When visual impairment develops from birth, more often than not, the parents are the ones that need counseling. They get depressed because they want the best for their
child. They want their child to see the world as they see the world. The child
on the other hand, sees the world as it is. He doesn’t know any better. He was
born this way. The child learns how to see with his impaired vision, he
develops visual clues in order to adapt to the vision he was given.
I recently had a patient, a young handsome man, on his late 20s who has
a rod cone dystrophy. What is rod-cone dystrophy? This is an inherited disease
that affects the rods and cones of the eye. There are two kinds of cells in the back
of the eye or the retina called rods and cones. The cones gather information
about details and color. They work best in bright light. They are located in the
center of the back of the eye. The rods are all around the rest of the back of the
eye. They gather information about things that move and things that are on
the sides, above and below the person. They work best in dim light. People
who have rod-cone dystrophy lose the use of the rods and cones. Aside from the dystrophy, he is also very nearsighted and wears very thick glasses. Despite the impairment, up until employment, he was leading a normal life. He went through elementary and high school with no problems. He continued to college and finished hotel and restaurant management. I asked him what his goal was. He wants to work in a hotel, but he keeps being rejected due to his vision or the fact that he wears very thick glasses. He has been trying to get a job in a hotel as a bellboy or at the housekeeping department. He always faced rejection. The reason? His vision!
This man is very independent. He can commute on his own, he does everything by himself, and he can even drive. While jobless, he continues to educate himself and look for opportunities where he can work through the internet. He is very driven and motivated. He said, actually doctor there is nothing wrong with him as far as functioning with my daily activities. The problem lies with people who can’t accept me for my thick glasses. It’s so difficult for visually impaired people to get a job, even if they are as capable. They have rights and it’s all in republic act no 7277 known as the magna carta for disabled persons. This is a law passed since 1991 but sadly has not been enforced.