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The World in Darkness

His Own Way Of Seeing

The medical name for Stevie's blindness is retrolental fibroplasia. It is caused by giving too much oxygen to infants who must live in an incubator after birth. This type of blindness cannot be corrected through surgery. Stevie Wonder would never be able to see his hands, green leaves on a tree, the blue sky, or the white and black keys on a piano.

“In my mind I can see all these things in my own way,” Stevie said. Blind people do have their own way of seeing, of course. They use touch and sound. They also use a heightened sense of inner feeling. In fact, all blind people use their other senses to compensate for their handicap. Sighted people can see expressions on people's faces, but blind people can just as easily understand people's feelings through the sound of their voice. Sound becomes the most important sense to someone who is blind. It is his or her connection to the outside world. Steveland Morris understood this before he completely understood that he was blind.

Myths About Blindness

Many cultures have viewed blindness as a sort of gift. Those who could not see with their eyes were thought to have other special abilities. One was an ability to see into the future. Another was the ability to play music well. This is completely false, of course. There are many blind people that can't sing a tune any better than a sighted person who lacks that same ability.

Additional topics

Musician BiographiesStevie WonderThe World in Darkness - Miracle Baby, His Own Way Of Seeing, Detroit And Change, Using Sound To See The World