I learned many things while watching ABC’s You Can’t Ask That episode on blind people, which saw a number of visually impaired Australians sit down and answer some of the public’s toughest questions.
Aside from discovering that, yes, it is overwhelmingly appreciated when you offer to help a blind person cross the road, I was surprised to find out what visually impaired people really ‘see’.
Hint: It’s not blackness.
“People imagine that being blind, not being able to see, is like shutting your eyes,” Michelle Stevens, who is deaf and blind, told producers. “It’s far, far from that.
“What I actually see is a thick yellow cloud.”
In turns out there is no overarching answer for what all blind people ‘see’.
“I’ve never been able to understand this, but I see either bright pink, or bright green… a watermelon green and a watermelon pink,” Melburnian Lauren Henley, who became blind after a car accident when her face hit the steering wheel 10 years ago, said.
“Maybe [they] were the last [colours] I saw or something.”
“I have a friend who lost his eye-sight and he said it’s more of a grey,” Emma Bennison, who lost her sight after being born 13 weeks premature, said.