10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

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YJ Alice
Member
文章: 1
註冊時間: 週六 10月 17, 2020 7:27 pm

10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 YJ Alice »

Hello my dear friends and yoyo family. I am so glad but also very nervous to be the host on the coming Saturday because this is the first time I take this role. I have never thought that I will do this. Just like that I have never thought that I can join this kind of gathering with so many people after being a visually impaired person. Thank you for being so inclusive that I really feel very easy and comfortable to be here, except when we have to discuss some tough topics, haha.

As you guys know, one of my identities that can be recognized most easily is a visually impaired person (VIP), and I have to bring my white cane all the time. Some of the members have asked me questions about daily life of visually impaired people and I think many of you may have plenty of curiosity about visually impaired people, too. So why don’t we have a meeting talk about this?

The following is two videos showing different aspects of life as a VIP. There is also a short article talking about impacts of losing eyesight. This is quoted from the article ‘Way to Call When Vision-lost Changes Your Life.” It has some real cases and topics about social association. You can click the link below and read the entire article if you are interested in it. (https://www.nextavenue.org/cope-with-vision-loss/ )

After two sections of discussion, I will spend some time sharing my eyesight loss experience with you and answering your questions.

For better preparation, I will create a note in our LINE group, and please write down your questions before the meeting. I will collect them and share my ideas with you in the meeting.

Video 1:
https://youtu.be/jolwu1b6K2w (4:46)

Video 2:
https://youtu.be/nPN1T6yo5wU (6:30)

Article:
Safety, Health and Wellness Issues
People experiencing a progressive eye disease face safety and health risks. Falls and medication mistakes, for example, send many people with low vision to the hospital every year, Fairchild says. Another problem is loneliness and social isolation, which are known to negatively affect overall mental and physical health.
“It’s not unusual for people to isolate, because getting out is hard,” Fairchild says, adding that many people having trouble seeing become afraid they will fall or get lost. “And because of the isolation, depression is very common. We, as family members, have to watch for that and make sure that they still have a quality of life that’s appropriate for their age and health.”

Stigma Associated with Visual Impairment
There’s also a stigma associated with vision loss that discourages people from seeking help. Some people try to hide their visual impairment because they’re embarrassed by it. And some don’t want to inconvenience others.
Gittan Maier, 78, of Wappinger Falls, N.Y., felt this way at first about her vision loss due to macular degeneration, which has been progressing for 12 years. This age-related eye disease affects the central part of the retina, causing blurriness or dark spots in a person’s central vision. Among other challenges, it makes recognizing people’s faces very difficult.

“You know when it bothered me the most?” Maier asks. “My best friend has two grandchildren who do all the drama plays at the high school. And she always invited me and I never wanted to tell her that I really couldn’t see them. I could hear them of course, but I couldn’t see them.” “It’s not unusual for people to isolate, because getting out is hard. And because of the isolation, depression is very common.”

Eventually, though, Maier realized that she just needed to speak up. “And I finally said to her, ‘Can we sit a little bit closer so I can see them a little bit more clearly?’ Because it’s not a thing to be ashamed of that you can’t see, but I didn’t want to tell anybody,” she says. Today, Maier says when people approach her and she doesn’t know who they are, she just lets them know she can’t see them.

Like Owens, Maier also went through a difficult time, struggling with her vision. Eventually, she had to give up driving. And two years ago, at 76, she stopped working as a bank teller at TD Bank in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
“And let me tell you something, if my eyes were good, I would still be working. I loved my job,” she says.
Maier also hated giving up driving. “That was my independence that got taken away from me,” she says. But she adds that she’s lucky to have a husband who is willing to drive her anywhere she wants to go.

The ‘Attitude Adjustment’
Fairchild has seen many people dealing with vision loss go through what she calls “an attitude adjustment,” at first not wanting to accept anything other than the good vision they once had.

The adjustment is “an acceptance that there’s not a magic bullet. There’s no one pair of glasses that’s going to fix it, there’s no surgery, there’s no pill, there’s no drops,” Fairchild says. “And then, deciding that they’re not willing to accept less of a life than they expected to live because of vision loss and going out and finding those tools and techniques that will let them continue to live life to the fullest, in an independent and productive as they want to be.”

This was something Maier finally realized. “Well, I said to myself, ‘There’s nothing you can do about it, so I have to seek help,’” she says.



Questions for Discussion:
Session 1:
1. Have you ever met VIP? How did it happen? Did you have any interaction with him/her and what did you think and feel at that time?
2. Imagine what will be the most unbearable impact if you lose sight? (Some aspects you can think about are job, family, recreation, relationship building, learning of new skills, etc.)
3. If you are informed that you will lose your eyesight in 6 months but before that date comes your can keep extremely good vision. What do you want to do and how would you like to spend the 6 months?

