It’s the first day of freshman year and Raiff is excited for his roommate to arrive.
“Dave and I emailed over the summer and I can tell it’s gonna be awesome,” he said. “He loves country music, plus he’s a diehard Cardinals fan.”
But when Dave walks in holding a white cane, Raiff is momentarily speechless.
“Shell-shocked is more like it,” he said. “They put me with a blind guy? My first thought was there had to be some mistake.”
But Dave walked up to Raiff and stuck out his hand, asking him if he’d seen the ninth-inning walk-off the night before.
“Once we started talking, I realized there wasn’t anything to be afraid of. He’s just a normal dude, like me.”
CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE
People who are blind attend college, hold full-time jobs, play sports, volunteer in their communities and do lots of things that other people do. Let go of outdated stereotypes and don’t assume a blind person can’t do something or won’t be as fun or interesting because they cannot see.
Make a connection.
Make a connection with a blind person just as you would with anyone. Ask about their likes and interests – not just their disability. You might be surprised to find that you have a lot in common.
Not sure how to act around someone who’s blind? Feeling uncomfortable? Only by learning about each other and asking questions can this feeling disappear.