Embracing Who You Are As a Person Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired

Young blind man sitting and smiling at the camera

What if there was one shade of green? One variety of tree; one texture of leaf; one type of forest; one season per year; one cry of a baby; one song of a bird; one scent to discover.

What if people were the same? What if your story was the same as mine and the same as your neighbors; your experiences a mimic of all who run beside you and came before you?

There would be little to learn; even less to appreciate.

The world would be a predictable arrangement; your story would offer no weight or distinct experience. Your strengths would be invaluable as they parallel the masses.

Today in this vibrant, season-revolving, fruit-producing, experience-differing, diverse world, your story is your own. Your personality, your dreams, your motivation, your intellect, your abilities, and your aptitudes are a vast ocean to explore. You’re not even stagnant, but you mature, develop, and produce the fruit of your labor over time and experience.

I challenge you, today, to own your physical self, intellect, essence, character, and all that makes you the same as others, as well as all that makes you different.

Inventory and accept who you are over time and experience. It is you. Nobody else is, nor will they ever be.

If a rose bush wishes its entire existence to bear magnolias, it will feel dreadfully useless and inferior. Time would be well spent to accept and appreciate its roses, and offer them as gifts to shape and sweeten the world.

Likewise, discover your aptitudes and interests, and practice them into talents. Proudly bestow and use them.

As for your blindness or visual impairment, own it. It is a part of you, a share of your story. It has shaped you. It doesn’t mean you are no longer a plentiful rose bush. You are.

As you accept your visual impairment and gain confidence in all you are, you can proudly and assertively describe your talents and how you make your job work to potential employers; you can definitely answer blindness or employment-specific questions as they come; and your certainty will be contagious. Your visual impairment is okay with you? It will be okay with a good employer after you’ve provided proof of your work and job accommodations.

Lastly, allow me to encourage and provide a resource for professionals working with youth or adult consumers who are blind or visually impaired. Continue on; your career, your life, is positively altering the course of many stories. Thank you. To assist with teaching your clients to own their story, utilize the lesson series, Your Employment Story.