By George Abraham
If you are visually impaired, traveling by air can be a harrowing and difficult experience. George Abraham gives some quick tips that will help ensure a smooth and safe journey the next time you’re flying.
A few years ago, a blind woman was offloaded at Mumbai airport, along with her two infants, while she was on her way to Goa. The airlines said they could not manage the disabled woman and her two kids onboard. A week later, a blind corporate executive was offloaded at Patna airport on similar grounds. In the recent past, there have been several instances where people with disabilities have run into problems with air travel. Due to this, there is a general apprehension amongst people with disability about traveling alone by air.
Here are 10 useful tips that can help such individuals experience trouble-free travel by air. Read more
Understand What it’s Like for Your Customers with Blindness
If you work in the restaurant or hospitality industry, you’ve seen it all; all kinds of people come through your doors and eat at your tables w9kozrk. You’ve seen impatient jerks, nice guys, great tippers, one-penny tip leaving insulters, and probably even your share of last minute “tables for fifty, please!” But just for a moment, let’s talk specifically about the customers that while you probably have seen them, they might not have seen you. I’m speaking about serving blind customers – or more appropriately: how you can serve your customers who are blind (and why that differentiation is important). Read more
By Maria Johnson
A long brisk walk on a sunny morning. That is something I love to do when I’m not teaching group fitness classes at the gym. I hit the hills alone with my thoughts to keep me company. Alone. All alone. Well, that’s how it used to be…
Walking is a great activity for many, even for those who are legally blind. I prefer a long power walk over a short run any day. Personally, I believe that you’re either a runner, or you’re not. I’m not. And that whole “runner’s high” thing… what is that? I never, ever, felt it. Perhaps it’s because I would silently chant “I hate this, I hate this…” with every mile I ran. I eventually stopped running and scaled back to power walking. If you’re blind, and you want to get outside, feel the sun on your face, and increase your activity level (not by running), you might want to pair up with a sighted guide and walk off your worries!! I understand that not everybody needs a guide, but if you do, just ask a friend, co-worker, or family member to accompany you.
By Sonali Jain
There is a need to make audio description mandatory for film makers so that cinema becomes an inclusive source of entertainment for persons with blindness and visual impairment. Sonali Jain further explores the world of audio-described movies. Read more
By Pramila Komanduri
Two Blind Brothers is the name of a clothing company in New York City which was started by two brothers, Bradford and Bryan Manning, who have had Stargardt’s disease since they were young children. Both brothers went on to participate in sports and complete their college education from the University of Virginia in spite of the disease which causes progressive loss of central vision in the eyes. Recognizing that sense of touch is important for the visually impaired, the Manning brothers developed the idea of creating clothing which feels good to the touch. All garments come with a metal tag which is embossed with the word ‘brother’ in Braille. As both brothers have full-time jobs outside of the clothing company they are able to donate all proceeds from it towards research for cures for blindness. Pramila Komanduri spoke to Bradford and Bryan, here are excerpts from the interview. Read more
Govt needs to ensure that the recent demonetization does not lead to financial exclusion of the blind and visually impaired citizens
If the recent demonetization of 1000 and 500 rupee notes has to be made into a success for all sections of society then one needs to pay attention to the below listed red flags as far as persons with blindness and visual impairment are concerned. A cashless digital economy may imply near financial exclusion of the blind population from the mainstream economy. Read more
By Shruti Pushkarna
Visual impairment is not in the eyes, it’s in the mind. If you will feel that you are visually impaired then you will not be able to do anything. You need to go out of the way to explore the world.
Says Chetna Nagpal, who was born with an eye condition called Nystagmus. It is a condition of involuntary eye movement that may result in reduced or limited vision. In her case, Chetna can see things but is unable to focus on anything. But unlike many, Chetna does not find her disability to be limiting. She believes visual impairment is more of a mental condition than a physical one.
A 21 year old ambitious young woman, she is studying in her first year Political Science major in one of India’s top colleges, Lady Shri Ram College for Women. Born to totally blind parents, Chetna did not have it easy while growing up. Chetna’s parents did not know she could see at all until the age where she started to talk and point out things to them. Read more
By Anoushka Mathews
Most government hospitals in Delhi, despite being spaces for diagnosis and recovery, are teeming with lines, unending paper work, and tired patients. The wait is long for those who do not have an uncle or cousin working at the hospital. However, for those who are visually impaired, even basic access to hospital services and facilities is possible only through dependence or great strife.
Imagine being visually impaired and visiting the hospital alone. The obstacle course begins even before entering the hospital. The only way to locate the main gate is to rely on a helpful passerby. On arriving at the main entrance, again, the only way to proceed further is to depend on directions from a guard or a fellow patient. Many are not trained to provide such assistance, and may provide instructions that might not make much sense to a person who is blind or visually impaired. Read more
By George Abraham
Every blind Indian is potentially a part of the Human Resource of the country. They must be invested in and not merely provided for. The nation needs to realize this as much as the government, the society, the families and the blind person himself or herself needs to realize this. There is a huge potential which we need to recognize, nurture and tap into. Read more