Know a Blind Person

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by MovingForward, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. MovingForward

    MovingForward Member

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    Through chance I started interacting with a guy at my gym who is blind. We have quickly become friends and other than asking him what he would like to do ( he doesnt get out much). Does anyone have idea's of things we can do together. He only became blind 11 years ago after having a seizure. He has told me he has just started accepting that he is blind. So I am looking for advice from all of you of things we may be able to get together. The cheaper the better. So far we have just gone out to bars/clubs and since we go to the same gym, I took him to the gym last night.
     
  2. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Ask him what he likes to do? Maybe he'd enjoy a movie. I know that sounds like a sick joke, but just because he can't see doesn't mean he can't appreciate it. A concert perhaps? Since that's all aural anyway.
     
  3. crescendo69

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    I had a friend whose brother is blind (from birth). We drove up to the top of the Smoky Mountains, and took a paved trail to Clingman's Dome. He seemed to be able to stay on the trail mostly on his own, and when we started up the spiral walkway to the dome's top, he immediately heard how open the surroundings were, partly by clicking his tongue. That was at night, and fun for all of us.

    It is easy for the bind person to become withdrawn. I'm glad you are his friend.
     
  4. SpeedoMike

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    generally, my blind friend and I do just about the same things everybody else does. that does not include movies; he doesn't like them. and... forget he is blind.

    take a cue from him on what you should or shouldn't do for him. my friend just needs a touch of my elbow to take my arm when we walk. no commotion and it's not obvious.

    please don't assume he needs you to do everything for him. It irritates me when a waiter looks to me for his order, as if he doesn't exist.

    and ask him if he'd like to drive when going somewhere (if he has a sense of humor).
     
  5. Florida Boy

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    Since you have gone out socially, to bars and you've picked him up to go to the gym, just ask him what else would he enjoy doing.
     
  6. Mem

    Mem
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    It shouldn't annoy you, the waiter is probably uncomfortable and does not know how to react.
     
  7. ManlyBanisters

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    I don't why it shouldn't annoy SM - it'd annoy me. Any logical person can work out that a blind person is completely capable of speaking his or her own order. The waiter may be uncomfortable and not know how to react? Boo-hoo - try being blind - that'd sure as hell make me uncomfortable! I would have thought the 'does he take sugar' days were behind us. Obviously not.

    MovingForward - just ask your new friend what he likes to do, same as you would with any other person. I understand you want to be able to make suggestions that aren't going to piss him off or seem insensitive, but I reckon if you are just yourself and follow his lead on the whole 'him being blind' thing you'll be just fine.
     
  8. rawbone8

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    How much vision does he have? Is he totally blind?

    My elderly uncle lost much of his vision due to macular degeneration, but he still enjoyed golfing. They'd go to a small course at dawn when there were fewer players, and he could manage as well as he was guided. My cousin would tell his dad the yardage, describe anomalies in the fairway, and any pertinent cues he needed. He still had a decent swing and his putting was actually better than some sighted players.

    Does your friend enjoy fishing?
     
  9. Mem

    Mem
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    Maybe you are both high strung people. Don't sweat the small stuff. The blind guy obviously didn't read the menu.

    In NJ through work I had to interact, on occasion with a blind man. He was very nice and and in his early seventies. He just liked the company of people and listening to radio programs and taping them. Sadly his family did not help him out too much. He also loved to spend a few months every winter in Florida. Also, blind people speak the same way we do. They say "I want to go see what they have in that store, I went to see my friend", etc.
     
