My grandmother lost sight in one eye due to an accident when she was only 18 years old. And this has made me aware, since I was born, of the difficulties and barriers that people with reduced vision have to face – and the effort required for a person who is disabled to do daily, basic things such as reading, walking, or cooking, just to name some examples.
My mother, who suffered from sudden and permanent hearing loss in one ear after surgery, has also given me insight into what it means to lose hearing from one day to another.
But why am I telling you this? Because I have recently started to work for Acca Media, an audiovisual production company currently producing a film that shows the amazing and wonderful story of a deafblind woman named Gennet Corcuera – documenting her life from when she was abandoned as a young child through to her adulthood, when she became the first deafblind person to get a university degree in Spain.
When she was three years old, due to her vision and hearing problems, Gennet was abandoned by her biological parents in an orphanage that had been founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Because of an alleged infection, she lost her vision completely, therefore becoming deafblind.
It could have been the end for her, but fate saved Gennet.
When Gennet was seven years old, Carmen Corcuera adopted and took care of her. They moved to Spain, where Gennet began studying in a special school, where – for the first time – she was among people with the same disability as her, learning tactile signing communication, and being fully supported in her growth and development.
But her story didn’t end there. She got a 7.2 in the university entrance examination, which allowed her to go to college – where she studied special education and became the first Spanish deaf person to obtain a university degree.
Today, Gennet works in Seville, Spain, as a teacher for other deafblind people – and she has just adopted a dog! She gives talks around the world and is an example of optimism, resilience and hope for anyone who knows her incredible journey.
She has become an absolute inspiration for thousands deafblind people in the world.
Our Film: “My Name is Gennet”
I recently discovered BlindNewWorld and, as we have already started with the shooting of the film, I wanted to share this amazing story, mainly for three reasons:
- To tell the world about the importance of the “attitude” to fight adversity, barriers and problems, as the wonderful story of Gennet clearly shows us.
- To support social awareness to help people with disabilities.
- And to ask for help from companies and individuals who want to support the film – through sponsorship or helping us identify foundations, associations or companies who care about this cause… or just simply providing visibility and spreading the word through blogs, social media, and other networks.
In the film, we will also show innovative and disruptive solutions that technologically advanced companies are launching to make life easier and more comfortable for people who are disabled – from a cap for blind swimmers to an app that makes it possible for people who are deafblind to get accessible TV news updates in real time.
Our goal is to send a hopeful message to people who are deafblind and their families. Because I believe that a better world is possible when we join our efforts, energy and hope with small actions.
If you would like to support “My Name is Gennet,” led by Miguel Ángel Tobías, the Spanish film and TV director/producer pictured in the above photo with Gennet, contact Laura López Basulto via email at email@example.com or via LinkedIn or Twitter.
Laura is a Spanish marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience. She is creative, energetic, dynamic and passionate about helping others. She speaks with genuine emotion about her irreplaceable family losses. She has learned that adversities are opportunities to grow and be a better person and, nowadays, she considers herself to be a lucky woman with a whole new life of chances.
Last February she decided to “give a twist” to her professional career and began working with Acca Media, an innovative Spanish audiovisual producer focused on making films and documentaries for cinema, TV and digital media that support social causes (including disability rights; health and medicine; homelessness, housing and hunger; human rights, women’s rights; education, etc.). She now has a job that she absolutely loves!
In addition, Laura heads a foundation called “Stories That Should be Told,” which aims to raise social awareness – opening a door that leads to reflection, and inciting action through social, solidarity and charity audiovisual projects promoting and defending universal values.
She has always enjoyed writing and is about to launch her second blog. To learn more, visit www.lauralopezbasulto.com.