Sighted people are necessary for blind people

In the public talk given by Silo on May 4, 1969, in minute 5:00 he said: “There is another kind of suffering that does not depend on the illness of your body, but derives from it, if you are handicapped, if you cannot see or if you cannot hear… you suffer”.

Until now, the responsibility of incorporating into society has been given to all people with functional diversity (blind, physical, mental, deaf, etc.) and they have called it “integration” with which the one who must integrate is the affected person without any effort on the part of those who suffer from these problems, thus avoiding any responsibility in the matter. It is true that they offer some social assistance, but it is far from enough.

The core issue is the responsibility of society to “normalise the relationship between these two groups”, on the one hand it is up to the various groups to make an effort and on the other hand it is up to society to make another effort.

The current situation is that blind people, who are the ones we are dealing with now, have been marginalised by this society and they have learned to move “in the corners”, so as not to be a nuisance. There is no one to blame, there is only ignorance.

To be clearer, we will be proposing the following survey:

Ask her: Do you consider yourself an inclusive person who does not marginalise this group?

You will probably say yes, if you do not marginalise blind people.

Let’s see if you do:

Do you have friends who are blind, not family members, with whom you do activities on a regular basis?
Have you gone to sporting events or to the cinema with a blind friend on a regular basis?
Do you know Braille?
Do you know how to guide a blind person in the street, getting into a car, or sitting in a seat?
Do you think that this issue should only be dealt with by the public administration and the relatives of those affected, and for this reason you live unconcerned about them?

If in the first four questions, you answered no and in the last one you answered yes, you are a person who excludes and marginalises others, without being aware of it.

This is an issue that we all need to work on together, we do not intend to look for people to blame, because there is no one to blame, we have grown up in a society that marginalises people who are different and we have followed this path out of inertia without ever asking ourselves what it is up to me to do.

We will be working together on this issue: Who will do it? How will we do it? When will we do it? All the answers to these questions can be found if our sensitivity comes to the surface and we give the responses we need to know.

An anecdote that allows us to take a simple and direct look happened in Peru. A person who works in sports, specifically with football players, sent a message to several players of the Peruvian national team and willed them to play a futsal match, also known as baby football, against a team of blind people. The conditions were very precise, to play blindfolded in order to be on equal terms with the blind. The result was to be expected, the blind won by far.

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1. “The-people-who-become-necessary-for-the-blind”
Antonia Rodríguez Reyes and Hernán Reyes Matus

Members of Convergencia – Chile

Convergencia de las Culturas