Visually Impaired People – Bottom of the Disability Heap?

Below is an item I put on the BBC Ouch message board. If you want to read the responses I received, go to

I visited my GP yesterday, something which I fortunately don’t have to do too often. Whilst I was there, an appointment was made for me online at the local
hospital. The final stage was to give me a print-out from the booking system. I explained that a print-out is no good to me, and pieces of inaccessible
print tend to get lost or thrown away in my house. My doctor suggested that I take it to work and get someone to read it to me. yeah right! I asked if
the information could be Emailed to me and was told no.

I then went out to reception to make another appointment and when it was done, the receptionist tried to hand me a piece of paper, saying that someone at
home could read me the appointment time. She was surprised when I said politely that the piece of card was no good to me.

I just don’t get the fact that no one seems to realise that asking neighbours/work colleagues/family members to read personal information is just not acceptable.
I recently had a smear test and have been told that it is not possible to have the results in a format other than standard print, someone will have to
read them to me.

Finally, as I was leaving the doctors’ surgery I almost walked into a lady in a wheelchair as she was below my very limited line of vision. She alerted
me that she was there by saying “wait a minute dear” in that patronising tone of voice that I’m sure most of us have heard at one time or another whenout
and about. Why did the lady in the wheelchair, although sounding quite young herself, feel it OK to talk to me in that tone when I’m sure she hates it
if it is done to her.

Rant over. I try not to shout ‘discrimination’ too often because I like to be seen as one of the crowd, but as a blind person, I sometimes feel we get a
very raw deal. Don’t even start me on the fact that there is no government provision for many of us for white canes, library services, and our dogs, should
we choose to have one are completely funded by charity.


About Mel Griffiths

I live and work in Nottingham, England and am blind. This blog is often centred around things that happen to me because of being blind. This is my space to write and sometimes people will disagree with what I write, but its the one place I have in which to be frank and honest. I also like to reflect on the funnier side of life from time to time.
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