BLOG BIZ | AWARENESS & SENSITIVITY
In an ongoing effort to increase awareness on sight loss/blindness, Bold Blind Beauty contributor Cheryl Minnette will be inviting readers into the world of what it’s like to live with severe sight loss. These articles are created with the intention of continuing meaningful conversation while further connecting blind and sighted people. We hope you will enjoy these quarterly pieces that will be published under Beauty Buzz & Blog Biz and tagged “Awareness & Sensitivity.”
I love it when the holiday season is upon us and the lights start going up all around. Some lights are placed horizontally or cascading down, while others are placed to swirl all around. All it takes is some imagination. You can simply frame something out or create your own style. Once evening comes, your creativeness will shine bright as a backdrop or the main event.
Oh, when it comes to lights, let us not forget the other decorations. You know what I mean. Those amazing illuminated plastic molds! The outdoor scenes can be so creative. Since illuminated molds come in so many shapes and sizes, you may find yourself in awe. Then there’s the oversized candy canes and toy soldiers that can be seen outlining pathways and driveways. The list goes on and on, so here is one more lighted detail.
Metal sculptures of cone-shaped trees, reindeer, and more, that have lights on every inch. Such a display is a beautiful sight, especially the animated reindeer. It is this time of year when imaginations are allowed to run wild with whimsical themes and loads of merriment.
In the evenings after dinner, parents and grandparents alike, pile the children into the car and take off on a ‘holiday light’ adventure. They go in search of the most extraordinary ‘holiday light’ displays they can find.
This says a lot about what brings us joy. To actually spend time driving around with no particular destination in mind, simply to experience the visions of others through their lights. Some people will pull over and park, in order to take in all its majesty. Others will get out and walk on over to get a closer look with the children by their side. There’s just something about the creativity of lights on a broad-spectrum.
So, what about those who cannot fully cherish these holiday moments in the same way. Do you bring them along on this ‘holiday light adventure’? If not, why not? If so, What is done in order for them to feel the excitement and enjoy each moment? Including all loved ones in this type of outing strengthens the bonds amongst all and allows everyone to create enjoyable, long-lasting memories.
How do I include those with sight loss in the Holiday life experience?
Here are two words you need to take with you, in order for this process to head down the right road:
1. Inclusive ~
Whether someone is blind, has severe vision loss, or is fully sighted, they have the need to feel wanted (included) by others. It can be deeply hurtful when those around you assume because of your lack of sight, you would not want to participate in outings. This is far from the truth. In fact, just being able to ride along in the car can be just enough to send their ‘happy meter needle’ towards high. A great way to lower everyone’s anxiety.
2. Descriptive ~
Since 80% of one’s learning comes by way of our sight, those with a high percentage of sight loss are at a disadvantage. When trying to receive information that requires vision, assistance may be needed. This is where descriptives come in. During this process, one would be reading or describing in some manner what the individual with sight loss is unable to interpret. For example: if you are out looking at holiday lights, describe their placement, colors, styles, etc. it’s these descriptives that bring clarity into blurred, fuzzy images as if you are painting a picture on the canvas of their mind.
Be inclusive, descriptive, and loving this holiday season and beyond. Not only will this make a difference in someone else’s life, but the smile that will spread across your heart will be like none other. Giving of yourself to help someone, not because you have to, but because you want to give of yourself is very rewarding.
Your thoughts are welcome, so leave a comment as to whether you found this article on Awareness & Sensitivity to be insightful and what your takeaway was. We value your feedback.
Connecting With Cheryl:
- Facebook: @RealOneIsHere
- Instagram: @RealOneIsHere
- LinkedIn: @CherylMinnette
- Subscription to: Vision Navigation News
A photo of blurred colored lights against a black background. Text overlaid on the photo reads “Holiday Visions.”