Vicky: Communication strikes again – so when we were in the car a couple of months ago, I suddenly blurted out ‘oh my god’ which I am aware must be a little unnerving for Dave as a passenger not being able to see what’s going on. Hopefully by now he trusts my driving enough to know we’re going to be okay J Anyway on this occasion, I then proceeded to give a running commentary on a greyhound dog that had run onto the stretch of road we were driving down, which is 2 lanes our way and 1 way coming up (Young Street in Leatherhead if anyone’s interested) – the dog was very at risk of being knocked down as it weaved between the traffic and I have to confess that at times my commentary consisted of unhelpful phrases like ‘oh, no I don’t like this’ and occasional expletives as the dog changed direction a variety of times and put itself at even greater risk as cars coming up the hill were unaware of its presence. I hope I held it together enough to give Dave enough detail but it is always difficult to know how much detail to give…would Dave have preferred a more factual account than my somewhat emotional one; or even no account at all? (although I’m sure an explanation of my initial outburst was appreciated). It’s a difficult one to gauge and one I’m conscious of when I sometimes comment on a beautiful sunset for example. For those interested in the dog part of the story, I can happily report (as I did to Dave that day) that the dog was rescued by someone getting it into their car. I assume the dog was eventually reunited with its owner (I would be glad to have that confirmed if anyone knows).
Dave: Firstly, Vicky’s driving is just fine, in fact, I don’t think I’ve been in many cars where I’ve felt vulnerable or nervous but I know that some vision impaired people find travelling in cars very difficult due to their fears and lack of confidence in the driver. Regarding the audio description/commentary, then this will change depending on how my mood is. The dog example Vicky explained above made for an interesting addition to my journey home and Vicky was able to give me enough commentary whilst watching the dog and driving without hitting anything all at the same time. I used to have good vision (or what I considered to be good vision) and therefore have a visual recollection/memory of things like horizons, sunsets, clouds, etc, all the things that are really hard to explain to someone that hasn’t seen. On the whole it is nice when someone tells me about what they can see and I try to remain positive and interested about it, however, sometimes this just reminds me of how little sight I have and what I am missing out on. There is a lot more to say about this subject so maybe we’ll come back to this in another VIDA Insight/s at a later date.
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Our VIDA Insights...
Following our experiences from delivering our Vision Impairment Awareness training days over the past couple of years, we know that there’s loads more that we could talk about and examples we could have shared. Whilst these won’t be a substitute for our training, they will give you an insight (hence the name!) into our thoughts, observations and experiences from each of our perspectives - Dave’s living with sight loss and Vicky’s from being a sighted person and working alongside and supporting people who have sight loss.