Bizarre situation this morning. Saw a young man walking in with a blind walking stick (apologies in advance for not knowing the proper term for it). Generally, when you see a blind passenger, you dash up from any seat you're sitting in. I was standing today but I noticed people were not getting up for him. Then, I had a good look at him. He looked like he can see! His eyes were focused, he knew where to look for potential seats and spaces, he also took next steps without hesitation. Meanwhile, he was swinging around his stick from left to right very quickly, suddenly points at a seat by the door with the stick, at eye-level to the passenger seated, and says, "Can I take this seat?" He was looking right at her when he spoke.
I don't know what to think. I'm sure he needed the walking stick for one reason or another but in all ways possible, he looked like he could see, and see well.
Once he was seated, he went to sleep. So I wasn't really able to examine him some more.
There are varying degrees of blindness, so it's possible that he can only see vague shapes or a few feet in front of him. The presence of the stick could be useful as a feeler or as a way to signal to other people that the person who seems a bit uncertain in their moves or knocks into things isn't a freak, but disabled.
(I'm just guessing here. That this was BART where it was witnessed could lend equal credence to the theories that it was performance art or someone being a tool.)
I'd agree that he is likely partially blind , as my Dad is. My Dad has a seeing-eye dog and sometimes uses a white cane when he is walking in public, but he can still make out shapes, colors, etc at a short distance, and even read things if they are REALLY close to him.
In my Dad's case, the cane is mostly to detect obstacles at ground level such as sidewalks, potholes, etc.
Thanks for sharing! I think most of us on the train didn't truly doubt his blindness but we were certainly surprised with his ability to focus, point, turn, and relate to some actions.
There is a blindie that gets on every day downtown and he seems to be able to see well enough where the seats are. My assumption is that his vision is what qualifies as "legally blind" and the cane is more to alert others to his limited field of vision
I remember a couple of young guys sitting on the platform at Montgomery. They had spread out a lot of their personal items on the floor, at the end closest to Embarcadero and seemed to be sorting them out.
By the time my train closed its doors, they had gathered up their stuff, which included two blind canes, as well as two skateboards. I don't know if this was a prank, or if the canes were used with the skateboards (propelled, like cross country skiing)?
not blind enough.
you never cease to amaze me.
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