People spend a considerable amount of their time on social media every day. Having a brief tea break in the office or while munching on a bag of chips at home, a person opens and scrolls through social media on autopilot. No wonder why over 1 million new users interact with the internet community every single day.
Taking frequent strolls in the world of social media and not running into numerous social media influencers is out of the question. Ever wondered what a social media influencer is? A person who is capable of affecting or influencing the purchasing decisions of the potential buyers because of their following in a specific niche, knowledge and social engagement is referred to as a social media influencer.
It is not a novel practice to make social media influencers play a role in marketing strategy. Rather, a swell of social media and the internet community has provided more people with an opportunity to become an influencer and make an impact on the target audience.
Visually Impaired Influencers
In an ocean full of social media influencers from every niche, we might drown in the belief that a person with special needs cannot make an impact on the people around them.
A bunch of uber-talented and extraordinary influencers are burning the midnight oil to push boundaries and obliterate this cliché. Influencers with legal blindness and severe eye diseases can be seen overcoming their disability and moving the hearts of millions of people through their content.
Instagram has become a platform that does not merely let a person interact with others’ or post his own photos and videos, but also empowers people, enabling them to showcase their skill set, expand and grow their business, and connect to more people.
It is an overwhelming and heartwarming sight to witness how the visually impaired and legally blind people are fully aware of the power of social media and how they are using it to stop their disabilities overpowering their unique skills.
Lucy Edwards, 24 years old, young, creative, and thriving social media influencer is sprinkling the magic of her devotion and dedication towards her dreams by not letting her blindness hinder her way to success.
While talking to the BBC, Lucy explained how she thought about her dreams to be far fetched but never gave up on them. With a massive following on different social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, Lucy has a thriving career in the media. This determines how much people are intrigued to find out what a day in the lives of legally blind people looks like.
As a presenter, journalist, and online digital creator, Lucy produces content that focuses on her lifestyle and her blindness. After being diagnosed with a rare and genetic condition called Incontinentia Pigmenti, which causes hair loss, dental abnormalities, and eye abnormalities that can lead to vision loss, she lost all of her eyesight and has been relying on screen reader software, Braille labeler, or PenFriend ever since.
Lucy has been encouraging other visually impaired people to set off on the pursuit of their dreams as she herself has undeniably attained her goals through unwavering devotedness. Her biggest achievement is to become the first ever blind BBC radio 1 presenter. Being a blind makeup artist too, Lucy is not only beautifying her outer self but also the lives of the legally blind community who had given up all hopes.
RNIB is the Royal National Institute of Blind People which is a sight loss charity program in the UK and the largest community of legally blind and visually impaired people. As a catalyst for revolutionizing the lives of the blind community, RNIB identifies everyone’s individual experience of visual impairment and lends out a hand for support in any possible way, be it practical and emotional support, campaigning for revolution, the reading services, and products offered in the online shop such as braille displays, wearable technology, magnifying accessories and so forth.
RNIB is a leading disability agency that supports people as soon as they are diagnosed with vision loss with an idea to prevent anyone from suffering or facing the future alone. The support includes financial help such as grants and benefits for older people, as well as online counselling, therapy sessions and remote help.
Visually Impaired YouTubers
YouTube holds prime importance in the present times. It is a social media platform that has radically transformed everything from entertainment to education. YouTube has opened new doors for the people who have been seeking ways to be discovered by and connected to the audience from all over the globe.
Amongst millions of YouTube channels that have been created over the past years, spreading information regarding diverse brackets, there are some superhumans too who are demolishing the barriers caused by disabilities such as visual impairment. These people have become a practical as well as emotional support to the visually impaired community all over the globe.
Tommy Edison is a 58 years old American influencer, YouTuber, Radio Presenter, and a blind film critic. He is known for his ways to tackle his blindness and the humorous self-deprecating jokes he cracks on the internet.
Edison has been blind since birth as he was born with an underdeveloped optic nerve. Being born and raised in a family that has gone to great lengths to make sure he does not feel underprivileged or different from his sighted sisters is reflected in Edison’s approach towards life with blindness.
Keeping in view his interest in local and New York radio stations, Edison was hired as a disc jockey and 2 years later, a traffic reporter. Although he had never witnessed a traffic jam, nor driven a car, Edison’s smart cognitive processing enabled him to utilize the information that he heard on the police scanners and in the calls with the people on the road.
He set off on his YouTube journey while working with Ben Churchill, a documentary filmmaker, with whom he produced a successful series of movie reviews under the banner of the ‘Blind Film Critic’. His channel took off as soon as he began answering the queries of the curious public regarding the life of a blind person. His videos that revolve around how a blind person moves around in society earned him an enormous number of followers. Edison also owns another channel named ‘Tommy Edison Experience’ to give a deeper insight into his life.
Diagnosed at a mere age of 4 with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare retinal disease causing loss of peripheral vision, Molly Burke decided not to allow her disability to obstruct her way to her dreams of being on screen by becoming a model and an actress and worked for it with an unwavering determination.
Despite the hindrances and hardships that adhered to her disability; Molly became the light of the lives of other visually impaired individuals from all around the globe. She became a public speaker at the age of five as an ambassador for Fighting Blindness Canada, inspiring millions of people with her story.
Molly is also a commercial model and an author who wrote and published an audiobook “It’s Not What It Looks Like”. Moreover, she has worked in close coordination with numerous Fortune 500 companies. Her love for makeup drove her to start a YouTube channel where she also encourages the visually impaired community to follow their dreams. She also gives a deep insight into how she manages her everyday chores while having blindness. The uniqueness and positive energy that Molly radiates has earned her around 3 million followers on YouTube.
The Blind Life
Sam Seavy, the brain behind ‘The Blind Life’ is a legally blind YouTuber who was diagnosed with a genetic retinal condition named Stargardt’s disease at the age of 11 and has been living with it for over the past 30 years.
Sam has been making videos about the novel assistive technology and applications that have been designed to help out the people who have completely or partially lost their vision for almost seven years now.
Sam’s journey started when in 2013 he logged in to YouTube to explore the information regarding Stargardt’s disease. Upon coming across largely inadequate videos about the disease, Sam decided to initiate his own YouTube channel and enlighten the people with the information they seek regarding eye diseases and their cure.
As he holds an in-depth knowledge of the assistive technology and low-vision aids, Sam recommends IrisVision Live headset to people with visual impairment and legal blindness, explaining the advantageous features it holds in abundance.
These social media influencers are living proof of the fact that no disability can hinder your way to pursuing your goals if you are steadfast in your unswerving determination.