How do blind people imagine what things look like?
Blind people who have never seen before don’t imagine objects with pictures, but with textures, sounds, and shapes. This is probably a really hard concept to grasp, so I will do my best to let you into my mind.
If someone asked me to visualize my room,visualize meaning to think about it, I would first think of myself standing inside the room. I would think about sound and hear how much space is in it using the sound of the echoes the room makes, which would give me a sketch of the room’s size. Then I would add textures, the way the walls feel, how the carpet feels underneath my feet, feeling objects and where they are located. I don’t imagine colors because they are meaningless to me. Maybe I would think, in words, the color of the room, but it is not something of much importance to me. ‘picture’ things. It takes me the same amount of time to come up with that whole outline as it would a sighted person thinking about what something looks like. This whole process seems long and crazy after thinking about it, but that is how I imagine things, and it all happens in about a second.
Throughout October, I will be posting things related to blindness for Blindness Awareness Month. It may not be as detrimental as breast cancer, but I believe it is just as important. Feel free to ask questions. I promise I’ll get to them by the end of the month.