10 Advantages of Being Legally Blind

Being blind must totally suck, right? WRONG.

While I describe myself as having low vision, the people in charge, who insist it is “illegal” for me to drive a car or fly a plane, have declared me Legally Blind. After a few rounds of MS induced optic neuritis, my eyesight went from spectacular to abysmal to semi-functional over the course of a few months. That is to say I went from being able to read your phone from across the room to ignorantly putting an empty fork in my mouth before settling into a frustratingly blurry but workable-ish level of visual acuity that I like to call, Bullshit. My peepers and I occasionally travel back to abysmal but mostly we live in semi-functional town. I have experienced almost nothing more terrifying than this back and forth flirtation with total vision loss. BUT I am exceedingly grateful for the eyesight that remains.
Because it could get worse. In fact, it might get worse.

MS disability is never static and the superstition prevails that if I am not thankful for what’s left, that too will be yanked away. And so in an attempt to appease the optic nerve gods, I offer my most sincere gratitude with respect to my blind-ass status. Herewith 10 truly fantastic perks of being Legally Blind.
1. Free Stuff The CNIB is basically throwing stuff at me and my low vision homies. Discounts abound on movies, sports, theatre tix, museums, and even the train for my 20/20 ‘companion’. Guys. I get a FREE TTC pass. This is worth a million dollars and I have basically won the lottery. The normals look at me with envy when I whip out my annual transit pass like a baller.

90% of people helped by the awesome CNIB are partially sighted. In addition to free stuff they can help with great assistive technologies that are too boring to talk about here, but look them up.

2. Hero Status You’re welcome because I am SAVING THE PLANET. I’m no hippie but not being able to drive means not owning a car which means my carbon footprint is smaller than yours. 

Bonus perk: Cash money. The Banker and I are a one car household and he assures me this means we are saving $$$ and he super knows this because he is a banker. Cha-ching.

3. Vanity You look AMAZING. And so do I. My slightly vague vision makes everyone look like they’ve been lightly airbrushed. I am a human instagram filter.

Bonus perk: License to try batshit crazy hair and makeup trends. Nobody can talk smack about you because what kind of asshole makes fun of a blind person?

4. Taxis I love a taxi. Fancy. And when I’m feeling extra fancy, Über Black. That fancy umlaut is for “Ooh, are you taking a taxi?” And it’s what you’re saying as you jealously walk across a cold, vacant parking lot in the dead of winter to your frozen Honda Civic. I’m already warm because my Über has heated seats. Fancy. There’s probably a spider in your car because you parked it under a tree. 

5. Excuses We all suck at remembering faces but when I get called out on it you look like the jerk. And if I do something boneheaded like walk into a wall or drive my shopping cart over someone’s foot prompting a sarcastic “What are you, blind?” Well, actually.

6. Bullshit Chores Taxes and other unpleasant fine print tasks are a thing of the past. And if I get audited? I didn’t see shit. That’s called PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY.

7. Other People’s Bullshit Chores I never, ever have to help you paint your apartment. I know we all say it will be fun. We’ll have wine and pizza. But seriously. This may actually be the best and most legit benefit to losing your vision. I’m so sorry. I can’t help. Blind.

8. Travel Travelling can for sure be more challenging for the LB but more often than not people will go out of their way to help. Airports have policies. No line-ups, bitches. Often your 20/20 friend can travel for free. FOR FREE.

9. Messing with People When people learn you are a blind-o they expect you will have some seriously heightened senses. Use your mad skills with confidence. Because you can smell lies and hear fear.

10. Drinking The obvious winner. I will never be the designated driver and nobody can say a word about it. From time to time a normal will attempt to gripe about this. Oh, you wish you could have five beers tonight too? Well, I wish I could see that giant letter E on the chart across the room. What’s that you say? That’s not an eye chart, that’s a picture of your aunt? Well, I wouldn’t know because I’m LEGALLY FUCKING BLIND. No worries, though because you are going to give me a safe drive home. So. We’re cool.

Vision loss to any degree is gross and scary. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy (because she is such a dumb bitch that most of these perks would be totally lost on her). But it’s not all about lurking in the shadows and bumping into shit. Sometimes it is about experiencing the world from a different perspective. And sometimes that perspective is dark and murky. But sometimes there is free stuff. So please pass the free wine. And then drive me home.

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15 thoughts on “10 Advantages of Being Legally Blind

  1. Been there not seen that,, not legally blind but… My eyesight is terrible and as a trained artist I can no longer paint (what colors?). Life goes on with m old pal MS. How old you say well 50 years or a little more. HAVE FUN.

  2. This one made me giggle �� My right eye is perpetually blurry and spasms beyond my control from ON…INO and 6th nerve palsy they call it. My left is better but not perfect. Also very photosensitive. I carry sunglasses everywhere and sometimes wear them indoors, always wear them in the car at night (as a passenger lol) because of the headlights and street lamps. I had glasses since I was two but my vision was almost perfect by the the time MS hit…now it’s worse than ever. How do you become certified as legally blind?

    1. I apply for SSI disability may took my medical records and Answer me to their eye doctor for confirmation in about 8 months I had money coming in and was considered legally blind I am totally blind in my right eye and have less than 2200 in my left with severe light sensitivity

  3. Wow. I feel like I could stare directly at the sun, and be like, meh. You're not so bright. My giant sunnies are mostly cosmetic.

    In terms of getting certified, I don't think that's really a thing. I was referred to the CNIB (Canadian National Institute For the Blind). They did an assessment and hooked me up with all the perks.

    Thanks for reading Rebecca and glad I could make you giggle.

  4. i love this ….i am also blind as you can get and have MS hardest thing for me is needing my walking cane and white cane …need both …lol

  5. Oh my, I laughed so hard at this one. I love how you tell it like it is and I so identify with your sense of humor. I just came across your blog on Web-MD. I have recently been diagnosed with MS. I am hoping that dealing with it with humor like you seem to will help me. I know it’s serious, but I appreciate you trying to lighten it up. Stay safe…and keep the laughs & blogs coming!

  6. I’d must test with you here. Which isn’t something I often do! I get pleasure from studying a put up that will make people think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  7. Hi,
    What is your vision situation – are you legally blind in one eye, both eyes, how does your vision present? I ask because I have 20/200 in my left eye – can’t see shit – but right eye is farsighted but at present not MS affected.

    1. legally blind in both eyes, I’m not allowed to drive, and my colour vision is wonky
      but, I can see enough to function. Technology is better than it was when I was dx’d so there are better tools to help

      The damage caused by MS is nerve damage, so glasses won’t improve the situation. If you have non-MS related vision loss be sure to see an opthomologist in cases glasses can help.

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