I don’t know about you, but I pretty much take my eyesight for granted. Sure, having to wear glasses all the time is annoying, but all in all, I can see.
Some people, however, don’t have that luxury.
For World Braille Day, it might be good for us to take a moment to think about people we rarely ever include in our conversations. In her TEDx talk, Annie Brady tells the shocking truth: Only 28% of visually impaired people are employed. They are treated as though they are incompetent, as if their disability causes them to lose all agency.
Annie tells the other side of the story. She’s far from incompetent; her blindness has taught her courage and creativity. When putting on your clothes in the morning – a task that most of us can perform without even thinking about it – requires out-of-the-box thinking because you are unable to see the garments in your wardrobe, you might be able to give creative solutions for just about any problem in the world.
What if blindness were eradicated?, she asks. What if Homer, Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder had been sighted from the beginning? Would they have been able to do the great things they did?
She tells the powerful story of how she once contemplated expensive surgery that might give her the ability to see – but ultimately decided against it. Being blind, she says, is not a problem that is necessarily fixed by becoming sighted.
Therefore, we should take this as an opportunity to ponder on what we take for granted, and how we treat people who do not have the same privileges as us. On World Braille Day, let’s take a moment to think about what we have, and what we should be thankful for.
Watch Annie’s amazing TEDx talk from World Braille Day 2019 below!
Header photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash