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-   -   Writing a blind 12 year old (http://forums.writersbeat.com/showthread.php?t=43175)

DreamiMel 12-23-2012 06:44 PM

Writing a blind 12 year old
I need some help. in my story, there is a blind, 12 year old girl. I already know to use the other 4 senses to write from this character's perspective, but it wouldn't hurt to have a refresher on that. What do blind people do? Like, how do they do normal activities, like reading, writing, and other fun stuff? What do they do for fun?

MonseratTheFool 12-24-2012 08:22 AM

This is an inspiring story of a woman who learns that she is legally blind. It might give you some insight into her life, her challenges, her humor, her overcoming of her perceived disability, etc.


MonseratTheFool 12-24-2012 08:23 AM

Also, I'd say toss the idea of a "normal activity" like reading, writing, etc. Consider that a blind person has a completely different "normal", and to make "reading and writing" normal is to make their activities abnormal.


Just a friendly suggestion for a more inclusive reality <3

RyleyAlexander 07-28-2014 04:03 PM

For reading, they can either use brail or audio books. Since your character is young, perhaps her mother could read to her? In writing, they can use a special (expensive) computer program that types what they say.

As for what they do for fun, I think it would depend on your character's personality. She may enjoy listening to music, playing with her pet, or listening to books.

Monserat made me think of an important question as well. Is she fully blind or legally blind? I went to school with a woman who was legally blind. She could actually read a regular book, but she had to hold it very close. She also had large blind spots in her peripheral vision, so she had to have a seeing eye dog in order to cross the street. She also had a hard time not walking into people in crowds, but seeing the dog, most people understood.

Rei 08-02-2014 04:40 AM

They do all the same "normal" things that everyone else does, just in a slightly different way. For reading and writing, they use Braille, obviously, and listen books when a Braille copy is not available.

My blind classmate in college told me about computer games for the blind. She also talked about how the beep-boop at crosswalks don't help. Blind people either rely on guide dogs, people around them, or when they are alone, listening to the traffic.

A person who was born blind does not have better hearing, but can (not always) have a better ability to interpret what they hear. I once dropped a coin around a blind person and she knew which coin it was by the sound. That being said, the general preference is that people identify themselves when approaching a blind person because a lot of people sound essentially the same.

Blind people do enjoy TV and movies. There are even some mainstream DVDs that have described video as an option. There are also some TV channels that have lots of described video programs. It is slowly becoming as normal closed captioning for the hard of hearing.

RyleyAlexander 08-02-2014 08:09 PM

Rei- when you mentioned the coin, it reminded me of something I'd heard about once. A blind woman had a friend or family member fold all of her money in a special way. A one dollar bill was folded in quarters, a five in half, things like that, so she could tell what bill she had by feeling how small it was folded.

Since a twelve year old has to use only cash as she can't get a credit card yet, they may a good trick for her to use. She may also use a label maker that can do braille if such a thing exists, or a regular one and just learn the letters since they are raised, in order to tell her shampoo apart from her body wash, or apple juice from orange juice.

Rei 08-04-2014 07:58 PM

Braille label makers definitely exist.

pkro 06-11-2015 09:30 PM

You could also check out some of the other senses for your character to perceive the world. I'm not talking about the main 5. Check out this article, it might give you some inspiration.

uncephalized 06-27-2015 08:00 PM


Originally Posted by RyleyAlexander (Post 670155)
Since a twelve year old has to use only cash as she can't get a credit card yet

A parent can get a credit or debit card for a child on a custodial account.

sdenyer 06-29-2015 05:20 PM

I think a lot depends if the 12 has been always been blind or recently blinded. Of course there of different degrees of blindness.

Zulu 07-01-2015 05:20 PM

The question is - born blind or blinded due to illness / injury.

The reason why I ask is because as cruel as it sounds a person born blind isn't going to know what they are "missing" and as such you don't have to include the emotional trauma of blindness that comes with injury and/or illness [a friend was blinded due to head injury from a car accident - ps. she still rides, grooms, etc. her 7 year old thoroughbred. Being blind has caused her to slow down and take more care with what she doesn't but she's not sitting in a corner twiddling thumbs as they say]

Blind people are no different than you or me in many ways - as mentioned they just go about doing it differently, just as how a mute would be different or someone deaf - if they put their mind to it. The unfortunate thing is, is many recently blind people don't want to put the effort into it (depression for example) [and they also lack support from friends/family who may think them a burden].

Rei said it well - some blind people get better senses, some don't. Some people whom aren't blind have the same compensation methods (I can't see well at distances, but friends jokingly say I have bat ears because I can hear conversations all the way in the kitchen when in my room [at the back of the house, quite a distance]).

@RyleyAlexander - one of the rag "newspapers" I read a few years ago had a 10 year old? maybe with $1,500+ credit card debt because mama and papa got him a card. Some parents don't think and don't care.... what better way to shut up junior than give him a credit card that he can buy stuff with, without parents' supervision.

poirot 07-01-2015 05:39 PM

As interesting as the discussion concerning what a blind person can or cannot do may be, I feel it is important to note that the thread was begun 2 1/2 years ago.

uncephalized 07-01-2015 07:09 PM

Damn, I hate it when I don't spot a zombie.

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