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Pictured above: VIBS founders Phillip Hodges, Saving Ven, Sonya Neal, Rob Jackson, Lafayette Wood

Not pictured: Robert Swain (deceased)

The Visually Impaired and Blind Society: Breaking Social Barriers and Empowering the Visually Impaired and Blind Community

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For centuries, societies have built their communities around the needs of the majority. Certain individuals deemed less than average by society, such as the visually impaired, are then isolated from the majority. As a result of this isolation, those who are visually impaired and blind deal with some levels of social challenges. This includes overcoming the difficulty of getting a job, navigating around places, and finding the right reading materials. In society today, there is a lack of social awareness concerning the social barriers that are a part of the visually impaired and blind community.

Even so, this lack of awareness is not new as barriers towards disabled people have been ingrained in humanity for centuries. With this, it is truly up to the youth of today to change the stigma towards the visually impaired and blind. Visually impaired and blind people need to be uplifted instead of being separated from the majority. Through organizations like The Visually Impaired and Blind Society, otherwise known as VIBS, the youth of today have the opportunity to enter a community where they can understand the world of disability and learn to accept people who are different.

Pictured: VIBS Board of members at VIBS 2018 Christmas Party

“VIBS broadened my knowledge on issues I didn’t particularly know of. I’ve been able to gain real inside knowledge on how a person with vision impairment goes about their day to day life,” says Ilaan Harish, 16, Alpharetta High School.

Founded by six blind individuals, The Visually Impaired and Blind Society empowers the blind community to become a more productive part of society. Through social events and activities, VIBS creates a family by embracing both the sighted and non-sighted. 

 “VIBS supports a really good cause and it is worth putting our time towards,” says another Sabrina Khan, 16, Alpharetta High School. Being a part of this organization, llaan and Sabrina claim, “allows them to connect with the visually impaired and learn how to help them.”

VIBS is like a “safe haven for the visually impaired and blind to build a network and to exchange ideas and information.” As more youth stand with organizations like VIBS, the visually impaired and blind community won’t have to feel as though they have to stay hidden. Standing beside this community allows them to instead flourish in ways that didn’t ever seem possible.

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  1. Gwendolyn Green

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