Blindness Basics For Authors

This post by Melinda Primrose originally appeared on her Primrose Path site.

Writing a blind character seems to be much harder than everyone thinks. There are many mistakes being made that I think a little research would go a long way to fixing. Most of the blind characters I’ve seen, either in books or in film media, fit one of two stereotypes. Either the blind character has superhuman abilities because of their blindness or they are completely helpless. Most blind people, in fact, fall somewhere between the two. How do I know this? you ask. I am blind myself.

I was given the label “legally blind” when I was 25. In my younger days, I had 20/20 vision with my glasses. The short version of the long story, which I may go into some day, is that many different diseases attacked my eyes and caused vision loss. Since my initial diagnosis, I’ve had over a dozen surgeries to try and keep what vision I have.


You said you were blind, you say.

I think that is the first thing most people get wrong about blindness. It’s not an either you have vision or you don’t Kind of thing. In the United States, legally blind is defined as:


Read the full post on Primrose Path.