8 Things I Wish People Understood About My Vision Loss

While we can still participate in many of the same activities, some of the commentary involved in a shared visual experience can be missed. Sometimes I feel like I have to fake “ooh-ing” and “aw-ing” over that cute or funny scene everyone is pointing at, lest I feel out of the loop. We often can’t dart from person to person at a party, spotting friends across the room.

Some of this is unavoidable, but friends and family who go out of their way in social settings can make a huge difference. Even when I can’t spot you in public, I still appreciate being acknowledged and greeted.

For example, I love it when a parent of someone in my daughter’s kindergarten class comes up to me in the grocery store and tells me who they are, even if I’ve met them before, and starts a conversation. I can’t stand it when someone tells me, after the fact, that they were near me in a public setting — “Oh, I saw you at the movie theater last week!” — but didn’t make their presence known at the time.

It’s a weird feeling when people can spot you, but you’re not able to see them. It can leave you feeling self-conscious and awkward. When someone passes me and just says, “Hi, Joy!” without identifying themselves, I sometimes spend the next 10 minutes trying to figure out who it was.

On the flip side, when someone says, “Hi, Joy, it’s Lindsay!” I can ask how her daughter is or spout off a relevant comment.
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