Life of a visually handicapped

First of all, people who are visually handicapped are unable to carry out normal activities because of defects of vision, including blindness, which is also known as visual impairment. There are different definitions of visually handicapped, as there are different criteria on what is considered blindness and what is low vision, but the categorization of visual handicapped currently in use worldwide is based on the International Classification of Diseases 10th revision. The estimated number of people visually handicapped in the world is 285 million, 39 million blind and 246 million with low vision, 65% of people visually handicapped and 82% of all blind are 50 years and older. In Bangladesh approximately 150,000 irreversible blind people require recovery. There are about 40,000 visually handicapped women and children in Bangladesh, of whom an estimated 12,000 have cataract. Visually handicapped people are  like anyone else but the only thing they see  darkness in front of them. Although, these people cannot live a normal life, they have to face a lot of troubles in their daily life. Eyes are very important organ of a person. One glimpse around us is enough to make us realize how visual is most of the information in our environment. Timetables in train stations, signs indicating the right way or potential danger, a billboard advertising a new product in the market, these are all the visual types of information we all come across in our daily life. Most of this information is inaccessible for the blind and the visually impaired, inhibiting their independence, since access to information signifies autonomy. Normal people tend to get excited when they see visually handicapped people around them. Very frequently, this behavior holds the assumption that the blind or low vision individual requires assistance, although this might not reflect reality. It is very kind of us to help blind people but we shouldn’t be rushing to help them without asking or being asked to do so as it might make them feel helpless. Work is a whole different matter if someone is visually handicapped. Considering the lack of accessible work and working spaces, one can already imagine why hiring a visually handicapped individual would be considered a liability for a company. This has a negative impact on the confidence and emotional well-being of the visually handicapped, while it totally cripples their economic independence. Having little to no opportunity to support oneself, blind or low vision individuals are incapacitated from their independence. People who are visually handicapped have limited number of accessible activities. Moreover, accessible books are not abundant either. According to the World Blind Union, more than 90% of all published material is not accessible to the blind or partially sighted. The internet, as in the new era we all use it for fun which is not fully accessible either, since numerous websites disregard their visually handicapped visitors and those contents may not be accessible for the blind and low vision individuals. These are just limited points, there are many more things which are not accessible for visually handicapped people, by that we can understand how limited leisure options there are for visually handicapped people. However, there are some food which can help visually handicapped people to improve their  low vision. They are-

  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and collards.
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish.
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non meat protein sources.
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits or juices.
These foods are very helpful for people of all ages. People should start having these foods from their childhood to ignore visual problems. From my perspective,  people who are visually handicapped go through a lot in their daily lives. They face a lot of problems, sometimes ignorance and also danger. As they face these kinds of trouble, I think they should get proper medication, education and also affection. In Bangladesh, visually hancapped people are not getting proper education nor medication. There are not enough schools, colleges and universities for the visually handicapped. Most of them have been abandoned and I feel sorry for them. I have seen many devices which are used for the visually handicapped. Some of them are-
  • B-Touch Mobile Phone
  • Braille Rubik’s Cube
  • Safe and Sanitary Mug
  • The Eye Stick – Walking Stick that Sees
  • Tactile flash card for Learning
  • Feel the Time
  • Braille E-Book
I hope doctors in Bangladesh also make use of these devices so that the visually handicapped can lead a better life and also enjoy it. The citizens should also treat the people who are visually handicapped in a proper way. So that they do not feel abandoned. These people cannot fulfill their dreams because of their visual impairment. Visually handicapped has the ability to create consequences for health and well being. Visually handicapped is increasing, especially among older people. It is recognized that those individuals with visually handicapped are likely to have limited access to information and healthcare facilities, and may not receive the best care possible because not all health care professionals are aware of specific needs related to vision. They should get the best service and also we should not betray them in any cases.    

Md. Abrar Alam Grade: 7