Blind parenting

Please share:

Blind parents

Being a parent who is living with sight loss can be challenging. We often find it difficult to do certain things that fully sighted parents do with their children. But with mobility training, accessible technology and the will to adapt there’s no reason that parents who are blind or have low vision can’t bring up their children any better than those with out. I know many others like me whose children are shining examples of how growing up with a parent living with disabilities teaches them to be kind, caring and understanding of others.

Yet still today there are far too many who are discriminated against because of their disability. If you see a young child walking with a parent who is using a cane or a guide dog does it mean that the child is in danger?

No, of course it doesn’t. Yet many view it as so. I’ve heard countless stories of separated parents whose disabilities have been used as an excuse for them not to reside with their child. I’ve witnessed this first hand when I was going through the process of getting regular contact with my daughter. The question of her safety was raised by her mum’s solicitor in family court and even the judge took it into consideration. This for some reading this may sound ridiculous and it is but believe me it happens more than you’d think. As a father in the U.K. the rights between mums and dads are far from equal and this gap is only wider when disability is a factor.

So how can we change this?

There needs to be more awareness and education surrounding disability and it’s impact on raising children. Yes limitations exist but with training and support there’s nothing that can’t be overcome.

Please share your thoughts on this.

I’ll leave you with this heartfelt and personal poem that shares my feelings.

“How can she be safe with you when you can hardly see”

“Can I still be your dad despite my disability”

These words not thought or heard for several years but I still feel

a pain I seldom talk about

yet still today is real

It’s crazy looking back that it was used as an excuse

How something like my vision loss was turned into abuse

A point to score against me

to reduce our time together

and now you don’t come stay but my love for you’s forever

The right’s of dads unequal but when blind it seems it’s less

and every day that you’re not here it adds to visions stress

But being a blind parent doesn’t mean that I can’t be

someone to love and guide you there is so much more to me

There are mums and dads with far less vision than today I’ve got

who raise their children better than those with perfect vision got

who teach their children kindness and inclusion that they share

with everyone they meet or of blindness unaware

So there’s no valid reason that you shouldn’t be with me

It doesn’t matter how much these blind eyes of mine can see

I hope one day in years to come no longer we’re estranged

and the way they view blind parents their opinions will have changed

#TheBlindPoet