There has never been a better time to be blind. Today’s technology and education create an environment where visual impairment doesn’t hold blind people back. The biggest obstacle isn’t blindness – it’s a world that can’t see beyond it. We can build a BlindNewWorld by casting aside stigmas and fears and embracing a new understanding of how to include blind people in our lives for the benefit of everyone.
Where is Blindness?
There are 7.3 million people in the U.S. who describe themselves as having a visual impairment. These individuals are all around us, yet we often don’t see them. Why? Because blind people are often invisible, absent from mainstream society. When seen, they are sometimes overlooked or avoided. Only by learning about one another and facilitating greater interaction between blind and sighted people can we overcome this and become a more inclusive community.
BlindNewWorld is the first-ever blind awareness social change campaign, sponsored by Perkins School for the Blind, to demystify blindness and break down the barriers to inclusion – discomfort, pity, fear and stigma. Through provocative PSA mini-films, new statistics on public attitudes, compelling stories and social dialogue, BlindNewWorld seeks to disrupt stereotypes and inspire the sighted population to open its eyes to the full social, professional and academic capabilities of the blind population.
About Perkins School for the Blind
BlindNewWorld is sponsored by Perkins School for the Blind, where Helen Keller challenged and dramatically changed society’s perceptions of individuals with disabilities. Founded in 1829, Perkins is the leading global enterprise dedicated to advancing the lives of the young blind population through education, accessibility and innovation. Perkins operates a top independent school for visually impaired children in Watertown, Massachusetts, and remains a pioneer in deafblind education, accessibility solutions and teacher training to help blind children worldwide achieve their potential.
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The Inspiration Behind BlindNewWorld
When Corinne Grousbeck’s son Campbell was born without sight, she began a lifelong journey observing the challenges of living blind in a sighted world. As Chair of Perkins School for the Blind, she watched wide-eyed, ambitious students enter a world that was not ready for them. Over and over she saw blind people being denied opportunities that were otherwise available to sighted people. Through BlindNewWorld, she hopes to break the barriers to inclusion and connection, and to prepare the world to embrace today’s highly capable blind population.
As part of its mission to demystify blindness, BlindNewWorld seeks to de-stigmatize and reclaim the word “blind,” so that a person who is blind can describe themselves as such freely and proudly. Society’s misperception of blindness has led many without sight to feel invisible and marginalized. By separating this word from negative connotations and stereotypes, our intent is to break this barrier society has created with language. Because BlindNewWorld fervently believes people are not defined by their disabilities, we proudly support both person-first language and the individual’s choice to proclaim, “I am a blind man,” or “I am a blind woman.”