Coke Bottle Bottoms

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WARNING, this content may be misconstrued by some readers.  The implication being I can see more than I can actually see.    The ability to compose a picture has no relationship to how much of the content of the picture can be seen.     Photography is an important technical accommodation used to give me access to the content of a picture I’ve taken.   Access to content only after the picture is enlarged on a 46” monitor for viewing and sometimes cropped to further magnify the subject of the photo.

Disclosing my disability is sometimes comical.   I’ll tell someone, “I’m Blind.”  The most popular response is, “NO You’re Not!”    I can’t publish some of the responses, but being informed I’m full of poop should give you enough of a hint to the content of the response.    The very first question is, “Can’t they do something about that?”   I’m relived that no one has asked the question, “What was your sin?”

There are three models I use to discuss being different, or in my case being different because of a disability.   The moral model, I sinned or my family sinned and that’s why I’m disabled.    The medical model, we have to fix it, and if we can’t your lessor than us, you’re broken, abandoned.    The integrated social model, where we figure out together, and I get to compensate for your disability or whatever it is that makes you different.

People have to probe the medical model fist: “Can’t they fix you with lasers?” “Can’t they replace your retina?” Can’t they replace your eye?”.   These are all typical questions I get when disclosing my disability to people.   Once I inform them that I’m not broken I came from the factory this way, and they’ve had a chance to breath.   Will they ask, “Well, what do your glasses do then?”, “Can’t you get a stronger prescription for your lenses?”.  My response is my glasses sharpen up the image and no I can’t get a different prescription to make me not blind.    The answer is no, no and no, thank you for asking.     I am what I am.

Glasses have been a necessity for me since I was 3 years old.  Somewhere in the bowels of my basement I might actually have my first pair of glasses, they are very cute.   The kind of thing you’d expect to see on your favorite stuffed plush bear.    I tried contact lenses, and the whole thing about sticking my finger and a piece of plastic or glass on my eye is unappealing.   Logistically finding and managing a very small clear disk is daunting and for me untenable.    I have enough aggravation and frustration thanks I’m not going to pay for more to look good.    Vanity is still an issue for me though.   I do pay extra money for lenses that are “high index” so they are not the thickness of coke bottle bottoms.    That reminds me, that’s the other question I get, “Can’t you get thicker lenses?”.    I’ve given up attempting to explain high index optics to people.   It’s easier just to say that these a new and cool and equivalent to coke bottle bottoms, not eloquent but it gets the point across.

Photography is very important to me, as taken pictures gives me access to so much information.   Even if the access to the information is after the fact, I can fill in the details and have a better more complete experience because of the data I get from the enlarged images.    I’m still working on showing you what I can see, I will definitely use photography or videography to demonstrate it.    I present you with two images of the same content.    Remember I can’t experience the content visually as you can.    These images demonstrate for you only what my glasses do for me, which is to clarify the image.    Without my glasses there is an image and with my glasses there is an, in focus, image.

Without Glasses

Without

With Glasses

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About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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