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Disabilities Living with a disability, either physical or mental, can be both challenging and life changing. For support, questions and discussions relating to disabilities, post here.

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SoftShh Offline
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Unsure about being disabled or not. - November 8th 2014, 11:51 AM

Hey. Like the title says, I'm unsure about whether I should be considered disabled or not. I'm legally half-blind, but I've never felt like a disabled person before. I don't feel like someone with special needs, and it's actually a very uncomfortable position.

I've lived a pretty normal life, by which I mean I've never needed special drugs, or assistance, or support in school, or anything like that. No one even says or notices most of the time. Not even I do.

But recently someone said to me that I should be getting benefits and treated like any other disabled person, and it made me feel really awkward, and, honestly, guilty. Like I was faking, or something. Because to me, seeing out of only one eye is normal.

When I asked my cousin, with whom I am close, and have lived with for years, they said they had always thought I was disabled, and saw me that way. Now I feel so uncertain and doubtful.

Should I be considered disabled, or what?

And why do I feel so guilty even thinking about it?
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Re: Unsure about being disabled or not. - November 8th 2014, 05:19 PM

According to this I wouldn't consider you disabled. Looking at the first definition, you could be considered "half" disabled since your vision is impaired a little, but not entirely. Looking at the second definition, I wouldn't consider you disabled at all because by what you've said it doesn't seem to be limiting you in any way.

It's all in how you look at it, that's what's important. If you don't feel like being half-blind impairs you significantly then I wouldn't think you were disabled. If other people consider you disabled then that's great for them, but you shouldn't let it bother you unless they are putting limits on what you can do. Like if someone said you couldn't do something because of your half-blindness.

If anything I consider you "impaired" because of it, but it's how you look at it. Definitely don't feel guilty about it because you can't help it. You didn't ask to be partially blind.

I hope this helped a little, if it made any sense.

“There is nothing beautiful about the wreckage of a human being.
There is nothing pretty about damage, about pain, about heartache.
What is beautiful is their strength, their resilience, their fortitude
as they display an ocean of courage when they pick through the
wreckage of their life to build something beautiful brand new,
against every odd that is stacked against them.” — Nikita Gill
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Re: Unsure about being disabled or not. - November 8th 2014, 08:11 PM

Disabled? No. Challenged? No. Different? Yes. A true disability makes you unable function in some way. A challenge means you must take more effort than others to achieve the same results. You're simply different and this is nothing to be ashamed of. I live with mild autism ( notice I don't say that I suffer from it), but by no means an I disabled. In some things I must take more effort than others to achieve the same results, but in other things I am gifted. I see my condition as an evolutionary advancement rather than a mental illness. For instance, I can't do much math but I excel in relativistic mathematics to the point of developing equations that could revolutionize physics and every aspect of our lives ( imagine nuclear energy with zero waste). My condition enables me to see more than others and understand difficult concepts, while at the same time I struggle with interpersonal relationships and social interaction.

"And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live." - Stephen King
never's the word God listens for when he needs a laugh.- Stephen King

Battles that last five minutes spawn legends that live a thousand years.
Stephen King, The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7)
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Re: Unsure about being disabled or not. - November 21st 2014, 10:57 PM

Hi Luke,

I believe you can choose whether you want to be considered disabled or not. Medically, your eye doctor knows that you are legally blind but if this does not hinder your ability to function without technological asisstance, learning accommodations Etc. required to live as a blind/visually impaired person, than I would keep doing what you are doing.
People can have a wide range of blindness ranging from being completely blind (as I am) to barely crossing the range of 20/200 for legally defined blindness.
I believe that if you have not received services/financal benefit from the government, your state or local county than you should not unless you believe it necessary to receive them. You are not obligated to take the services that may be offered to you or suggested to you by family and friends. The services are for people that genuinely need them and if you feel bad even with someone suggesting them and you do not believe you need them than do not worry abiout looking in to them.
Keep doing what you are doing. Just do not be afraid to ask for help from your local agency for the blind (which, if you ever need them, I can help you search for them).
I hope this helps and I appologize for the delayed response.
Take care.

"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
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Re: Unsure about being disabled or not. - November 26th 2014, 06:25 PM

I think that at this point it is a matter of self identification. The term disability is a label and like most labels, it can make us feel relief and validate our experiences like "I know that I'm different and that's okay." And I'm not alone" or it can make us feel limited by our lack of ability and have us forget about the many abilities that we do have. So really it is up to you and what makes sense to you in this moment in time.
I personally don't have a disability but I have friends who do and I'm talking from what I understand. Hope this helps a bit.
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