Blind

Mark Miller, the host, his producer Marissa, and colleague Todd Waites, chat with Morten Bonde, senior art director at LEGO. Morten describes a stressful 14-year phase during which time his eyesight deteriorated due to retinitis pigmentosa and he couldn’t bring himself to accept what was happening. He recounts his “death” of who he was before he embraced his visual impairment and who he transformed into, after months of dedicated meditation and self-improvement training.

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The host, Mark Miller, producer Marissa Sapega, and TPG Director of Marketing Brad Henry all chat with their coworker Rebecca Bridges. Rebecca and her husband are blind, and she shares the difficulties of being quarantined and frustration at not being able to help her son with schoolwork because it is inaccessible. She discloses her thoughts on disability etiquette (make sure I know you’re there if you want me to social distance!) and how to navigate a public bathroom without the help of sight.

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Mark Miller, the host, and Marissa Sapega, podcast producer, speak with Tony DePalma about the many ways COVID-19 has significantly impacted people with disabilities. From getting basic necessities like food to accessing student online education, the ways in which the pandemic has negatively affected this community are almost endless. Tony surfaces anecdotes from his own experience as Director of Public Policy for Disability Rights Florida and the three discuss the potential long-term outcomes of this global disaster – not all of which are bad.

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Victor regales the host, Mark Miller, with vignettes on how he and his team work to accommodate the almost one million people with disabilities living in New York City in all boroughs, as well as the thousands of tourists with disabilities who visit each year. They discuss the unique challenges of each borough when it comes to accommodating PWDs, and specific examples of has been implemented in Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and other areas of the city to make it more accessible.

Ford has partnered with GTB and a local Italian startup, Aedo, to create a window panel that takes an image of the outside view and converts the colors into shades of gray, each of which is then translated into a different vibration for someone to feel. An integrated virtual assistant helpfully speaks words related to scenery to complete the effect. This technology, called “Feel the View,” was conceived as a way to make driving in a car a more inclusive experience for everyone. 

The enormity of the Eiffel Tower and the jaw-dropping tiling of the Taj Mahal make most tourists dumbstruck with awe. But what happens if you can’t see them? Visually impaired tourists are now getting a small taste of the experience of seeing these man-made marvels, thanks to strategically placed scale models. The models are usually made of bronze and sometimes include information about the depicted monument in Braille. One of the most productive model creators, Egbert Broerken, can count over 100 models of European architecture to his name. 

Brent Lowe is no stranger to difficult personal situations. He’s blind, and has lived for years alone with his 24-year-old son (who has cerebral palsy) and a caretaker on Abaco in the Bahamas. Recently, however, Hurricane Dorian made his life exponentially harder. After its fierce winds ripped off the roof of the house where they were hunkering down, Lowe knew he had to get himself and his son out of their house, or risk death. As soon as he stepped off his front porch he found himself chin-deep in water. He had no choice but to put his son over his shoulder and carry him to a neighbor’s house to wait out the storm. Lowe was evacuated to Nassau while his son stayed on Abaco with a family member. With his house gone, Lowe is understandably devastated. "We need a place to go," he said. "I don't know exactly what we are going to do. We need help."

 

Men used to explain their interest in Playboy magazine by citing the great literary content––not the images of scantily clad women. A legally blindman, Donald Nixon, recently took that argument to the next level by filing a lawsuit against the iconic publication alleging that neither Playboy.com nor Playboyshop.com were compatible with his screenreader. It turns out Mr. Nixon actually does want to read it for the articles, and according to the ADA, he argues, he should have every right to. 

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