Tarih: 11/02/2019

Girne American University (GAU) Faculty of Education Department of Special Needs Education Faculty Member Yılmaz Avcu, made statements about definition of visually impaired.

Avcu made statements regarfding the subject after stating that visual impairment is disability from either birth or result of some unwanted causes.

Following statement;

Who is, and is not Visually impaired?

First of all, everyone should know and realize, visually impared people are not pitiful and helpless. Likewise, they are not human beings with extraordinary people with supernatural abilies that allow them  to hear things others cannot. Visually impaired are people that can carry all of the positive and or negative characteristics in our society. It is possible to find successful, unsuccessful, selfish and selfless amongst visually disabled people. In short, they are human beings like everyone. They use a different embossed writing system which we call "Braille" to conduct their literacy. Furthermore, visually impaired receive education and information in same curriculum we do but through different means and methods. They can go to same schools, workplaces, streets and entertainment venues like everyone. In summary, being visually impaired does not mean having a different personality than other humans.

Is being visually impaired an important issue?

Biggest issue a visually impaired person experiences is not the fact that ­they are visually impaired. It`s the prejudices that our society hold on visually impared. The inadequacies and insufficencies of opportunities towards visually impared, or as one could say, inequality of opportunity. Should visually impaired be provided sufficient opportunity and required means, the presence of visual impairment would be at level of an ordinary physical problem. This is valid for all who are affected of a disability. In general, when visually impared are taken into account, they have primary aims that they want to reach. This is, having equal rights and opportunities with everyone and most important, wanting to have accomodations where they can be free. While The reaction shown to visually impaired person because of unsuccessfulness their disability brings is wrong,  claiming that sight is needed to have some sort of success is just as wrong. Consequently, the attitude of different existing societies towards visually impared determine their success and failure to a considerable extent. One of these societies can be viewed as a society in which we happen to be in and exist in.

What are the special tools that visually impaired use?

The tools used by visually impaired people vary widely. These tools are updated with every passing day and sometimes change shape with developing technologies. But primarily you could name most widely and often use tools as; Braille tablet, Braille typewriter(electronic and manual), Braille stone cube and seeing eye cane.

How should we treat visually impaired?

  • You should not take the arm of the visually impaired person, they should take your arm. This way visually impaired person can find out about sidewalk or edge of stairs beforehand.
  • You can guide them to railings while using stairs.
  • Visually impaired does not need constant verbal warnings at sidewalk descent and ascent edges. As they are a step behind, following you, slowing down will be enough.
  • Adress them with name. Otherwise they may not understand who you are speaking to.
  • Don`t shy away from using words like "seeing" or "blind" while speaking and state you are going to leave their vicinity verbally.
  • Should anyone ask you for directions, give directions precisely understandable and clearly.
  • Don`t leave doors ajar in an environment where there is a visually impaired person.
  • If there is meat in food, you can ask if they want help in cutting it.
  • If you have a visually impaired visitor show them locations of toilet, wardrobe, window, wall sockets and switches etc.

Important factors like these and more can make lives of the visually impaired easier. We may never have encountered or talked to a visually impaired but we cannot say it cannot happen. It should not be forgotten that noticing these individuals in society and respecting them will allow them to live easier and enable them to adapt to the community. Again we should not forget that each individual, from their birth to their death, is a potential disabled

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