About three weeks ago, maybe more than that. I interacted with a fellow visually impaired person. But let me start from the beginning.
Before I found out I was visually impaired, you could say I was a sighted person, in a sense. The fellow visually impaired person I interacted with, I had seen him on campus a couple of time. But never really said much to him because we did not have any classes together and I only saw him once in a while around school. But when we did cross paths, I always would greeted him with a smile and went my way. At this time in my life, I knew what a disability was and how it could affect people’s lives. But never did I think of a visual impairment, and that was because even though I had slight vision loss in my right eye. I was never coined with the word “visual impairment” because I still had 20/20 vision in my left eye. So that was good enough in a sense to my ophthalmologist and special ophthalmologist. So I continued to live life the way I always have. Even though that has not changed.
It was the start o the Spring 2014 semester, and the same guy that I saw around school, was in two of my classes. I puzzled by this because I did not know he was taking classes in my major. So that was a plus because I finally had someone to communicate with when it came to the very technical terms in Information Technology. But that is not what had me puzzled. It was the fact that, we had two classes together. When I saw this, I simply said, “God you must be trying to tell me something. Because you do not do anything for no reason”. And let me tell you, I pondered on that statement to God for about a GOOD two weeks. I finally mustered up the courage and spook to him. And I tell you, there a special feeling you get when you have finally come across someone who really understands how life is lived with a visual impairment.
His name is Matthew Care. He has been legally blind since birth and had learned how to live independently and love life as well. You will surely read more about him in a future post that will be dedicated to him. We had a small conversation the first time we met. And her told me, he was going to come and talk to me the day he overheard me telling another student that I have a visual impairment. He also added that, “If I had not overheard you saying that to a student, I would have never imagined.” From there I knew I had to find other visually impaired student on campus.
Just speaking to him, I feel like I eased the sense of other people staying away from him because of his disability. Because honestly, no one really spoke to him and people did not want to be around him. Which to this day I do not understand, because a disability does not define who that person is and what they do.
“Learn about someone before you judge them, because you may have met a new friend.”
I thank God everyday, for allowing me to finally meet someone who is in school and visually impaired. It may sound funny. But its the truth. You appreciate things a little more when you have someone or something to relate too. This semester will surely be a new and interesting one and probably the best semester ever.