totally blind, and blind? The difference?

For the protection of the people in the story, I will not mention their names. I will refer to them as person A and Person B.


This story took place in Costa Coffee, a coffee chain we have on the Isle of Man, as well as the UK. Person A, went up to purchase a coffee. Person B, using a cane, knocked into Person A, who was purchasing his coffee. Person A politely asked him to watch where he was going, to which person B retorted, in an aggressive manner, “Can’t you see I’m blind?”  After a slight argument between the two of them, Person B went back to his table, to rejoin his wife and grandson, who had seen this argument take place. Person B however, hadn’t finished with person A yet, and came walking straight up to his table, and hit him on the legs with his cane, not once, but twice, on two separate occasions.


The above story starts my post with an explanation of which I hope you will find accurate. First I wish to reiterate, a cane is not a weapon, and should not be used as such. Second, this guy had residual vision, and quite a lot of it. As well as that, he was not using the cane correctly, in a sweeping gesture. He was pushing it along the floor. He knew exactly where he was going. Here folks, is the difference. A person who is totally blind like myself, does not know, at all, where they are going, unless they are taught said routes, taught how to use a cane correctly, and also fears off slightly when walking, and cannot go in an exact straight line unless they have good spacial awareness. Secondly, Most of the people on the Isle of Man, I regret to say, call themselves blind, when in actual fact, they have some vision, and refuse to accept that they are not totally blind, and in fact in my opinion, using the wrong terminology. They are partially sighted, or they have peripheral vision, or tunnel vision etc. Can they not say that instead of that they are blind, when clearly they have vision? It annoys me slightly, that totally blind people are getting confused with sighted, and being asked, can you see light? or can you see anything at all? The answer is no. If we are totally blind, we see nothing. Absolutely nothing. Therefor, we are much more vulnerable, and only rely on our other 4 senses to get us around as well as doing everyday things. That’s what being totally blind is like. Imagine, for one week, shutting your eyes, or covering them with something you can’t see through at all. Then get up of a morning, you can only feel the sun, not see it. You get washed, etc, relying on your sense of touch and smell, to tell you what is what. You decide to go out, using only a cane to help you get around obstacles, sensing large ones with your ears, the air flow bouncing off them and back to your ears. The volume of traffic. Has it increased? Has it decreased? What does that mean? What do those beeps mean? When is it safe to cross a road? Is it silent, so I can cross now? Which way is the traffic going? Where are those grass verges, on my left or right? Where should they be? What landmarks must I find in order to arrive at my destination? Then there’s, what if things go wrong? But then as with me, add in epilepsy into the mix. There’s always a very small risk of a seizure, and yes, it’s a tiny risk, but it’s still there. I still have to be alert, and on guard. That makes me even more vulnerable. So yes, that’s what going out is like. Then when you get home, you try to cook something. How do I cook it? What are the instructions? How long do I heat it for? How long do I leave it to stand if I must? there’s the matter of colours of clothes too, what goes with what? also lights and darks in laundry. What should you mix and what shouldn’t you. I hope this has given you an idea. Just do that for a few days, oh, and try using a computer with a screen reader too, as we have to do that as well.  For any more information, just ask me via the usual ways. 🙂


About samantha ash

I'm 24 years old, totally blind, and suffer from Epilepsy, which is controlled. My interests include Neurology, Psychology, anything to do with the weather, and other documentaries. I am also a classical singer, though not professional. I am studying towards a degree in Neuropsychology at University of Central Lancashire. I wish eventually, to pursue a career in neurorehabilitation, or in neuropsychology, in order to help those who have sustained traumatic brain injuries, Acquired Brain injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions. I wish to help them to cope psychologically too, and help them to see the positive side to the life that they have now. As someone with a disability myself, I wish to tell those, "Do not say that you cannot do something. I do not wish to hear that. I wish to hear that you can, and you will succeed." If you enjoy what I post on here, feel free to comment, or contact me on or feel free to like my facebook page. Enjoy reading. :)
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7 Responses to totally blind, and blind? The difference?

  1. Duncan Ross says:

    I’ve just had a thought on this subject and think that if you have some light perception, then you should be classed as Visually Impaired and if you have no light perception you would be classed as blind because you can’t have impairment on something that’s not there. What is your take on that?


  2. Duncan Ross says:

    I’ll certainly try and do that. I’ll have a look at your Facebook site as well.


    • samantha ash says:

      You related to joy ross,


      • Duncan Ross says:

        Hi Sam. No relationship there I’m afraid. I’m in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire and she’s on the other side of the world. I came across Joy on YouTube while looking at mobile phones, I think, and that was one of the sites YouTube suggested on the side bar menu. A lot of my female friends are blind, some like yourself totally, and when one told me she had got an iPhone a while back I immediately thought she was winding me up. I never thought of a VI person using one of these and have often thought of them and how much they are missing out, while using my iPhone. So I watched Joy demonstrating how she uses hers and of course YouTube came up with the rest of her postings and they are very good both in the video and audio content. She’s a star with the Go-Pro always managing to show what she would like us to see. She has a couple of clips where she records going shopping on her own and how people interact with a blind person. I’ve heard many times from my friends about the problems with shop staff which I can never get to experience if I’m there doing the guiding. No doubt you have horror stories to tell from similar situations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • samantha ash says:

        Feel free to share my blog and fb page

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Duncan Ross says:

    That makes interesting, if not disturbing reading. Those questions you get asked about your vision are rather crude. I would ask, if going to guide, “Have you any sight?” or based on my experiences with Visually Impaired “You’d be totally blind?” hopefully conveying the idea that I’m a bit more “switched on” in this area. I agree with with your comments about visual impairment, there’s big void in sight between yourself (totally sightless) and myself (fully sighted). If I was in your position, I could be tempted to get a Tee Shirt printed with something like “No light perception, at all” It sure does take a strong will to go out on your own “in the dark”.

    Liked by 1 person

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