Session 2:
4. Nowadays, we spend much time on using 3C products like computers, mobile phones, iPad. Also, on the Internet, people tend to share and express opinion by videos and pictures. We force our eyes to work harder and harder unconsciously. Have you ever taken care of your eyes? Have you ever worried about losing eyesight little by little?

5. The first video fully reveals the depression and hopelessness of people who lost eyesight after growing up. The second video shows daily life of VIPs who have found a new way of life. They make people around them feel that life without eyesight doesn't have to be a tragedy. It can become a joyful adventure. How much time do you think it will take to transform a person from the state of the first video into the second one? What kind of support do they need most to get through it?

6. When I just got the VIP identity, I still had low vision. A born blind girl told me, "Totally blind females have the least opportunities in 'dating market'." She meant it's nearly impossible for a totally blind female to have a non-visually impaired husband. After I have more VI friends, I observed the same phenomenon from them. Moreover, I found that if we switch genders, it is exactly the opposite: Totally blind males are most likely to marry non-VI females.

The following table shows 22 pairs of my friends who married or are in a serious relationship with a VIP. (A partner who lost eyesight after their relationship started doesn’t count in the table.)

Totally Blind Female - Totally Blind Man: 3
Totally Blind Female - Low Vision Man: 2
Totally Blind Female - Non-VIP Man: 1
Low Vision Female - Totally Blind Man: 4
Low Vision Female - Low Vision Man: 1
Low Vision Female - Non-VIP Man: 2
Non-VIP Female - Totally Blind Man: 8
Non-VIP Female - Low Vision Man: 1

How come the result is so different across gender? What will be the concern for you to have a VI better half? Is there any advantage in having a VI better half?



Agenda:
3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements *************************************************************************************************************************
聚會日期:列於該貼文主題內
聚會時間:請準時 4:00 pm 到 ~ 約 6:30 pm 左右結束
星期六聚會地點:丹堤濟南店
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
最低消費: 80 元

注意事項:
1. 文章是否需要列印請自行斟酌,但與會者請務必自行列印 Questions for discussion。
2. 與會者請先閱讀過文章,並仔細想過所有的問題,謝謝合作!

給新朋友的話:
1. 請事先準備2~3分鐘的英語自我介紹;會議結束前可能會請你發表1~2分鐘的感想。
2. 請事先閱讀文章以及主持人所提的討論問題,並事先寫下自己所欲發表意見的英文。
3. 全程以英語進行,參加者應具備中等英語會話能力,對任一討論問題,能夠以5到10句英文表達個人見解。
4. 在正式加入之前,可以先來觀摩三次,觀摩者亦須參與討論。正式加入需繳交終身會費 NT$1,000。
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 75
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 Janice Wang »

One Sunday, I ran into one of our churchgoers who is a visually impaired person. I immediately tried to give her a hand by holding her arm to offer my help. She straightaway gave me directions that she wanted to grip my elbow instead. She withdrew using her guiding cane with my leading. I had to slow my pace to be in sync with hers. I could sense her relief, but her grip on my elbow was tighter than I expected. She has her usual seat at church with someone beside her reading out the lyrics of the hymns for her. Her watch would remind her of the time by making short and long beeps respectively. I am grateful to be the one who was able to lend her a hand when she was in need.

Once, someone posed a question, if you were forced to give up either your vision or hearing, which one would you choose? The hearing was the unanimous choice amongst my group of friends. Sight is way too important to lose considering we need it for almost everything, from work to studying and getting around. As in the interview of the posted clip, it was devastating to see the interviewee losing independence without her eyesight. Apart from making indelibly visual memory, losing sight is something you can never be well-prepared for beforehand, even though it is a hypothetical question. I really would trade my hearing and speech for a longer expectancy of eyesight than the assumption in the designed question, six months.

To wrap up the last question regarding the “dating market” for VIP. To rationalize the posted result, in my opinion, men are probably more “visual” to attraction, generally speaking. I am not sure if it is a simple biological issue or not. On second thought, women might be just as visual but more willing to look into behavior, personality, and other subtle traits that guys tend to be more oblivious to. Dating can be a challenge for everyone. Inevitably, we idealize our future half with some subjective preferences that somehow make us easily fall into the pattern of looking more at a date's flaws than their attributes. Perhaps spend time developing and enjoying a "whole self" instead of finding a "better half" is less tiresome??


Alice, I sincerely sing the praises of your debut, a shining example of stepping out of the comfort zone! All the best wishes to your hosting and life journey!
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 735
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 Iris Wu »

My late father-in-law lost 80% of his eyesight caused by glaucoma in his mid-50’s, and gradually lost nearly all in the next 30 years. I was told that it was a medical malpractice because his eye doctor missed the eye pressure warning sign and treated him as a regular cataract patient. It’s an irreversible mistake because his optic nerves were permanently damaged.

