Performing in Blindface

I couldn’t have said this any better and I love that Susan has offered an alternative solution.

Adventures in Low Vision

 Photo shows a pink fuzzy I'm ask on a white background A fundraising drive related to the blind community went viral. The organization finances great medical research, yet the campaign premise doesn’t sit well with me. I’m split, so I’m reflecting on #HowEyeSeeIt from the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB). Yep, I’m diving into the deep end.

FFB’s digital awareness campaign encourages people with vision loss to ask others to wear a blindfold and do a task together. They record it for social media and label it #HowEyeSeeIt. Amateur, professional, and nationally broadcasted stories were created. Some people pushed back and expressed opposition and rejection of the blindfold usage. The National Foundation of the Blind released a letter written by President Riccobono admonishing it. People in the blind community reported censored comments or blocks on FFB’s social media accounts. FFB, a private organization, has the right to delete/block communications on their accounts, but has publicly stated it is not blocking or banning…

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Author: Steph McCoy

Hi I'm Steph, a businesswoman, style setter, blogger, and abilities crusader who breaks the myth that “blind people can’t be fashionable.” “It’s about walking boldly with confidence, transcending barriers and changing the way we perceive blindness”

9 thoughts on “Performing in Blindface”

  1. Steph, a big THANKYOU for sharing this excellent article. I remember when they were the RP Foundation. I was 20 before there was any organized research on retinal diseases. When I wrote to the Library of Congress at age 16 for a bibliography on the subject, I got an apology and three mimeographed copies of the only articles they had in their vast collection – no books. So, I know how devastating it can feel when no one is even studying the condition you have. I participated in their early studies, sending many tubes of blood their way. That said, when they changed their name to FFB, I felt a bit like a target. FYI, “The National Foundation of the Blind released…” should be edited to “…Federation…” Sue has already fixed this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve welcome Donna. I hope you’re doing well. I wasn’t aware of this particular history on the FFB and since macular holes aren’t on anyone’s radar I doubt there’s any trials for my condition however I’ve raised money for a few years for the FFB. Part of me wonders if the conversation surrounding the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign was thought of in advance. I saw the NFB’s video and while I understand their concerns, I’m not in total agreement with their stance. However I felt Susan’s article was very eloquent and I’m so glad you liked it as well. 💖


    1. I agree Bun, that the intentions were good and as I mentioned to another friend of mine, I don’t have an issue with blindfold simulations if they are done with a dialogue. When I raised money for the FFB my team hosted a Dining in the Dark luncheon where I worked and immediately following our meal we had an enlightening discussion centered around the social aspects of blindness from misconceptions to prejudices on how blind people are treated.

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  2. I grew up with severe asthma but I doubt that asking someone to spend an hour, a day, breathing through a straw to simulate restricted breathing will bring them any closer to the trauma I grew up with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ouch, my lungs hurt just thinking about trying to breathe through a straw. I have asthma and don’t wish it on anyone. Regarding the blindfold challenge, while I can appreciate the pros and cons on both sides I don’t think the concept is a bad one although the execution could have been altered to take into consideration people. Some of the videos feel off-putting rather than enlightening.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Steph,
    I personally feel what FFB was trying to do is let the participants get a feel for what we blind people go through. Maybe the blind community needs to do is face the reality of letting the sighted community understand what it’s like for us. Maybe 1 day isn’t enough; but it 1 person comes out of this experiment with some understanding then good for that person.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sherri, personally I don’t have an issue with the blindfold simulation however as we talked about in previous discussions, these types of scenarios should be in proper context. It’s true 1 hour or 1 day wouldn’t present a wholly accurate picture on what it’s like to be blind and I think how we tell the story is important. Some of the videos are of people doing dangerous activities for example two girls were walking downstairs then proceeded to do gymnastics at the the bottom. Another young lady jumping on a trampoline later talked about how hard it was and that she felt so sorry for all the blind people “out there.” Losing sight is disconcerting and the grieving process varies from person to person and while there are people who never accept their sight loss there are many more who with the necessary tools and training, go on to live fulfilling lives. I’ve always been, and will continue to be an FFB supporter because I believe there will be a cure for blindness as a direct result of their work.

      Liked by 1 person

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