Is There Proper Visually Impaired Etiquette?
I have made this statement before in another forum but I am going to make it again: Whatever happened to Miss Manners? This visually impaired business really needs a rule book!
Etiquette for the visually impaired
I have gotten around the problem of potentially snubbing neighbors and other folks who pass me as I walk the dogs. I wave at everybody. I am a totally non-discriminatory greeter. If you pass me in your car, I wave. Doesn’t matter if I don’t know you from Adam. I wave. With any luck, people just think I am a friendly eccentric. I am not considering the other options.
Blind to the signs
The other day I ran into a different problem. One of the neighbors had a placard in the front yard. I could have marched through her yard and gotten close enough to read the thing. I could have squelched my curiosity and just let it go. I could have called and asked. After all, why put a sign in the front yard if you don’t want people to know what it says?
Visual impairments often requires creativity
I settled on another option. I took out my phone, took a picture of it and blew it up so I could read it... What? Oh, it was an expression of appreciation from the elementary school where she works. Very cute!
Just the same, later I started to worry if taking a photo of something on a neighbor’s lawn was overstepping. I got my phone out and purposely deleted it. I did not want to be caught with the “evidence".
Meeting new people when you have macular degeneration
On another walk - why do these things always happen on my walks? - a friend stopped her car to chat for a minute. She had a friend in the car to whom she introduced me.
Where are my manners?
Now, prior to my vision loss, I would have leaned down to look in the car and addressed her to her face. This time it just seemed a lot easier to shout a greeting in the general direction of the passenger’s seat. It wasn’t like looking into the car was going to allow me to actually SEE the woman.
Later, I thought that may have been a faux pas. Even if I could not see her, should I have acted as if I could? What is the etiquette rule on this sort of thing?
Attending events with vision loss
Then we come to another problem I have been pondering as of late. I was invited (and subsequently uninvited due to current events) to a bridal shower.
Front row seating lets me see
How much consideration can I ask for at a bridal or baby shower? Anywhere but the first row and I am going to see next to nothing. However, there are people who should claim these seats before I do. I don’t want to be seen as pushy because of my impairment but, likewise, I don’t want to be a back row having no clue what people are fussing over. I might as well not be there at all!
Same for a wedding. Can I claim a front pew that might give me a chance to see what is going on or do I have them seat me in the back since I can’t see anything anyway?
Where is Miss Manners for the vision impaired?
I have looked and looked online and all the etiquette stuff I can find is about how other people should interact with us. There is pretty much nothing suggesting what is appropriate and polite for VIP behavior. Exactly where is Miss Manners when you need her? I could stand a little help here!
Are you aware of assistive technology for AMD?