You can, in fact, gather 50 blind people and not have any two of them see the same way. That's because there are several dozen conditions that can cause blindness, all in different ways. Even my uncles, who suffer from the same rare genetic disorder, lost their sight very differently: One lost his peripheral vision in his teens, while another lost his central vision in his 20s. Only 18 percent of visually impaired people are classified as totally blind.
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And having people toss you stuff to see if you catch it gets old real fast.
And yes, this disparity between what blindness is and what everyone thinks it is causes all sorts of ridiculous problems. Years ago, my father had a co-worker who saw my father's partial vision as proof that he was faking blindness, and would passively hassle him with "tests" like moving his work supplies.
In Italy, meanwhile, people have turned harassment of the blind into a national pastime. Because of their economic problems, Italians have taken to spying on neighbors drawing blindness benefits to "catch" them doing things that sighted people believe blind people shouldn't be able to do, like walking across a street without getting hit by a Scion. These "fakers" are reported to the police and have their benefits taken away until they can prove in court that they're not faking.
And god help you if you're walking around with a cane, regardless of what country you're in -- for some reason people freak the hell out at the sight of it. When my dad was learning how to use a walking cane (which isn't as easy as you might assume) a bystander called the freaking police, thinking he was an armed maniac on a rampage.
That happens all the time -- in 2012 some well-meaning citizen in the U.K. alerted the authorities that a man was walking down the street with a samurai sword -- the police showed up and shot him with a Taser, despite the fact that the "samurai" was Colin Farmer, a 63-year-old blind man with a cane (the cops were not charged). In 1989, California police beat a blind man standing at a bus stop when they saw him put his foldable walking cane in his pocket and assumed they were nunchakus. Shortly after 9/11, Six Flags held three blind men at the gate for hours as they tried to assess the threat these men posed with their canes.
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The World Is Not Enough had also been on TV the night before.