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Two Terrific Podcasts Episodes To Help Us Understand The World of Vision Loss

A composite image showing the logos for The Daily Podcast and Twenty Thousand Hertz PodcastI listen to a LOT of Podcasts, they have been a staple of my media diet long before I lost my vision.  Some of the podcasts I listen to are specifically about vision loss and disability, but the majority of what I listen to is not related to either topic.  The two podcasts highlighted here came through my podcast feed and are so great that I wanted to call them out and share them here. In particular, the Podcast, “Is There a Right Way To Act Blind?” from The New York Times, is a must-listen for anyone who is interested in learning what the world of being partially sighted feels like.

Illustration of a Blind Person walking down the street from an overhead perspectiveThe Daily: Is There a Right Way to Act Blind?

Podcast description from show notes:
Andrew Leland is caught somewhere between sight and blindness. He is blind but not in the way people expect. He can make eye contact, read street signs and watch TV. But that causes others to question (sometimes audibly) whether he is faking it.

“For the doubters, blindness can only look like slapstick and imprecision,” Leland said. “Anything else belongs strictly to the realm of sight.” The pressure to appear “authentically” blind caused him to wonder: How should a blind person act? And what does real blindness look like?

To observe how a convincing performance of blindness is constructed, he visited the set of “In the Dark,” a TV show that follows a single blind woman in her 20s. The lead actress is blind, but only in a professional context; activists demanded that the network reshoot the series and cast a blind actress in the lead role. But their requests went ignored.

Twenty Thousand Hertz: Listening to the Movies

Podcast description from show notes:
When Matthew Shifrin was growing up, his blindness meant that trying to enjoy a movie or TV show was often a confusing and frustrating experience. But then, Matthew discovered something called video description—an extra audio track where a narrator describes the action on screen. And suddenly, everything changed. This story comes from the Radiotopia podcast Blind Guy Travels.


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