I’ve witnessed the changes of his life before and after the incident. He was an expert in agricultural development and soil fertilization, but that was his job. He told me his passion was in literature. He was hoping after he retired, he could study and write poems, but the vision loss restrained his reading by the time he retired. I did not quite understand his feelings of helplessness and grimness back then.

Now in retirement, I am at liberty to read everything that I had no time to relish while I was working. The joy is beyond expression. However, my eyesight has been getting worse and worse due to the aging and overuse. That certainly worries me. Simply blurry vision causes great inconvenience, not to mention completely losing eyesight. Now I can identify my late father-in-law with his desolation because of the fear of losing mobility and independence.

I admire and appreciate the courage of our dear host, Alice, to promote the awareness and share her unique personal journey with us. I wholeheartedly wish someday the technology, either the visual aid apps, smart glasses or advanced artificial vision neural networks, can come to the rescue for all the visually impaired persons.
Kooper
YOYO member
文章: 2605
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 Kooper »

Posting after Iris and Janice requires blind courage: their tip-tip writing is a tough act to follow.

Though it is not uncommon to see visually impaired people (VIP) at MRT or in the street, I have never made friends with them. Thanks to YOYO, I met Alice and we became friends. The experience is quite refreshing and inspiring.

I have to admit that in the beginning I felt a bit uneasy interacting with Alice, largely because I am not so sure how to act properly, or to communicate effectively. Meeting Alice made me realize how heavily I rely on mutual visual hints when interacting with people and how expressionless my tone of voice actually is. It needs a little reminder that even when face-to-face, I should talk to Alice in a way as if on the phone because all of the visual messages that my body language has become so accustomed to delivering will go unnoticed.

If I had lost sight at a younger age, I would have probably become a person far cry from who I am now. That is under the assumption that I managed to pull through the inevitable depression and hopelessness following the loss of vision and have turned over a new leaf. If the assumption doesn’t hold true, I am already history. I am likely pursuing a different career path where the amount of pay is of less consideration. Even though a born introvert, I possibly have forced myself into an outgoing cookie in order not to become the odd man out.

After adopting a two-screen computer setup at both office and home, I found eyes much less exhausting even after long hours of computer use. The reason I guess is that my eyeballs move frequently back and forth between displays and that’s closer to natural eye movement when we are not staring at any screen. Another personal tip is to use a computer instead of a mobile phone whenever I can. The larger a screen is, the less stress it imposes on eyes.

As for the mysterious gender gap in dating market among visually impaired population, I see eye to eye with Janice on that men are more of visual animals. Physical preference aside, another factor that could be at play is women’s natural tendency toward caregiving; women are therefore less likely to view physical disability of a would-be partner as a heavy liability and the visually impaired love-seeker has a better shot at offsetting the disadvantage by other merits.
Luis Ko
YOYO member
文章: 922
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 Luis Ko »

well, guess i know how difficult VIPs' life would be. right, difficult, if i may say so. i also saw a VIP on bus several times. when i first saw her i just wondered how she could get on and off the bus. i thought she must need someone's help to do so, and since i was just beside her, i decided to do it. when i was trying to offer my help, she had stepped out of the bus door with confidence, if not ease. i was amazed as i know there's always gap between the bus and sidewalks when buses got to a stop, and there's also height difference between them, not to mention the width of the gaps could be varying. then i know they must have learned the knack to deal with it, the knacks to deal with all the difficulties because they have to push themselves to their absolute limit to adapt the challenging life that lies ahead.

it's said if you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm. though there's no sunshine for them, they still choose to weather the storm. i admire them really. they are courageous to weather it, whereas i'm afraid i'm not. i suck. just like i have said i know how difficult the life could be, i'm not sure if i'm able to take on the challenge if i have to one day. furthermore, i'm careless. i think i have 飛蚊症, but still i don't really take care of my eyes. it sucks too. :ccry:

As to dating market question, i agree with both Janice and Kooper. women are way more caring than men i would say. i found the saying "maternal instinct to love" on the internet. it says women genetically have a maternal instinct to love. maybe that's why the result is so different between genders lo~ :mrgreen:
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Kooper
YOYO member
文章: 2605
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 Kooper »

Attendees(26): Laura, Tom, Shirley, Gloria, Howard, Debby, Amy, Christine, Jason Yuan, Michael, Iris, Morris, Ken, Julia, Carrie, David, Ramesh, John, Jason, Steve, Georgia, Jerry, Catherine, Jessica, Kooper, Alice(host)
Kooper
YOYO member
文章: 2605
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 10/24(Sat)Let's talk about VIP Visually impaired people(Host:Alice)

文章 Kooper »

Questions to Alice and her replies on the LINE:

