Posted under Guest Blogger, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info


Disease, disability, distance, distain, dislike, discount.

Dis is a prefix that means  “not” simply.

Not at ease, not able, not to count,

Dis has a negative connotation. A new slang word came up to be “dissed” and it meant to be talked badly of or ignored to the point of embarrassment.

How about discouraged. Not of courage. The courage has left. It might even turn into disappoint. Not to be appointed.

I know the feeling of both discourage and disappoint. I have felt like I have no courage to keep fighting when I get another rejection for a job that I am avidly seeking. A job that I am qualified to do but they choose the sighted person instead. Then I feel the disappointment both in myself and with how I disappoint others when I do not live up to their perceived expectation. Both words are negative to be sure and can play havoc with your mind if you do not have a firm grasp on your real reality.

Now I know that there needs to be a commonality of speech so that people are all familiar when we speak. Hence the word disabled is now the popular term. It replaced the term handicapped.

One isn’t any better than the other it just changes how your mouth forms the word. Same result, a label that tells the listener and speaker a certain amount of information.

Is my skin to thin because when someone says to me that I am disabled my flesh bristles? It is true but it is so incomplete a statement about who I am in totality.

Let’s think about the word discount. It is great when you walk into a department store and they gave a deep discount on some expensive electronic equipment that you had your heart set on. It is a bad thing when they discount what you are saying because of a preconceived prejudice based on their bias and your words are not counted for the weight they should carry.

Disease is ok unless it is you with the problem. Then you go to a physician to rid yourself of the dis and ease the body involvement. To move from not at ease to only one of ease.

As a VI there has to be a way to bring up the topic of vision loss without feeling less than or not able.

A number of years ago they started the person first language that seems to have started to turn the boat slowly in the right direction.

It is subtle but important to hear the difference. Instead of saying “The blind person.” it should be said “The person who is blind.” It acknowledges that the person is the more important thing and that the loss of vision is secondary. The first statement sounds like the blindness trumps the persona and all that they might be.

In my own little corner of the world I do not think I have made as many good strides in this area of enlightenment and awareness. I am sort of the loud clanging gong that people walk away from as they find me uncomfortable. I do not act like that intentionally. It is so very important that I tend to over whelm rather than overcome ignorance with a gracious demeanor.

I will try harder to wear kid gloves when I see a person in need of education.

Bear with me. I am a work in progress.

Blessings, Denise

From the writer of seeingdifferences.com