    #9 Mem, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  10. MovingForward

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    *Update* Well as far as movies go he likes dramas. I think he can follow them better than an action film. He is really withdrawn and I feel bad that it took me months at the gym to talk to him. He can see outlines, such as the edge of a wall. His vision is enhanced at night where he can pick out yellow and blue colors. ( wow, Disco just popped into my head) Just by talking, I have learned he does not go out to much. Only to the gym, he doesnt have many friends and his sister lives 30 minutes away. He only lost his vision 10 years ago due to a seizure, and told me that only recently he has accepted being blind. When going out, the first time to eat I told him the food items, but I totally forgot to tell him the prices. ( mental note for later) Since I don't know him that well, I just assumed he is on disability and probably can't afford to much. I think going to a park would be great, maybe the ocean when it gets warmer. Thank you guys for the advice.

    As far as how to interact with him and other people. I can say I think I am overly protective. Like when we are in bars and clubs I make sure people get out of the way. I have learned crowded places are the worst places, because people are always bumping into you and it makes him uncomfortable.


    Oh and the guy that said something about driving a car. He actually told me that the first day I picked him up. He mentioned wanting to see what my car has. He later joked with a friend of mine who is from New York. She stated she didnt have a license and he stated me neither.

    Ok on the real real, I know I am blabbering but I actually do like this guy. He told me that he only wanted to be friends, but I think he may have been burned in the past. Either way I have met a quality guy.
     
  11. biguy2738

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    MovingForward, much as you may have started this thread in search of ideas or advice, let me just thank you for having done so. It's heartwarming to be allowed to journey with you in your friendship with your new friend; to observe one human being reaching out to another whilst attempting to bring companionship and happiness to him. It's encouraging to bear witness to your humanity and compassion at a time when most of us are afraid to open ourselves up to that risk. This is a beautiful thread and I thank you for seeing fit to share this new experience with all of the questions that you may have with us. I hope that you will continue to grant us the joy and privilege to look on as your friendship continues to grow.

    I don't have any blind friends but my physiotherapist is blind...much as I have been going to him for about ten years, I am still baffled at how he was able to study physiotherapy since he was born blind. He excels at his work and he is a phenomenal man. Just being in his company is such a treat because he is a happy and upbeat fellow who is at peace with being blind and most times is the first to crack blind jokes whilst also sharing about his journey as a blind person. He lives life to the full and even belongs to a blind softball team - I am still waiting for him to explain how that works. :rolleyes:

    I can understand why your friend would enjoy dramas...and I suspect that there's more to it than being able to follow the storyline...though I am not blind so I could be far off the mark. Your friend, most especially since he has struggled to accept being blind, strikes me as having a deep and serious type of guy who is searching for answers in life. Dramas tend to capture that kind of approach best. I know on my part, if I were blind, action movies would irritate the living crap out of me because of all of the sudden noises: gunshots, explosions, punches, women screaming etc. I'd get fright after fright after fright and I'm certain I'd end up wishing that I could climb through the screen and slap everyone into next week. :eek:

    I don't think that you ought to beat yourself up for not having approached him sooner. Everything happens in it's own time. If he had chosen to distance himself from everything and everyone to the extent that he had...most especially if he had been burnt in the past like you suspect, then he could so easily have pushed you away. He may not have been ready for your friendship if you had approached him sooner. The important thing is that you have offered him your friendship and he has been wise enough to accept it. That's the thing that counts the most.

    My reaction when you spoke about colors and the idea of a disco came to mind, is that you may want to always run things past him as opposed to springing things on him. Considering the way that his senses would be heightened through being blind, there are so many variables to consider...as I sense you've already realised. When it comes to discos there are the sound levels added to which the noise of people talking etc which could be a bit overwhelming and disorientating added to which there's the crowds of people to contend with etc.

    I think that the suggestions about going outdoors are wise...my gut tells me that the simple, going back to basics activities stand to work best for the two of you. When considering the outdoors, there stands to be so much that will stimulate his senses - sounds, scents, textures etc. Perhaps you can come up with simple manual tasks that he'd enjoy doing with you like potting plants - possibly making a potted herb garden etc. because in such instances, there isn't just the stimuli but also the sense of accomplishment afterwards.