Question:
Q: I've heard that VIP's hearing is improved and they can enjoy music more than before. Is it true?
Q: How did you lose your vision and how did you get to current new normal life?
Q: What is the right way to guide someone who's VIP? What assistive technology do you use?
Q: Compared to developed countries, is public facility in Taiwan friendly enough to visually impaired people?
Q: Whose voice in yoyo is the most expressive? That means you can clearly tell what they think or feels without much guessing.
Q: Which way of interaction, no matter whether it's in a 1-on-1 conversation or a group chats, makes you feel most comfortable?
Q: How ordinary people treat VIP will make them more comfortable
Q: How do you use your cellphone to receive and reply to our messages?
Q: How do you use your cellphone to pay for drinks in Dante?
Q: Has losing vision made any changes in your personality, the way you view the world, your dreams or core values?
Q: What adventure or experience do you want most to have sometime in the future, even though they might seem impossible for a VIP like you now?
Q: What behaviors should be avoided when staying with VIPs?
Q: What's your suggestion to those who are going to lose their vision?
Q: If time reversed to like you were 10 or 15 years old when your were visually healthy, would you make any different decisions?

Reply:
關於友善視障的公共建設,我個人較難與其他國家比較,因為出國經常是與家人或明眼朋友一起,較無需去擔心到這個部份,但根據有次與其他視障朋友到日本自助旅行的經驗,日本的導盲磚是較完整的,紅綠燈聲音指示的設計也比台灣更加普級和易懂。
而在台灣,這樣的建設若真要說完善,其實真的也有很大的進步空間,人行道上停機車,或者人行道上直接就有單車專用道,其實走起來不那麼順暢,只是我們好像也演化出了一些方法來接受這個事實
而光是導盲磚在應該設備最完善的捷運站中,都有許多狀況
有些是導到後來不知道去哪裡,有些是壓根兒沒有導盲磚,有些是設計時根本沒有站在真正使用者的角度去測試,結果做了等於沒做(如凹是導盲磚,手杖滑半天還是滑不出導盲磚在哪兒)
而捷運雖設有保全及清潔人員支援視障搭乘引導
但有規定離站後過了一段距離就不是他們的服務範圍
結果就是,當我每天需要捷運轉公車,公車站卻是在公車專用道上
我只能讓他門帶我到路口,而我得自己想辦法過馬路到公車專用道上。

但好在台灣真的很棒,台北更是地狹人綢的地方,所以只要願意開口,總是會有人願意幫忙,即使他自己因為某些因素無法協助(如走往不同的方向、他的公車先來了)還是會為你找下一個人來幫忙

而meeting上,有人很好奇我為什麼問了第六個題目,其實真的就是我也很好奇
我覺得大家的分享和文章中的回應都很棒,切中要點!
男生是視覺動物只看表面
女生天生有母性,更能包容不完美,看見更深層的部份

身為視障的女性,我想埋怨男性的"只看表面"(這是你們說的喲!哈哈)是沒意義的
當生理及腦部的迴路已決定了這種差異的存在,那我們也只能同理男性朋友們的天生"看不見"
於是由我們來創造被看見的機會,可能才是更好的做法,所以身為視障女性,我們更應該踏出舒適圈,畢竟只躲在一個不會有人走進來的地方,就不可能再遇見更多人

另外,Shirley提到的,社會對女性的期待就是要持家,做家務,帶小孩,顧老公很難想像視障如何做得到
這確實是很現實的問題,當然現在許多觀念陸續改變,或許夫妻間的家事合作已能越來越平衡,也不乏有視障全盲夫妻還是養小孩養得很好
但不可否認的,我們做起家事,打掃煮飯洗衣服肯定都比明眼人慢,我們也不會開車,所以在外面喝茫了別想我們開車去接,哈哈
這一類physical support,有著我們無法抹滅的劣勢
但別忘了夫妻間的心靈相互陪伴和支持,也是很重要的一塊,甚至是必要的基礎
而視障女性或許在情緒的感知上比多數人都要來得靈敏,而且可能是很好的傾聽者、陪伴者

這個問題的最後,我有再給一個小問題,有沒有什麼是和視障朋友交往特別的好處,大家好像都沒有分享到
跟你們說,視障朋友有種超能力,可以把平凡的日常都變得不平凡
想像你帶著一位視障朋友走在路上,她好奇週邊的景物,你形容了天上的雲、旁邊的樹、樹上花的顏色,還有旁邊有個打扮如何奇怪的人站在特別有設計感的建築物前
你在他手心畫出雲朵的形狀,帶他的手摸了樹皮還有小心翼翼的碰觸了嬌嫩的花瓣,一起讚嘆這一切的奇妙
他因為你的描述建構起了這一刻的畫面,你因為他的笑容感到滿足又有成就感
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