IamA Blind Redditor AMA!
My short bio:
Most-asked questions, that will probably be a thread killer but should be addressed ahead of time to (hopefully) prevent redundancy.
- How do you even Reddit?
Luckily, Reddit can be a largely textual website. I have a screen reader NVDA which reads text on a site as well as lets me know where edit boxes (where you type stuff) are and where links are. NVDA is also unique in that a person can use a mouse and it will read what is being hovered over, which is quite nice for those who are sighted enough to see, generally, what is on a screen without being able to see detail.
There's a much larger blind/visually impaired community online than people realize. In fact, most people are visually impaired to some extent - perfect vision is the rare phenomenon.
- How can you be blind if you can still see?
Interestingly enough, most people who are blind have some residual vision - particuarly those who became blind at some point in their life as opposed to those who are born blind. Yes, there are some people who are totally blind, but it's an unfair assumption that those can register a general visual of the environment around them are not blind. Some blind people can read text, though it usually needs to be in larger print. Personally, I prefer Braille - though that may be due to the fact that while I can register great contrasts and sometimes avoid obstacles, I am not fortunate enough to be able to read most text.
- How long have you been blind & how did it happen?
I started losing my sight about four years ago. My vision began to get blurry, I thought I merely needed glasses. I went to the optometrist, he said there was nothing wrong with my eyes. This was in September, by February I was no longer capable of driving a car. A few years later, after numerous tests, they realized that there is too much spinal fluid in my brain causing necrosis (death) of the brain tissue that processes visual information.
Essentially, there are three parts of the brain that interpret visual information from the eyes. On its way to the main office, so to speak, it needs to go through two other offices. The damage is in the main office, thus resulting in what is colloquially referred to as "blind sight" - conciously, I am not aware of the majoritity of what my brain is seeing, but my subconcious can register things such as facial expressions and obstacles.
Okay, then! Ask away :D
EDIT - Proof, sorry! Had to borrow a pen & get a neighbor to take a pic of me. It's a horrible picture, I know, but hopfully sufficient. I'm also on Twitter!
EDIT MORE PROOF Slate & stylus with Braille, hashed it out in a few seconds as per request It says "Hi, Reddit! AMA" the line after says "crickettekeeper"