The next time you’re at Logan International Airport, waiting patiently at your boarding gate or jostling to grab your suitcase at baggage claim, look up. You’ll see a different kind of public service announcement – courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind.
In between news updates and weather reports, video screens throughout the airport are airing thought-provoking videos produced by BlindNewWorld, Perkins’ social change campaign that encourages greater inclusion for people with blindness.
The videos, which have already appeared online, will reach a new audience at Logan Airport, where 3 million passengers a month pour through its four terminals.
“We’re very excited to be reaching so many people through this partnership with Logan Airport,” said Perkins President and CEO Dave Power. “Our hope is that people will watch the videos and be inspired to learn more about the amazing potential of people with blindness.”
The two videos started airing at Logan Airport in October and will run through the end of January 2017. They tell different stories – but with the same message.
In the first video, entitled “The Drive,” a cab driver has to rethink his assumptions when he gives a ride to a successful software engineer who is blind. In the second, entitled “The Get Together,” a young woman musters up the courage to flirt with a handsome professor of astrophysics who is blind.
Shattering misconceptions about blindness is at the heart of BlindNewWorld. On its website, visitors can read real-life stories written by people with visual impairment that discuss what it’s like to live without vision. The takeaway? They’re doing just fine, thank you.
“People just can’t fathom how we can be successful and happy in our lives as blind people,” said BlindNewWorld ambassador Ashley Nemeth. “I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything – I’m completely happy in my life.”
The videos are just one aspect of BlindNewWorld’s ongoing awareness campaign. It also includes a robust social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, practical tips to promote inclusion and accessibility, and partnerships with organizations like American Council of the Blind, Carroll Center for the Blind, World Blind Union, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind and more.
As more sighted people are exposed to the BlindNewWorld videos, Power hopes they will begin to see beyond stereotypes about individuals who are blind.
“There are 7 million people with visual impairment living in the United States,” he said. “If we make a conscious effort to acknowledge their contributions and include them in our social circles and our workplaces, everyone will benefit.”