Well, who would have thought that I (Dave) would write an Insight blog on this subject?? It’s a subject that I’ve touched on previously but not one that I’ve dedicated a blog too and maybe for good reason!! :-)
And it’s at this point that I might disappoint some of you… it’s about how I manage tasks in the dark and not that naughty stuff that you thought this blog was about!!
I touched on some of this in one of our recent Insight blogs – number 72. I thought you were blind? Part 1(https://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog/72-i-thought-you-were-blind-part-1) but thought that I needed to expand on it a bit further.
Having little sight nowadays means that I usually do most tasks in the dark or without the lights on. I’m already noticing this as the mornings are darker and the evenings are drawing in and the lights are being turned on more often in our house.
I rarely think about the lights and carry on with my tasks regardless; it’s not until Kelly (my wife) reminds me that she and the kids like to see what they are doing and will put some lights on. I’m usually the first adult up in our house and will take my shower in the dark, dress in the dark and then head downstairs to prepare breakfast – yes in the dark. There were several occasions last winter where Kelly walked in to the kitchen at breakfast time and commented that the kids might like to have lights on when they’re having their breakfast!!
Thinking about this now that I’m writing this blog, I guess that light doesn’t make much of a difference to me any more so why should I bother putting the lights on. I’m sure I wind Kelly up as I walk around the house turning off the lights just like I do when I keep turning the heating thermostat down!!
It has also reminded me of a section In a BBC Ouch podcast that I listened to recently called “Echoes put me off: How blind people choose a new home”. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06l50b3) It was presented by Damon Rose and Beth Rose (not related) with their guest Lee Kumatat and the section went as follows (copied directly from the transcript):
LEE - Ah, I am really worried about leaving the lights on, yeah I am. And I do it all the time. And having just got this new guide dog one of the instructors said to me, I walked into my room at one point and it was dark, and she said, 'oh do you not turn the lights on for the dog?' and I said, 'no, never have and they seem to be fine'. And she said, 'well it is advised that you do turn the lights on for the dog'.
BETH - Really, turn the lights on for the dog?
LEE - Yeah.
BETH - Okay, I would never have thought that.
LEE - I know. So, now I am making a conscious effort. So, I turn the lights on for her but I forget to turn them off again.
They then go on to talk about smart homes to turn lights on and off and then the need to close and open curtains… or not in the case of Beth who doesn’t bother with curtains or blinds and says ‘that’s the risk I take” when asked about being seen getting dressed!
I know of some people who, even with the very small amount of vision they have, still like to turn all the lights on as they say it helps them see. Personally I wonder whether this is them hanging on to the little vision they have rather than embracing darkness… Maybe I’m just tight with my electricity!
Getting around and completing tasks in the dark isn’t that difficult (well I guess I’ve just got used to doing things this way) but it does mean that I need to know where everything is, be organised, have strategies for completing tasks and rely on my memory. All of this leads to fatigue – linking nicely back to our VIDA Insight Number 79. Yawn – though hopefully not whilst reading this blog! (https://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog/79-yawn-though-hopefully-not-whilst-reading-this-blog)
We’re always interested to know about other people’s experiences and thoughts. Please share these by commenting…
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This post is No. 89 of our regular VIDA Insights and is also on our website blog page https://vidatraining.weebly.com/blog
Interested to learn more about VIDA Training? Visit our website - www.vidatraining.co.uk to read about our Training and Consultancy packages, specialising in Vision Impairment and Disability Awareness, Communication and Team Building or contact us for further information.
[Image shows the VIDA Training logo and then a very dark photo of Dave putting away a bowl in the kitchen and then a much lighter photo of Vicky washing up]
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.