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Bird Box, Bird Brain or Bird’s Eye View?

I HAVEN’T seen the film, “Bird Box” and I don’t have any plans to watch it. While I like Sandra Bullock as an actor and find most of her films quite enjoyable, I’m told this one strays into the horror genre which isn’t my scene at all. Also, when the premise of the film was explained to me, I doubted whether I would be able to suspend my disbelief sufficiently to make the film enjoyable. That’s because, as a blind person, I know how dangerous it is to walk briskly if you don’t have a guide, let alone run anywhere. Sadly, my concerns over this aspect of the film were reinforced with the advent of the Bird Box Challenge, a fad where people donned blindfolds and then tried to run through their houses, gardens or streets, all with predictably painful results. One woman even tried driving her car with her eyes closed. Fortunately, nobody was injured in the resulting crash, but that was more down to good luck than anything else.

However, one good thing did result from the Bird Box Challenge. That’s because it sparked a discussion in the Visually Impaired community as to whether people should be encouraged to wear blindfolds in order to appreciate the problems faced by blind people. I must admit that I had always been firmly of the belief that sighted people could learn to appreciate blindness more if they wore a blindfold for a few hours. However, I was forced to reconsider my views when I read about a scientific study which had been carried out using precisely that method.

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iScot Magazine
February/March 2019

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