How Do Blind People (who have never been sighted) “See”?
This is a serious question.
I understand that blind people do not “see” as a sighted person would use the term. For example, someone who has never been sighted would not know what a “color” is – or at least would not perceive a color as a sighted person would. Although the concept of “color” can be described, can the essence of color be understood? So if I say “light green”, how would they translate that to a concept in their mind? What is a blind person’s understanding of “red” or “blue” as “colors”?
If I say, “there are three steps in front of you, they are about 8 inches high and eleven inches deep, and there is a handrail on your right side about waist high,” then since “steps” and “inches” are physical constructs that can be experienced without seeing them, they could probably confidently reach out, grasp the handrail, and go up the steps without a problem. But how would they “see” those steps?
How do blind people perceive a TV show? They certainly understand the dialog, and so I presume they would be able to follow a story line, but since TV is a visual media, I’m assuming that they’d miss the visual cues that the sighted people would pick up. Things like facial expressions would get lost – but do they infer moods and intent from the tone of voice the actors use? ie do they “get” the facial expressions without having to visually “see” them? Would they be aware somehow of the bad guy peeking around the corner of a building, spying on them>? (Do TV shows provide unconscious clues that they can access – like the background music?)
As a sighted person who doesn’t know anyone who is blind, I would be most interested in answers to this question. ie I seek understanding. Please forgive my terminology.