Let’s Talk Self-Driving caught up with Marc Ashton, CEO of our partner the Foundation for Blind Children (FBC), to see how he and his organization are adapting their programs during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
FBC is based in Phoenix, AZ, and serves members of all ages in the blind and visually impaired community. While FBC’s school has closed its campus, Marc said his organization has found innovative ways to continue its educational mission even during a time of social distancing.
“The world is understanding what a blind person, who doesn’t have the same mobility as them, is going through right now, and it is remarkable.”
The foundation has deployed a simplified method of remote instructions that allows the organization to reach new people in rural areas who previously could not engage with FBC’s educational offerings.
“I think we are realizing that, maybe because of this crisis, we have created some ways to solve those problems and reach people who wouldn’t otherwise be reached,” Marc said.
Marc added the novel coronavirus is underscoring another issue that the blind community has long grappled with: mobility. Marc said that while people who are blind have always faced mobility issues, such as depending on others for rides, the COVID-19 crisis has presented mobility issues for everyone.
“People aren’t leaving their homes, people aren’t going shopping,” Marc explained. “The world is understanding what a blind person, who doesn’t have the same mobility as them, is going through right now, and it is remarkable.”
Marc said the crisis is a powerful reminder to everyone that we all value mobility, from walking down the street to taking public transportation.
“Mobility is freedom, mobility is independence, mobility is life,” he added.
Learn more about the Foundation for Blind Children here.
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