“Jerks on Reddit are my favorite,” said nobody ever. But this is one circumstance where internet trolls might have accidentally helped inspire something beautiful. After seeing Redditors accuse Stevie Wonder of lying about his blindness because of all that he is capable of doing without his sight (seriously?!), Licia Prehn, whose hereditary eye disease causes near-blindness, posted a video of herself cooking to show just how independent and capable blind people actually are, despite the often stereotyped belief that they are not. In fact, Prehn’s video shows all of the ways that she cleverly overcomes the handicap, cooking a full meal and talking about how she participates in online communities despite the fact that her field of visibility only goes a few inches beyond her face.
Unfortunately because people who suck have just as much access to the internet as people who don’t, Prehn received a lot of nasty comments and took the video down—but not before attracting the attention of a group of web developers, who were interested in her perspective and hoped that they could use her input to develop websites that are more accessible to people whose sight is impaired. With their support, she reposted the video, and is now planning on making a similar video every week depicting everyday tasks that are more than manageable even without her sight. Awesome.
Prehn says, "Blind life is what you make it," and that she hopes the videos will end stereotypes about the visually-impaired. Another important inspiration for the video series is her infant daughter Annikki, who also inherited the disease that will inevitably impair her sight. However, there is now a surgical treatment available that may prevent some of her sight loss if performed before 12 weeks of age, which Prehn is hoping to raise money for through crowd funding. In this video, the second one she has posted, she shows how she makes tortillas and spends time discussing the history of her disease and her daughter’s. Check it out below: