Navigating the World While Legally Blind: How I Did It

When people hear the world “blind” they imagine a person not seeing anything at all

Only 10% of all blind people have no vision and use Braille. Many see some shape and color.  Not all blind people are the same, just like all people are different.   

My eye was shaped like a football instead of a circle.  I could only see before the tip of my nose.  As far as seeing further, I only discerned vague shapes and color.

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I would never go anywhere alone, but had a very good memory of places I’d been. I would try my best to memorize rooms and past outings, including trips through New York City.

I did not live in a life that would involve special schools and assistance from others.  I had to make up my own ways of navigating the world with limited support.

When I would enter a room I would mentally divide it into equal shapes, then count the steps between those areas.  I would remember those steps for the future, including when it was time to turn into a door.  Sometimes I made errors, but managed to keep my disability hidden.

After my vision was corrected, there were benefits from these methods that remain. I’m very good in the dark. I’m also very good at texting without looking at my phone. These are just a few of my superpowers.    

As far as how I navigate the world now, I’ve come a long way.