When we imagine what life is like for people who are blind, our first reaction might be paralysis. We consider just how difficult our lives would be without sight; preparing breakfast, dressing for work, and navigating from home to the lab sound like insurmountable obstacles.
And if those trivial tasks seem daunting, consider your work day. Could you keep up with the pace of scientific research, running experiments and publishing papers with your eyes closed?
In our imaginary blindness, many of us would despair and find an alternative career path, but we’re missing a very important distinction between the thought experiment and reality.
The fact is, people who have been blind since birth have developed the skills to leap each and every hurdle we’ve listed. It’s a normal part of every day to commute to work or read a scientific paper.
Their biggest struggle may be overcoming the decidedly limited imaginations of their sighted peers.