[Nfbnet-members-list] National Federation of the Blind Comments on Foundation Fighting Blindness #HowEyeSeeIt Campaign

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Mon Sep 26 14:16:15 UTC 2016



Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind Comments on Foundation Fighting 
Blindness #HowEyeSeeIt Campaign

Baltimore, Maryland (September 26, 2016): The National Federation of 
the Blind commented today on the #HowEyeSeeIt  challenge launched in 
the past month by the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which has 
garnered considerable recent publicity. The NFB has also delivered 
letter to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and NFB members are 
using the #HowEyeSeeIt hash tag to counter the campaign via social media.

Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
said: "The National Federation of the Blind is deeply concerned that 
the #HowEyeSeeIt challenge, as currently structured, will do lasting 
harm to the ability of millions of blind Americans to live the lives 
we want. In encouraging people who are not blind to don blindfolds 
and make videos of themselves attempting everyday tasks, this 
campaign perpetuates the fears, misconceptions, and low expectations 
that society has about blindness by giving those who take the 
challenge or view the videos an inaccurate understanding of the lived 
experience of blind people. In particular, suggesting that it is 
difficult or impossible for blind parents to care for their children 
is false and irresponsible. As a blind father of three children who 
also happens to be married to a blind person, I can say unequivocally 
that, with nonvisual techniques, we can, and do, capably parent 
thriving children every day. Yet children have been removed from the 
custody of blind parents solely because of misconceptions about their 
ability to care for them, without any actual proof of abuse or 
neglect, and the #HowEyeSeeIt campaign threatens to worsen this 
already grave problem. This is only one example of how this campaign 
will harm the chances of blind people, including board members and 
supporters of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, to live productive 
and happy lives.

"To be clear, we have no quarrel with the Foundation Fighting 
Blindness or the medical research that it seeks to fund. However, we 
believe that this particular method of gathering support will harm 
the very people whom the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the 
National Federation of the Blind, in different but complementary 
ways, seek to help. I and other members of the National Federation of 
the Blind have told the Foundation Fighting Blindness that the 
perpetuation of misconceptions about, and by extension discrimination 
against, the blind is unacceptable, but so far we have been ignored. 
We therefore demand that the Foundation Fighting Blindness stop 
filling its coffers by spreading misconceptions and jeopardizing the 
dreams and aspirations of blind people."


About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the 
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise 
the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create 
obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life 
you want; blindness is not what holds you back.
National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, MD 21230
United States
(410) 659-9314
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