    You come across to be a kind, considerate and sensitive person. I have no doubt that you will come up with ways for the two of you to spend time together. I wish the two of you all of the very best!
     
    #11 biguy2738, Mar 3, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  12. SpeedoMike

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    this has been an uplifting subject... it's wonderful when people think of others.
     
  13. Onslow

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    The man is blind he's not dead! If a blind person is with someone that person can and will often give an idea of what's on the menu. A blind person has full ability to speak and communicate what he or she wants to eat~~you yourself evenr indicate that they can speak..

    If I went to a restaurant and the waiter treated my friend like you think it's okay to treat a blind person I would summon the manager and explain my displeasure and that not only would I never eat there again I would tell everyone I knew of not to eat there again because of the restaurant discriminating.

    I had a local place which was becoming quite the popular place then they redesigned their entrance including 3 steps. As a physically handicapped person this was a nusiance but would have been workable even though they were in clear violation of the A.D.A. {also see and read::: ADA Accessibility Guidelines } They added to the problem by not even having a railing. I explained the situation to them and the owner shrugged her shoulders indicating she didn't care. I spoke to my friends and we banded together. Within less than a years time the place was out of business. It had gone from a place so packed you couldn't get a seat and table to a place that had let its employees go one by one by one until it was ready to go belly up from lack of customeres. That Mem is how to treat places which discriminate against the handicapped and I enjoy doing it.
     
  14. Mem

    Mem
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    How was this blind person supposed to know if the waiter was speaking to him when he said "are you ready to order"? Just because a waiter may feel in an awkward situation or is a dummy does not mean that he is discriminating. Unless you know that the waiter was an anti-blindite you can not say that he at fault.
     
  15. Mem

    Mem
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    You should have sued them.
     
  16. Onslow

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    It was more fun watching them slowly go out of business and the amount of time an money they were wasting on advertising to get new customers which didn't happen.

    I reported the violations starting with the local organizations which specialize in this including the ACLU~~it was classified as a breaching of my rights to access or some such wording. If I can find the letters they sent I;ll get the correct wording here. The people who took the place next are a nail salon~~ and they tore out the front and put a ramp back in. Of course I have no use for a nail salon but a victory is a victory.
     
  17. rugbyguy14

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    a concert or something like that or out for something to eat he might like even a walk someplace like the beach to hear the waves
     
  18. earllogjam

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    - Hot springs resort or spa together.

    - Walking barefoot on the beach

    - Getting massages

    - Go to a jazz club

    - Go to a seeing eye dog school and volunteer together training dogs

    - Go wine tasting

    - Just go out to a coffee shop and talk
     
  19. MovingForward

    MovingForward Member

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    Hi all just a quick update. Had breakfast this morning. I am a big breakfast person and he is a light breakfast person. So I decided to just bring him a fruit salad ( bought, I am not the greatest chef) and we had some coffee. We then talked for 3 hours.

    Takes earllogjam

    Will definately do the beach when it gets warmer.

    Coffee shop we may do tomorrow.

    Wine tasting I will try to do in the late summer as well.

    It's been raining a lot lately so I just made a cd of my favorite music and we listened to that and I explained why I liked each song.

    I plan on making another cd for him soon.

    I found that he doesn't get much news and I am not sure if anyone his explained technology to him recently. I told him about facebook and myspace.
     
  20. IntoxicatingToxin

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    Unless the two of them were sitting RIGHT next to each other, then he could've heard whether or not the waiter was talking to him. Generally speaking, a server will look at the person he/she is talking to. If they looking away from the blind person, then the blind person can sense that and assume they aren't being spoken to. When the sound waves are coming full on at their face, then they will think it's safe to assume that they ARE being spoken to. Another option - if I were a server and concerned about whether the blind person knew I was talking to him, I wouldn't ask for their orders individually, I would ask in general, "So are, you two ready to order? What can I get for you?" and they'll speak up in turn. Pretty simple, to be honest.
     
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