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Fostering Inclusion: Blindness Doesn’t Define Us

Cricket Bidleman, a young Blind woman, smiling brightly with her white cane by her side.

The article "Fostering Inclusion: Blindness Doesn’t Define Us" by Cricket Bidleman and Karen Smith shares a heartfelt exploration of the challenges and triumphs faced by Blind People in navigating social interactions and recreational activities. Cricket, as the social media coordinator at the Jernigan Institute, reflects on her journey from childhood, where accessibility was often an afterthought, to finding a supportive community in college. 

She recounts her experiences with board games, highlighting both the barriers she encountered and the efforts made by friends to create inclusive gaming environments. Through her narrative, Cricket emphasizes the importance of understanding and accommodating the needs of Blind People, showcasing the transformative power of inclusion in fostering genuine connections.

Karen Smith, Ryan's mother, provides a poignant perspective on the evening she and her husband spent with Ryan and his friends, including Cricket, during spring break. Despite initial apprehensions about accommodating Cricket's Blindness, Karen describes how the focus remained on shared enjoyment and camaraderie during game night. She expresses admiration for Cricket's adaptability and the natural improvisations made by the other players to ensure her full participation. Karen's reflection underscores the profound impact of inclusive attitudes and actions, inspiring readers to reconsider their perceptions of accessibility and embrace the principles of universal design.

Through personal anecdotes and reflections, "Fostering Inclusion: Blindness Doesn’t Define Us" invites readers to delve deeper into the complexities of accessibility and inclusion. Cricket and Karen's narratives offer powerful insights into the everyday experiences of Blind People and the transformative potential of inclusive practices. By sharing their stories, the authors advocate for a shift towards greater understanding, empathy, and proactive efforts to create inclusive environments where everyone feels valued and included.

Read the full article: Fostering Inclusion: Blindness Doesn’t Define Us


Striving to remove barriers that prevent us from building a Diverse, Vibrant, Inclusive, Accessible Community!

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