The man with many disabilities…

Hi folks,

I have three distinctive disabilities:

Blind, Deaf and Ataxia.

I also have three different, really four, identifiers.

I have always, over 20 years, had a white cane.  Of which I would use, earlier, occasionally, most for night travel.  Later, I would use it more often.  Now, it is an always tool, because my vision is fuzzy and seeing things is difficult.

I use ASL as my main mode of communication, have been since 1990.  I can still voice like a normal person, yet, what I consider loud, other people cannot understand.  So, if I don’t know someone, I will usually not voice.  I have scared the crap out of people, they think I can’t talk, when I call out to get someone’s attention!

Until 4 years ago, only those two were the main identifiers, but now, with my CAPOS, ataxia, I have a third.  My new walker, which I use more often, is a very visual identifier, people are more helpful (some!) and more respectful (others!).

The walker, “Whiteout” has opened a new perspective for me.  I see different reactions from people, from helpfulness to ignorance.  From “want my seat” support to “don’t tread on me” attitude.  It is a useful tool and I am getting more accustomed to it.  I’ve only had it four weeks now.

Yes, the fourth identifier, is nothing!  My balance is best during the morning.  So, often i would take my kids to school without Whiteout or my white cane.  I am incognito.  Which is kinda cool, until I fall down because I missed the signpost that I didn’t see while looking around because someone taps me on the shoulder, probably to warn me about the signpost!

Enjoy Life!

 

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