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Blind Canadians Blog Posts by Christine Malec

Being the Object of Prayer

If you’re blind, you’re no stranger to the experience of having a religious zealot approach you to tell you that they’re going to pray for you, and that God will listen to their prayers, and give you your sight back. Such encounters used to irritate the hell out of me, but no longer. As someone who starts off with a deep theoretical interest in religion and its expression, I’ve come to view these experiences as an opportunity for a little informal research, and scope for entertainment.

Non-Consensual Touching Seems to Depend On Who's Being Touched

I place the highest value on the impulse to help. One of my favourite things about my neighbourhood is that people ask me if I need help all the time. It never ever irritates me; it makes me happy. 19 times out of 20 I don’t, and I decline with a friendly word of thanks. In many other parts of the city however, I’m regularly physically accosted by well-meaning busybodies who haven’t learned to use their words. It’s not just me of course; most other blind people I know have the same problem. There’s a depressing distance between the good intentions of strangers who grab me on the street or in the subway, assuming I need help when I don’t, and the anger I often feel at being touched without consent.

People want to help. People want to make my unimaginable life a little easier.

Live Audio Description: What's Really Going On

I feel very fortunate to have the luxury of being an audio description snob. Now, if a movie or TV show doesn’t offer AD, I think three times about whether I want to bother with it. But audio description isn’t just for the movie theater or TV anymore. Increasingly, it’s becoming possible for blind and visually impaired people do access description for a wider range of cultural experiences like stage productions, art and museum exhibits, and sporting events. Recently, I had the chance to experience some live audio description that expanded my perception of my home city.

I like living in a city, especially one as diverse as Toronto. That said, I think of my affection mostly in practical terms: where can I go? What can I do? Who can I meet?

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