Things You May Not Know About Being Blind

Contrary to the popular belief that a blind person’s hearing is heightened to compensate for their lack of vision, most blind people feel their hearing is no better than a sighted person’s. They simply have to listen more intently to the sounds around them. It’s also believed that blind people dream more than sighted people. People who were born blind have no understanding of how to see in their waking lives, so they can’t see in their dreams. Those who lose their sight later in life can dream visually. You might wonder how blind people choose their clothes. Over time, they get a feel for the shape and style of clothes that suit them and tend to shop with trusted people. They also use a color detector, which is a talking gadget that announces the color in detail — for example, “light olive green” or “dark blue.” So, do blind people use computers and smartphones? Those who can see a bit can get software that magnifies. Totally blind people have two options: (1) a Braille display can sit underneath a keyboard and provide a tactile version of words on the screen; (2) a far more popular option is a screenreader, which is software that reads the screen using a synthetic voice. Finally, guide dogs don't tell their owner when it's time to cross the street. Guide dogs walk in a straight line, always on the left of a person, and are trained to keep an eye on their owner’s right shoulder to protect them against collisions. It’s a partnership, and owners often consider that they’re driving the dog, rather than being led by it.