Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Avoid the Blind

Go ahead and admit it. You’ve tried to avoid a blind person. You might as well admit it.

We all do it. I do all the time. Blind people are like everybody else. Some of them are obnoxious and irritating and you want to avoid them by any means necessary. There’s at least one such blind person in everyone's life, isn’t there? Admit it. Maybe you work with one. Maybe there’s one on the bus every morning. Maybe there’s one begging on your corner. So you silently tiptoe right past their noses, hoping you’ll slip by them without them noticing you were there. And then you feel like a worm because you deceived a poor blind person but you really shouldn’t feel bad. Why should you go to any less length to avoid an irritating and obnoxious blind person than you would to avoid an irritating and obnoxious sighted person? As one who has spent many years trying to avoid certain blind people, I can offer you some helpful tips.

I’m at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to avoiding irritating and obnoxious blind people I know because I can’t sneak past them silently. My motorized wheelchair clicks and whirrs and if a blind person has been around me a few times, they can tell it’s me by the sound of my click and whirr. I don’t know how the hell they do it but they do. So in order to avoid them, I have to be well beyond earshot. But if you’re a walkie, you can greatly improve your chances of successfully avoiding any irritating and obnoxious blind people you may know by carefully selecting your shoes each morning. If you fear you might encounter one such blind person and you want to be prepared to avoid them, be sure to put on shoes that don’t squeak or crunch or snap or make any sound. Also refrain from wearing jewelry or anything else that might emit a tattletale jingle.

It also helps if you don’t wear cologne or other scented products because that’s another way blind people can tell you’re trying to sneak past them. Blind people have a highly-developed sense of smell. The more irritating and obnoxious they are, the more highly developed it is. It’s probably an evolution thing. If you must wear scented products, consider switching every day and never wearing the same scent twice. This will keep the blind with their bloodhound noses off balance.

If you have an uncommon name like Ichabod, consider having it legally changed to something dreadfully common like Tom or Mike. Tell everyone you know that you changed you name except any blind people you may wish to avoid. Because if you’re trying to avoid that blind person and some sighted person you know sees you and yells out, “Hey Ichabod,” you’re busted. But if they yell out, “Hey Tom,” you can keep hustling past and if confronted later by the blind person you can claim it must’ve been some other Tom.

And finally, you should master speaking in a number of foreign accents. If you have the misfortune of suddenly encountering a blind person you wish to avoid while you are talking on the cell phone, just quickly switch to your finest Bulgarian or Turkish accent and the blind person will never recognize your passing voice.

Follow these tips and you should be able to successfully avoid all the irritating and obnoxious blind people you know. Then you can concentrate your energy on avoiding all the irritating and obnoxious people who can see you coming.


  1. What? No comments yet? Love this. I do wonder, is there internet for the blind? How would the whole pint and click thing go over? Is there a law that says the internet has to be made accessible to everyone? Are there special gel like computer screens with electrified rice inside that create brail versions of websites? Just some thoughts spurred on my your article.

  2. The blind do indeed use computers, and the internet, though it's quite daunting. The most basic element is software that reads aloud what's on the screen, and there is a standard for websites to follow to ensure that they can be read by it -- but not sure now how well that's followed. Look at message boards for related topics, and you'll see many blind people seem to find them quite well!

    Very funny article. I worked with a blind woman for several years, and sure, the temptation was there to "hide in plain sight" sometimes... but of course it's not fair to do that. That was going on my heavenly resume... but now I fear I'm going to hell for laughing at this.

  3. Jediclone,
    Electronic accessibility for people who are blind is achieved through screenreader programs. If you have access to Windows Live Narrator, give it a try and you'll get a feel for how it works. As for law, Section 508 of the
    Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that government electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities, although I hear the government itself often does a poor job of complying with it.

  4. My DDs friend's mom is blind, and she was quite relieved once the school started doing things via email...she didn't need the child to remember to give her notes, or anything, nor read them to her, once that became the norm! I don't remember what she used for software, but there are more available now.

  5. I know a blind woman who designs websites for a living. Her husband is a computer hardware geek. I avoid her so much I live in another state. She's super annoying, but listening to the freakish speed of her screen reader program is sort of fun.

  6. Everybody feel free to laugh, because as a blind person I laughed. Yup, I'm an internet-using blind person. Hmmm. you guys have never heard of the ADA though?
    And lordy, don't use Narrator to give you a
    feel for things. Narrator would make you think we have horrible access. You could try going to and running that for a while. That would
    give you a better idea. But of course without training, it would probably seem reeeeally irritating. Now I've gotta hope I'm not one of the irritating
    blind people you try to avoid! Lol!

  7. And oh, putting one of those letter number things on your comments won't keep us away either lol. Not the ones who have WebVisum anyway. But it would definitely keep the blind apple-users from commenting lol. The audio doesn't work if there are letters in the twisted graphic.

  8. Great post. Even as a blind person I may have picked up some tips for avoiding other blind people. A lot of us are very very annoying and definitely well worth avoiding at all cost.

  9. Thanks for making it possible for us blind folks to comment now. You can't hide from me anymore bwa ha ha!

    This post is great. There's this blind guy I hide from at the blind center. He likes to use his blindness to feel up the chicks.

    "Oh, girl on the couch? Oh is that the arm? Oh it's your boob? Sorry, oh that's nice..."

    I hear him coming down the hall and flatten myself against the wall. I try to silence my dog's tags. Luckily he can't hear very well either. But he might learn to pick up my vanilla scent, hmmm.

    Oh yeah, how we get online. The two blinks before me here use a PC. I use a Mac. Our screen readers sound funny. And CAPTCHA's suck. So thanks again for removing it! =D.

    I'm subscribed already? Did I comment already? Am I losing my mind?.

  10. re: the subscription thing, I had the same thing happen to me. Wondered if he read my mind *grin*.

  11. LOL! Great post! I'm blind and I hide from annoying blind people all the time... especially the ones who "accidentally" grab my butt or feel me up all the time. Of course I'm one of those "sneaky" blind people who still have some usable vision. Just because someone has a cane, doesn't mean they don't see ANYTHING. So make to take that into account when avoiding that annoying blind person, lol.

    Oh and I use screen reader and magnification programs to access the internet. With a little training and a couple brain cells most blind individuals can use the internet as well as anyone else (sometimes even better). Can't avoid us on the internet ;)