People born without eyesight find blindness a normal part of their lives. If you have just lost your eyesight to an illness, accident, or any reason, this will be a drastic change that needs a lot of adjusting to. Eyesight is usually the sense that you rely on the most. It is also among the most neglected. How many people do you know who take their eyesight for granted?
Coping with blindness involves acknowledging the fact, accepting it, and focusing on other means to “see.” This will involve a lot of cooperation from the blind person, one’s family and the environment.
Enhance your other senses. Visually impaired people usually have their other senses enhanced to compensate for their lack of visual ability. Sometimes, their other senses allow them to “see” in ways that seeing people cannot. For instance, you can focus your hearing such that you can identify where people are based on the sound of their footsteps or their voice. You should be able to identify people by touching their face. You should be able to know the weather by feeling the air. You should be able to fill a glass without spilling by touch. You should be able to learn how to identify coins by size and weight, and paper bills through some form of folding technique.
This will, of course, take some getting used to, but after time you will be able to compensate for your loss of vision.
Get a seeing-eye dog. While you can enhance your other senses to help you move around, you will find that having a guide will be useful. Get yourself a seeing-eye dog, and have him trained in helping you around your home and going outdoors (to your workplace, for instance). You will have to learn how to communicate with him, such that he knows where to take you.
Learn alternative means of reading. Being visually impaired doesn’t mean you can no longer read books or use the computer. You have various alternatives. Learn Braille. Books also come published in Braille. You can also purchase a Braille attachment for your computer. Or, you can activate the accessibility options on your software. Both Windows and Mac OSX have built-in accessibility features, which can be used by people with various kinds of visual impairment.
Don’t feel disabled. One important way of coping with visual impairment is having a positive attitude. Don’t let your disability limit your options. Of course, you will have limitations in terms of work. But you can always work around these, and you can focus on the things that you can do, rather than the things that you cannot.
Ask for help when needed. Don’t be shy to ask for help, when needed, though. It won’t mean you are disabled if you ask for help navigating an unknown part of town. Learn to be independent, but don’t cut off other people from your life.
Being visually impaired is not the end of the world. It may be a serious disability, but it doesn’t mean you will no longer get to enjoy life and be productive.