“I do not intend to suggest there is something wonderful about blindness. There is only something wonderful about human resilience, adaptability and daring. The blind are no more or less otherworldly, stupid, evil, gloomy, pitiable or deceitful than the rest of us. It is only our ignorance that has cloaked them in these ridiculous garments.”
In this timeless opinion piece, Rosemary Mahoney reflects on cross-cultural misconceptions about blindness, and considers their causes. Some of this is undoubtedly applicable to other disabilities too. While ableism is far more complex than simple ignorance, Mahoney’s reflections shed light on some of the cognitive gaps that give rise to ableism. It is also interesting that her experience of blindness simulation inspired a deeper understanding of blindness. This is probably because, unlike most blindness simulations, the one in which Mahoney participated featured blind people serving as guides and teachers.
Why Do We Fear the Blind?