Setting the Stage
Introduce the photo essay by asking students if anyone knows a blind person. Explain that students will be looking at a photo essay that shows the lives of the sightless and the visually impaired in New York City. Ask students what it could be like to navigate the world with disabilities, such as being blind, deaf, or a wheelchair user. What could be some qualities that a person with one of these disabilities could gain? What could be some qualities they could lose?
Introduce the following myths about blindness, asking these questions:
- Blind people see only darkness.* (False) Only 18 percent of people who are visually impaired are totally blind.
- People who are blind cannot read printed materials.* (False) Technology has enabled various kinds of print accessible. Screens and texts can become magnified and enlarged.
- People who are blind have special gifts, or a "sixth sense." * (False) Blind people rely on their senses of touch, hearing, taste, or smell, which become sharper to compensate for their loss of vision.