Vicky: In honour of Read a Book day tomorrow (6th September) I started out to write another short post about the various books we’ve read that have a link to vision impairment.
However, when I started to think about our favourites, one thing became obvious to me. The ones we’ve both really enjoyed have been written by a person who is themselves vision impaired or co-written by one person with a vision impairment and one person who is sighted.
They may be factual accounts (Touching the Rock by John M Hull; The Blind Man of Hoy by Red Szell; A dog called DEZ by John Tovey), novels (Blind Trust by Red Szell) or tales about adventures undertaken (Touching the World by Cathy Birchall and Bernard Smith; The Windhorse by Elaine Brook and Julie Donnelly) but somehow the stories, be they fact or fiction, just ring truer and don’t have so many jarring elements (why in novels about blind people do they always mention people counting their steps when they’re out and about? No wonder members of the public have so many misconceptions!).
What comes across in all of them is that being blind is a part of life, giving rise to different challenges but not being the only thing going on! The interactions between people (and DEZ the dog) makes the books even more fascinating.
I think it would be fair to say that top of our pile so far of all of these is Touching the World, about Cathy and Bernard, who undertake the challenge of a motorbike adventure across 25,000 miles of the world. It’s a great book for so many reasons (the adventure itself, the relationship between the two of them and the humour all make it well worth a read).
As well as writing blogs about them (read our previous blogs to find out more) we also discuss and recommend these books on our training sessions. Thinking about the books we’ve enjoyed also highlights why we both undertake these training sessions – we know that having Dave talk about his personal experiences and the impact sight loss has on him as a person is invaluable. We also know people witnessing us working together in an equal partnership provides another dimension, underlining what we talk about on our training sessions. Both are things people comment on the most in our feedback. That and our constant references to food, our great sense of humour and our wonderful personalities of course! 😊 (smiley face).
Dave: I have only really got in to books as my sight has deteriorated. I tend to use RNIB’s talking book service for my audio books but occasionally purchase books from Audible if they are unavailable through the RNIB. Fortunately I have been able to read the books that Vicky has mentioned and have really enjoyed them for the same reasons. Elements of each of the books have made me smile as I relate to the situation or the responses given by the blind person from questions or observations made by sighted people.
If you’ve read a book written by a vision impaired person that we’ve not mentioned then please let us know. Vicky and I are always trying to source new books to read but think that we’ve exhausted our options! 😊 (smiley face)
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.
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.