Vicky: The 18th September is National Respect Day which seemed a fitting theme for a VIDA Insight.
Equal – different – respect – being aware of people’s needs are all terms that we use but what do they mean to us?
For example, I might be aware that Dave has certain ways of working because of his sight loss (for example, we discussed how best to save these VIDA Insights in a word document so that the order of them made sense to Dave) but that some ways of working might also be due to his personality (we have debated as to whether his personality/character has changed in any way since his more significant sight deterioration but I think that will have to be a separate post!). But, I also have certain ways of working (yes, Dave takes the mickey out of me for my spreadsheets!) and I am aware that when I’ve written something personal I can be over sensitive at times to comments (I usually warn Dave in advance that he’s free to comment and change but not to laugh out loud!!) – so I guess the key for working well with anyone is down to respecting each other and being aware but also needing to have some give and take?? For us, communication is really important so that we don’t misinterpret each other’s actions or allow for frustrations to build up but so is sometimes having a slightly more light hearted approach to the less important things…
Dave: I think Vicky has summed it up very well. Whether you can see or not, the trick is to communicate and agree on actions. Vicky and I have a great working relationship and (I think) communicate well. Due to my sight loss, Vicky has naturally taken on the tasks that I can’t do or would find hard to do (such as update the website for example) and I have picked up some of the tasks that I can do (such as remind Vicky to update her many thousands of spreadsheets). Seriously though, our partnership with VIDA would quickly break down if we didn’t communicate and respect each other’s thoughts and decisions and this has nothing to do with my sight loss.
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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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.