Pages from the Hartle Playbook: Meet the Blind Flashmob

From time to time, I like to share “Pages from the Hartle Playbook”. These posts may share how my husband and I do things as blind people, or just be about unique or entertaining experiences we have, usually somehow related to our blindness. IN short, it’s how we make it on our own playground.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, October was “Meet the Blind” month. Well, I’m a little late in getting this post up, but I thought I’d share with you our experience participating in a “Meet the Blind Month Flashmob”. I helped organize this event for our local chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. For those of you who may not know what a flashmob is—I didn’t for the longest time—it is an impromptu gathering of people in a public setting wherein the group usually performs some kind of rehearsed dance or song(e.g.,, random people break out into a dance in a food court at the mall, etc.) . These are usually driven by social media as well. In any case, we attempted to organize one wherein all the participants would come wearing a white t-shirt which read: “I am blind and I’m a _____”. The idea was to help show the public the capabilities of blind people by showing how unique and yet alike the sighted public we are.

Our event turned out to be going up against a lot of other events in the area, so the turn out was a little smaller than we’d hoped, but we still drew a bit of a crowd. After we all gathered, we participated in some cheers about blindness and then each took turns going down the line and yelling out what our shirts said. I should mention that this took place at Baltimore’s InnerHarbor along one of the promenades right on the waterfront where there are a lot of shops, restaurants, and tourists.

Here are a handful of the slogans people had on their shirts: “I am blind and I’m a MAC and a PC”, “I am blind and I’m a college student”, “I am blind and I’m an opera singer”, and—one of my faves—“I am blind and I am just like you!”

If you are wondering, this is what each of the Hartle shirts said:

Jesse–“I am blind and a Sig Ep!”

Mary Jo–“I am blind and a Mom and a Teacher” (I know, not very original) and our daughters–“I am the product of awesome blind parents!”

Afterward, we all stayed around the Harbor and ate lunch at various restaurants so that we could be seen more “in public” with our slogans and help promote “Meet the Blind Month.” I don’t know what kind of an impression we made on anyone there that day, but it was fun to see everyone’s shirts and hopefully the public learned a little bit more about blind people that day.

Enjoy the pics below. There are a couple shots of the group during the cheers, one with all of us posing for our photo op on the stairs, and one of the Hartle family all proudly wearing our shirts.

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