A WONDROUS MARVEL
In our daily lives, when interacting with other peo-ple, our bodies and faces portray unspoken mean-ings. We smirk or smile, raise an eyebrow to stress a particular point, laugh, and frown or pout our lips to express some emotion of sadness or remorse. It’s these little nuances that help us all commun-icate our thoughts and feelings to others. All thanks to our eyes.
Our eyes are a marvel of unique engineering and complexity. They contain photoreceptors – one of 125-million nerve cells in the retina of each eye that emit electrical signals when activated by light of a particular wavelength. The human retina also contains another kind of photoreceptor cell – the cones, which operate in bright light and are responsible for high acuity vision, as well as colour.
Colour is an important part of human experience as it is for expression. Without light, you cannot experience colour. Now imagine yourself inside a vast hall filled with paintings from the masters at the Louvre in Paris but one with no windows, no lighting, in the dead of night.
Would you be able to see anything other than the empty void of total darkness? This is how blind people see and live. But does it mean they can’t do anything else?
Most sighted people believe that blind people need a lot of help. But is this true? Are they utterly help-less? It’s almost always the first reaction people have when they meet a blind person, whether it is a child or adult: “How can I help this person?
What do you believe about blindness? Deafness? Do you believe that people with these handicaps need your compassion? Are they children of a les-ser god or are they capable of knowing and doing as much as sighted people? Can they be competitive if but given equal opportunities? Let’s think about this a little bit more.
Beliefs are important because what we believe affects the way we behave. Our beliefs about blindness or deafness affect how we act toward such people and our expectations for them – the way we teach them, the messages we give them. There may be limits to what any individual can achieve, but those limits do not have to be just because they are blind or deaf.
Faith in Families has published this part of the series to open your eyes, you who are the sighted ones, to erase some misconceptions you might have had about blind or deaf people and realise instead that, in many cases, the key to success for anyone is not measured by how much eyesight or hearing ability a person may have, but whether or not that person has the skills to get a job done.
Deaf and blind individuals are as capable as non-handicapped people. To high-light this point, read through the partial list of job positions people like them have taken. They landed these jobs not out of some employer’s guilt or com-passion, but because of their skills, qualifications and backgrounds.
It will astound you!
Assistant Director-Alumni Association
Banker- Senior Vice President
Child Care Assistant
Cosmetologist, (managing 3 shops)
Counselor-Business Enterprise Program
Counselor, Housing Complaints
Employment Development Specialist
Equal Employment Officer
Handicapped Service Coordinator
Hotline for 504 Coordinator
Internal Revenue-Financial Assistant
Internal Revenue-Service Rep
Job Development SpecialistLabor Relations Specialist
Nutrition Education Coordinator
Occupational Health & Safety Specialist
|Photo Finish Worker
Placement Aide for the Blind-Specialist
Professor of Psychology
Quality Control Specialist
Radio Reading Service-Asst. Manager
Router at bank
Systems Planning-Hospital Supervisor
Teacher, Elementary Music
Teacher, Blind Children
Teacher, Social Studies
Typists, Word Processor
Volunteer Services Coordinator