[Greater-Baltimore] Immediate action needed!

nfbmd nfbmd at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 23 20:08:42 UTC 2016

Hello all,
Please read the message below from President Riccobono.  We must take action
to stop or redirect the HowEyeSeeIt campaign.  This is an excellent topic to
discuss at upcoming chapter meetings.  Thanks for helping to promote a
positive image of blindness.
Dear Fellow Federationists,
This past weekend an organization released a social media campaign with the
hashtag HowEyeSeeIt. The people using this hashtag are making videos of
themselves attempting to do everyday tasks under blindfold with the
misguided view that this experience will help them know what it is like to
be blind. The motivation for the campaign is to raise funds to eliminate
blindness. We in the National Federation of the Blind know that blindness
doesn't hold us back. We also know that living with blindness requires
learning the techniques blind people use to do everyday tasks without
vision. We are not opposed to medical research, but the way to generate
interest in medical research is not by further spreading the fear of
blindness and strengthening misconceptions about the lived experience of
blind people.
The current videos being circulated with the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign are
perpetuating the idea that blindness is something to be feared and that
blind people adhere to low expectations. Some of the tasks people are
encouraged to do in this campaign are having a friend give them an
unidentified amount of cash and then, under blindfold, attempting to pay for
a meal with this money. Another particularly outrageous example is people
are asked to attempt to take care of their child for one minute while
blindfolded. At a time when we have launched new efforts for blind parents
who have their children taken away because of misconceptions about
blindness, this is dangerous and offensive. These examples and the dozens of
others used in the campaign rely on the notion that vision is a requirement
for success, but we know the truth-blindness does not define us or our
We've published a blog, "Challenging the Fear of Blindness
<https://nfb.org/blog/vonb-blog/challenging-fear-blindness> ," that I
encourage you to share. See below for some related critical actions.

Critical Actions This Week:

Challenging the Fear of Blindness - #HowEyeSeeIt:
It is critical that we now join together to combat this harmful campaign. I
urge all Federation leaders to lead by example and to encourage the members
of the Federation in your state to join with me in changing the perception
that blindness is something to be feared and something that significantly
limits our lives. Now is the time to turn our fear into power and that power
into action. We have the opportunity to demonstrate how we live the lives we
want as blind people in a commanding way. All you have to do is:
1.       Make a video of yourself accomplishing an everyday task as a blind
person. For example, show how you dance, sing, exercise, care for your
children, go to school or work, play sports, manage your finances, travel,
participate in social events, enjoy your hobbies-in short, take a video of
yourself living the life you want.
2.       At the end of your video, say that you're a proud member of the
National Federation of the Blind, and tag three friends or family members to
keep the trend going. You can also urge your audience to make a donation to
the NFB.
3.       Upload your video to social media using the hashtag #HowEyeSeeIt.
Make sure to link to our website, www.nfb.org <http://www.nfb.org> , and tag
the NFB in your Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram post. If the people you
mentioned in your video are on social media, be sure to tag them, too. 
Sharon Maneki, President
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland

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