There are approximately 10 million blind and visually impaired people in the US (according to the American Foundation of the Blind). There are also about 1.3 "legally blind" Americans. The term "legally blind" refers to vision of 20/200 or less or a visual field of 20 degrees or less.
I have 20/200 vision myself. I wear glasses that correct my vision to 20/100, even then it doesn't help with my diminishing peripheral vision. Even though I wear glasses, I use a white cane when I'm out and about, to avoid the many potholes and sidewalk cracks, or when entering and exiting a building and need time acclimating to the change in lighting. Mainly I use the cane as an identification to warn other people that I may not see you or your car.
Well, in a small town of around 6,000 people I've learned that people around here may not have had exposure to people with disabilities as they would in a bigger city. Some people have no idea what a white cane signifys and I've had close calls with cars nearly missing me because they assumed that I saw them and I was going to "stop and wait for them to pass the crosswalk/driveway".
So, I wrote a "letter to the editor" twice. Once when I first moved here, then again recently because of more "close calls" to introduce myself and explain a white cane. That has helped a lot. So, the misconception of "you can't be blind, you're wearing glasses" is not true. Not all vision problems can be corrected to perfect 20/20 with glasses or contacts, or help at all with peripheral loss.
The same goes for being Deaf, it doesn't mean that I'm in a world totally void of sound. I use a cochlear implant and at the other end of the spectrum is that because I have an implant doesn't mean I have perfect hearing either! I can hear my husband and my kids sometimes without having to lipread them, but it doesn't apply to everyone.
So being dual disabled has it challenges; such as figuring out who is calling from where, or someone pointing out something. "Over here - Over there" does NOT work with me! My husband and kids have had to learn to be a little more descriptive when calling for me or pointing at something. They'll go "I'm on the floor by the couch" or "the bird is on 3rd branch on left".
I am perfectly able to do many things on my OWN! Hence the misconception that blind/deaf/deafblind cannot "survive" without assistance from "ablebodied" people. My husband was in a group one time while I stayed home with the kids. He explained to the group that I was deafblind. One lady interrupted said "Ohhhhh you are so great to give up your entire life to be her caretaker!" He smirked and said "Me? No! She's the caretaker, takes care of the house, the bills, the cooking and our 2 kids".
So Happy Mother's Day to all the other "caretakers" out there!
"One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon
Under My Fingertips
I have been Deaf & legally Blind since birth. I've been married to my hearing Husband for 15 years and we have 2 hearing children, a boy 14, and a girl 12.