My Thoughts On Bird Box Challenges and Why They’re Not Worth It

 

My Thoughts On the Bird Box Movie

The Bird Box film,   along with the many challenges following it have been quite a hot topic among the blindness community. If you’re not a member of the blindness community then you are probably familiar with these challenges from the internet. While I think it’s great that this movie is getting people talking about blindness, I think it reinforces typical stereotypes sighted people have about those of us who cannot see. The positive thing here is that even if we are begging those with sight to not participate in Bird Box challenges, we’re still having a conversation about blindness. This movie gives us a chance to show people what blindness truly looks like.

 

In a world where the smallest glimpse of creatures causes insanity, one can easily understand why characters don’t want to see. The plot follows the protagonist, a mother of two children, as they survive their world blindfolded. In order to get to safety, the small family has to cross a rough river filled with lots of temptation to get them to take off their blindfolds. As I mentioned above, I feel as though this movie supports typical stereotypes sighted people have surrounding blindness. An example of this is when the protagonist and her housemates run out of food. One character immediately panics and wonders how they are going to survive without food in the house when they cannot see. This part of the film reminded me of how people view blindness as this terrible thing when that’s far from reality. People losing their sight often think life is over once their vision is gone. Why would we ever want people feeling or thinking that way? I feel like this scene does a good job at making those without sight appear as though they can’t think on their feet. The characters ended up getting food by driving with GPS while they were blindfolded. It may have been difficult, but they could have walked and gotten themselves to where they needed to be.

 

I personally am not a huge fan of this movie, but I like a few points. The mother teaches her kids to rely on their hearing which is important for knowing what’s around you, even in real life. I noticed they would feel the ground and ring bells to find one another. I think they did a good job with this because blind people are always feeling what’s around them. If a blind person cannot find something, sometimes a person may tap the object until they find it. Finally, I liked how the movie showed the characters interacting with blind and visually impaired people. This is great because it shows that blind people are perfectly capable of interacting with sighted people. This may seem obvious to many of us, but sadly not to everyone, so it’s good we’re having this discussion.

 

The Negative impact of Bird Box Challenges

There’s been quite a bit of discussion surrounding Bird Box challenges, and for good reason. They are dangerous and people have been hurting themselves as a result of their poor choices. I’ve read online recently how people have been crossing streets, lighting candles and someone even crashed their car. All of these things were done blindfolded. Doing tasks blindfolded is not the same as doing them as a blind person. Blind people can cross streets, care for themselves and do lots of everyday tasks. The difference here is it takes lots of training for us to learn these things. Sure, we can’t drive, but we have ways around that too. Case in point: On behalf of blind people everywhere, please, do not participate in Bird Box challenges. If you really want to know what not seeing is like, please ask one of us. Many blind people don’t mind answering your questions and if you keep reading you can find some ways to learn more about blindness.

 

Positive Challenges You Can Participate in

If you really want to challenge yourself, start by going out of your comfort zone and try talking to a blind person. You never know, you might make a new friend in the process! A study by Perkins School for the Blind found that Americans are quite uncomfortable around people who are blind. Read the article here.

 

https://www.perkins.org/stories/media/press-releases/study-more-than-half-of-all-americans-are-not-comfortable-around-person?fbclid=IwAR1f7XnjSwUZvwE6hHQr6FvBfrb3xnqfhJ90M3Gcm7tn3911cL9eEFX-JsU

It may be different for you, but we all can benefit from good company and inclusion.

 

Lots of blind people like myself blog about their experiences. There are quite a few bloggers out there! I would suggest following my blog, Ashley over at

https://mobile.facebook.com/shortshadyblog/?refid=17&_ft_=mf_story_key.543630232793400%3Atop_level_post_id.543630232793400%3Atl_objid.543630232793400%3Acontent_owner_id_new.100014392837422%3Athrowback_story_fbid.543630232793400%3Astory_location.4%3Astory_attachment_style.avatar%3Athid.100014392837422%3A306061129499414%3A2%3A0%3A1549007999%3A5815603790657890608&__tn__=H-R

and I would also check out Holly on

https://lifeofablindgirl.com/

 

Those are just a few but like I said there are plenty of blogs you can check out. Everyone connects with someone different, so whether it’s me or another blogger you learn from, what matters here is that we break the negative stereotypes surrounding blindness.

 

Another really awesome challenge you can consider participating in is the blindfold challenge 5K race. For more information, you can check out

https://blindfoldchallenge.org/

 

 

Now that’s a challenge that seems worth it to me! And hopefully to you, too.

 

I would consider learning VoiceOver if you have an IPhone or other Apple product. Look into volunteering at a school or organization for the blind. I know my high school is always looking for volunteers! Check out this Perkins link to learn more.

https://www.perkins.org/get-involved/volunteer/perkins-volunteer-application

 

 

Lastly, I would consider looking into learning about resources like Aira, Bookshare and Learning Ally. You can find information about all three mentioned here in the below links.

 

https://aira.io/careers

https://www.bookshare.org/cms/

https://learningally.org/

 

Those are a few ways you can learn about blindness. Check out Holly’s great post about Bird Box by giving the following link a read.

https://lifeofablindgirl.com/2019/01/09/what-do-blind-and-visually-impaired-people-think-about-the-bird-box-challenge/

(Thanks for the kind mention by the way!) And give Ashley’s awesome post about the movie on Blind New World a read.

http://blindnewworld.org/blog/dont-be-the-bird-in-the-box/?fbclid=IwAR2L4xqTmvHdgEZqtZCi8b5XeJeOo-fp6m68aJ7U9ttPzlBZU9YTt7y_vNI

Thanks for reading today’s post. Have you watched Bird Box? Let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Do you know a blind person? If you are also blind like me and have anything you’d like to add to this conversation, please reach out to me.

