" < nfbwatlk @ 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@ catliness .com>
> To: " NFB of Washington Talk Mailing List" < nfbwatlk @ nfbnet .org>
> Cc: " NFB of California List" <nfbc-info@ 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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> 
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