So a week ago when I started college I told my special needs assistant (who is also assisting me with a number of complications related to my Asperger’s) about my BIID, and she said that I was welcome to use my cane in college and agreed to talk to teachers about it so that they were aware of what was going on. Of course what I didn’t think about is what my classmates would have to say when they saw me come walking in with a cane and then fold it up and put my glasses on.
Moreover I was stupid enough to assume that nobody would recognise me outside of class, and therein lies the flaw in my plan for dealing with the issue. Put simply, my plan was to let my classmates think that I’m weird, and then when I’m out of class nobody will recognise me and I will be treated as a blind person.
Of course that didn’t work, and what soon happened was that as I walked around the college campus I would hear my classmates calling out my name from random directions and then refusing to identify themselves, insisting that I had to open my eyes in order to find out who they were. This, of course, was of no help to me in dealing with my issues, which is why I promptly reported the matter to the special needs department yesterday afternoon.
And thus it was decided that at the beginning of the next lesson I was going to give them all a firm talking to and explain the seriousness of my issues, stressing that a) it was as important for me to use the cane as it is for a blind person and b) they were to treat me as a blind person at any time that I was using my cane (or pretending in another form). And I spoke to them. And they listened. And they didn’t object.
And later that day I heard a group of them playing their guitars out on the lawn after the day’s lessons had finished. And when I walked up to them and complimented them on their playing, they respected my needs, identified themselves, and agreed that it would be nice if we got together to jam some time.