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They Thought I Am Mentally Disabled

The other day I was in a restaurant for dinner, I was hoping to enjoy a quite meal & get back home to finish my work for the day. I heard a guy & a girl chit chatting on the adjacent table, I did not give much thought to them…once I finished my meal I was waiting for my driver to come back & pick me up…my driver came after 5mins & I thought he was near me so I called out his name. In reality my driver “mallesh” went out of the dining room that I was in & I have no clue that he is not there beside me…

He came to me after 2minutes & we left the restaurant….Mallesh told me something that pained me a little then…Babu the adjacent table folks are thinking that you are having some mental illness or problem. When you are searching for me they are signaling to restaurant staff & trying to say something through hand signals. Hearing this it pained me a bit at the first but then from their stand point if I think there is nothing wrong…they are trying to help me & have no idea how to handle the situation. They don’t know that I am blind & they thought I might have some mental disability because I am dependent on Mallesh.

Lessons learned here are
I should have carried my white cane.
I should have been more independent.

If I carried my white cane & if I was independent I think people would have understood that I am blind & not mentally ill. I am going to carry my white cane from now on & since I advocate the same I need to set an example.

By Raghavendra Satish Peri

Raghava is a digital accessibility evangelist working at Deque Systems as Senior Accessibility Consultant breaking web accessibility & mobile accessibility challenges.

He authors an Accessibility Blog & is galvanising the adoption of accessibility by inspiring the local tech community with meetups and mentorship. When away from his computer, Raghava can be found at local cafes & restaurants sampling cuisines, attending local meetups, listening to audio books or writing on his Personal Blog.

3 replies on “They Thought I Am Mentally Disabled”

It’s a shame Raghav. We must learn to be sensitive, no matter what. They had eyes but they couldn’t see that you couldn’t see. Coming to quick conclusions without understanding a situation… Bad and hurtful…

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