A Blindness Awareness Campaign
I was headed to Pittsburgh, PA for an appointment with an eye specialist and afterward planned to meet up with a vision-impaired peer advisor I knew from my work at VisionAware, an outreach of the American Foundation for the Blind.
Stephanae McCoy met me at my appointment. She visited with my friend and driver in the waiting room while I wrestled with a number of eye exams over a three-hour period and then we all headed for lunch at the cafeteria.
Although this was our first meet-up, I felt like I had known Steph forever. She was casual, down-to-earth, easy to talk to and had a lot to say. One more thing: she looked chic with her scarf, earrings, and a classic but elegant jeans outfit. It didn’t scream “Look at me!” but I remember she looked well put together–and was oozing with confidence! Yes, she also used a white cane like I did.
Over burgers and fries, Steph shared a brand new campaign she was working on. Central to her theme was Abigail Style, a fashionable logo she had developed with Jennifer Barrile, her graphic design artist. Abby characterized bold, blind beauty, a woman celebrating her abilities. Steph wanted to change the image blind women had of themselves.
“Why can’t blind women follow their passions?” she asked us. “We need to see ourselves as capable, confident, bold and beautiful.” Her excitement was contagious as she elaborated on her plans to change the perception blind women radiated. “If we see ourselves in all of these ways, society will too.”
Steph developed a Facebook presence with a page called “Women on The Move.”Abigail Style was at the forefront of her campaign. However, she also sought out blind women who embodied the attributes she felt would be critical in changing perceptions. The women originated from a variety of backgrounds, accounted for many interests and were at different stages of acceptance of their vision loss–but they shared a common positive outlook. Every day over a period of weeks, she featured quotes from the women on engaging backgrounds for her readers.
I have watched Steph consistently bring quality content to her page. She challenges stereotypes as she pushes forward to create a strong role model for today’s blind woman. Slogans she typically uses read, “Confidence is the best accessory.”
#AbbyOnTheMove is available on coffee cups, t-shirts and cloth bags to remind blind women of who they are meant to be.
It gives me great pleasure to share #AbbyOnTheMove with my readers and bring her campaign to light. That’s reason number #5 to celebrate Blindness Awareness Month. One woman’s vision can and does make a difference.
Stephanae has built a following and is dedicated to changing perceptions, one view at a time.
Do you know someone who quietly but consistently chips away at changing perceptions? Who is this person and how are they changing the landscape in their world?
You have just read “#AbbyOnTheMove: Campaign for Awareness” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright October 5, 2016. Be sure to take a moment to tell me what you think!