Claire’s story

My social media is about debunking stereotypes. People say ‘you’re not blind because you are looking at the camera.’ I say I am blind, not dead. I get the most stupid comments. There is an element of ignorance out there. But there are also a lot of people who are actually hoping to learn.

We all have ditzy moments but some people are beyond hope. As soon as you say you are blind they think you can see nothing. Most blind people can actually see something.

People don’t think I am blind enough to be blind. I say ‘let me drive your car and we’ll prove it, shall we?’

I get grabbed a lot. When I get off the tube people are constantly grabbing me. People’s natural instinct is to grab blind people. It comes from a good place. But you shouldn’t touch anyone without their consent. I don’t know if you are grabbing me to rob me or touch me up – I don’t know what you are doing. People think they are helping. Most of the time it’s not necessary.

I walk around with this massive white cane. You can feel the presence of people lurking around you. The lurkers make me anxious. There is an anxiety side. It makes you feel on edge.

People insist on helping you. People grab me and march me across the road in the wrong direction. And I have to tell them I wasn’t going that way.

The assumption that I don’t know how to do things is annoying. People trying to catch me out because I can do my own makeup. I laugh them off these days.
I have been blind long enough to know how to ask for help. If I need it I will ask.