I suppose it is a bold statement to wear “BLIND” on a shirt. When I woke up this lifetime, I had not anticipated this new element of my life. Is it merely a “necessity is the mother of invention” moment, or does Awarewolf Gear dive deeper into the world of the Blind or Low Vision person’s needs?
I’ve established that I feel safer when I am more visible to the sighted world. This is, however, not without attached feelings. I still do not like to draw attention; I find, however, that the attention my Awarewolf Gear draws is actually helpful as I move through my day. I thought I would feel naked, exposed, vulnerable. On the contrary, the high-contrast shirts simply announce that I cannot see.
I need people to see this! I do not feel vulnerable at all; actually, I feel empowered. I am telling the world that I am still in the game, and this is helping me do so. The way I see visibility vis a vis blind people: If we didn’t need to be seen, our canes would be black, or at least camo. But they are not. My “Thing 2” is a 58” folding piece of highly reflective white-and-red magnificence. The reflective colors are to visually indicate our blindness. Does this always work? I can assure you, no. And I doubt that I am the only blind guy who’s been hit by people who “just didn’t see it.” So no, I do not feel the cane is always adequate to keep me in the sites of the sighted. My Awarewiolf Gear is, to me, simply an extension of the reflective tape cladding Thing 2.
I remember the feeling in my solar plexus the first day I walked Thing 2. That same raw, exposed feeling joined me on my first Awarewolf Gear walk. As with the cane, I got over that feeling when the cashier counted my change back.