6th Grader, Aditi Rao, presenting

TEDxYouth: Vision for an Equitable World

With her passion for social justice, this 6th grader is a champion of change for an equitable world for the visually impaired community.

My TEDx Journey: 
As a kid, I admired TEDx talks—the way speakers tackled global problems gracefully and structured. Little did I know I’d someday stand on that same stage, ready to share my vision. I’m Aditi Rao, a legally blind 6th-grade Oberlin Magnet Middle School student in Raleigh North Carolina.

Life transitions are tough, especially for the visually impaired (VI) community. Middle school brought curious peers—some ignorant, others genuinely interested in my special needs. As I thought about how to educate them, at this crossroads, a Newsletter was shared with my family, which was inviting applications for speakers for the TEDx Youth Event @chavisway in Raleigh, North Carolina with the theme “From Here to Everywhere” which explores local ideas and actions that can resonate globally. I knew this was a perfect platform to represent my VI Community. 

I was elated when my intent topic “Vision for an Equitable World” was selected —but my first thought was, how could I condense the multitude of VI challenges into 10 minutes? As  I embarked on a journey. I sought wisdom from legally blind adults —on their challenges in navigating a sight-centric world. With the guidance of my coach, and mentors, I chiseled my talk using the data and information I collected, to come up with challenges and solutions that covered most aspects of life. 

 As I write these words, l I know that TEDx wasn’t just a stage but a catalyst to create an equitable world.

By Aditi Rao

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