My best to you all. Miranda ❤

Fundraiser by Morgan Boehm : Leaf us in Peace community help

Morgan Boehm needs your help today! Leaf us in Peace community help – We are raising money to provide meal vouchers to federal employees that are being negatively affected by the government shutdown. We aim to provide a meal and a gas gift card to each recipient.
— Read on www.gofundme.com/leaf-us-in-peace-community-he I just donated to this wonderful cause. I hope you will too! Let’s help people who really need it. Hope you’re all well. ❤

Fundraiser by Morgan Boehm : Leaf us in Peace community help

Morgan Boehm needs your help today! Leaf us in Peace community help – We are raising money to provide meal vouchers to federal employees that are being negatively affected by the government shutdown.
— Read on www.gof undme.com/leaf-us-in-peace-community-help

Hey guys! Please check out this important go fund me page and consider donating. The government shutdown has negatively impacted the lives of many people. Leaf us in Peace is a community driven organization whose mission is to spread kindness in a variety of ways. Please consider donating today to help make a difference in the lives of federal workers and their families who are struggling during this time. Thank you and please spread the word!

How I Worked On Math at A Blind School

Math has never been one of my strong points (I’ll leave that to my sister!) but one of my followers requested I make some posts about how I did certain subjects at a school for the blind. For high school I went to Perkins School for the Blind. As I said at the beginning of this post, I’ve never been good at math, but the teachers I had always did a great job at helping me learn difficult concepts. Braille has always helped me process math. What I love about Perkins is that everything I needed was at my fingertips. Handouts and homework assignments were always in Braille. Since teachers know Braille, this allowed me to Braille my answers.

I used a Perkins brailler to write down my work. When I was not using mental math, I used a battery operated calculator as well as the one that came built in my BrailleNote. I used my BrailleNote for more complex, longer calculations. I also used an abacus, a tool that helps blind students understand different place value concepts. When you learn the abacus, you learn that the beads go across in various columns. Starting on the right, you have a column for one, ten to the left, over to the left after that is a column for the hundreds and so on. The top row consisted of fives. On the far right was five, moving once to the left is fifty, moving to the left once more you have five hundred, etc. Addition and subtraction use the numbers on the right, while multiplication and division you start working from the far left side of the abacus. I used the abacus as a young girl in public school with my Braille teacher and a lot during my time at Perkins. I’ll admit, I wasn’t always a huge fan of it but later used my abacus to keep track of numbers in my college math class. See? What we learn really does come in handy later in life. =) Sometimes we would work together on concepts and other times each of us would work on different problems.

So there you have it, a rather brief post about how I worked on math at Perkins. Did you go to a school for the blind or public school? I’d love to hear from you! How did you work on math? Are you a math person? Let me know by leaving me a comment! I will make future posts about the BrailleNote versus the Perkins Brailler, science and other subjects as a person who is blind. Thanks for reading and checking out my site. I appreciate it very much. If there is anything you would like me to blog about, please reach out!

Miranda ❤

miranda abacus

This is a picture of an abacus for the blind.

 

miranda calculator

This is a picture of a talking calculator.

 

miranda brailller

This is a picture of a regular Perkins Braille machine.

 

miranda keyboard

This is a picture of a BrailleNote mPower.

 

My Thoughts on Braille and Why It Is So Important

Today is World Braille Day. Siri even knows that and says, “World Braille Day is today!” How cool is that?

I thought I would make a short little post about why Braille matters and why it is important to me. Technology is great and it is how I am typing this post for you all. Braille though, allows myself and other blind people to actually feel the written word and see with our fingers how sentences are formed. Plus, it allows us to read in the dark! How many people can say they can read in the dark? Sure, sometimes I’d rather listen to a book rather than read ten volumes of Braille (sometimes printed books span a few volumes in Braille) but I need Braille to help me process things in my head. Take math for example. You better believe I need Braille for that!

Sometimes it’s fun to spell in Braille too! Sometimes my friends and I would talk in Braille to each other which is always pretty fun since sighted people have no idea what we’re saying!

I’d love to hear from you now. What are your thoughts on Braille? When I read about people against todays blind children learning Braille, I’m floored! Please, please take this from me who has been completely blind since birth. That’s right you guys, I see nothing. Never, ever listen to someone who says your child shouldn’t learn Braille. Kids are still learning print aren’t they? Of course they are! Even with today’s technology. So what do you guys think? Should we keep Braille around or should people learn from using screenreading software?

Thanks for reading today’s short post.

My best to you. ❤

P.S. Here’s a challenge for today! =) Google this. In Braille, what does dots 1,2,4,5 dots 1,3,5 1,4,5 1,2,1,2,3,1,5,2,3,4,2,3,4spell? Have a great day guys.

Why Equal Access Matters

Hi everyone,

I read this great article about inclusion I think everyone should read. I’m a speaker and writer about why inclusion matters and I think access is something that should be important to all of us. Give this a read and thanks so much for checking out my site.

The photo in this article shares Audio describer Will McRostie leading a tour of the Wonderful World of Aardman exhibition at ACMI. Photo: Kate Pardey Photography

Miranda ❤