America’s Attitudes About Blindness

The Perkins School for the Blind is out with a survey that attempts to figure out how Americans feel about blindness. America’s Blind Spot surveyed a thousand Americans from different segments of the population, different generations, and geographic regions of the country. I’m writing this post because my experience confirms many of the survey’s unfortunate findings.

  • 53% are not comfortable around blind people
  • 80% pity blind people
  • 74% are afraid of becoming blind
  • 72% said blind people couldn’t do their job
  • 73% said a blind person is capable of holding a job
  • 23% said they wouldn’t hire a blind person
  • 32% believe their workplace couldn’t accommodate a blind person
  • 56% don’t think a blind person could cook a meal
  • 81% say a blind person couldn’t babysit
  • 27% said a blind person couldn’t care for a child of their own
  • 21%Admit they wouldn’t want their child dating a blind person
  • 31% said they wouldn’t date a blind person
  • 63% believe blind people can’t travel alone
  • 82% think blindness means you can’t play sports
  • 55% said they hadn’t seen a blind person in the last year and couldn’t remember the last time they saw a blind person
  • 34% know a blind person
  • 10% said they saw a blind person on public transit
  • 11% saw a blind person at a social function
  • 46% couldn’t think of a condition, Perkins’s word not mine, worse than blindness including cancer and Alzheimers

If 19% of respondents believe a blind person could babysit, what percentage would seriously date a blind person? If 72% don’t think a blind person could do their job, what percentage would actually consider hiring a blind person?

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