Replied to A thread by unfiltered blind tweets on Twitter (Twitter)

“I do know for a fact that this happens and this happens a lot. I’ve had lift drivers who expected me to need them to guide me from the car up my drive and all the way into my home because the last person couldn’t navigate on his own property. First impressions matter. We are far outnumbered. People have closed minds. If they only see a small number of those and each person they see has hi Gene issues, or can’t dress presentably, or any of those things people are just expected to know how to do, what sparks a thought In the average person like. This person is just a 1 off. Even know I’ve never met them, the other small number of blind people in the world must be different. Of course we expect this because we’re blind and we know. But most humans just don’t. They think life is over without sight.

Twitter absolutely destroyed all the surrounding context for this discussion, so I’m fixing it.

Blind Unfiltered is responding to this post, in which I said:

I’m not saying blind people shouldn’t attend to hygene. But claiming that sighted people will assume that all of us are smelly because they met one of us who happens to be is soft bigotry because it assumes that sighted people can’t treat us as individuals.

My response to their original follows.

Yes, it does happen. But where this becomes problematic is when those same sighted people aren’t seen as individuals, like when “if blind people do x thing then sighted people will” is deployed.

To continue this, and to get the necessaries out of the way, I have no doubt that the people cautioning other PWD with this sort of thing have the best of intentions. But either everybody is capable of making a choice to apply the specific to the general, or they aren’t. And assuming that sighted people will apply the specifics of a single interaction to an entire community, even for the sake of trying to improve the actions of others, is a denial of their ability to choose.

And I see it all the time, from this particular discussion about blind people and hygene, to the discussions about the conduct of dog handlers and just about every other discussion being had.

It’s all pretty ironic given the immediate leap to defend anyone accused of ableism and to attack the accusers.

There are absolutely individual sighted people who will assume that one blind person is all blind people. But there are also plenty of sighted people who make a point of not doing that.


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