Psychologists state that we spend too much time with our eyes stuck in our smartphones and that we should watch each other in the eyes more often. But there are people whose existence can be radically changed with the help of a smartphone. I’m talking about the blind. And you can now really become their superhero. All you have to do is search for all the iPhones (models 5 and more recent) you forgot in your drawers.
I will tell you everything you need to know about the “An iPhone for Independent Living” campaign. Enjoy!
1. Who has thought of the blind?
The Urban Development Association. The association has been dealing with projects and crowd-sourcing for the visually impaired for more than a decade. The idea of the “An iPhone for Independent Living” campaign started with another project of the association, namely Tehnologia Equal. As part of this project, a petition was submitted to Romania’s National Health Insurance House. This action had as main goal the reimbursement of expenses by the governmental body that partially subsidizes a product for people with disabilities – with focus on assistive technology for the blind and the introduction of the smartphone in this category.
This petition has been signed by more than 3,300 people so far. If you want to, you can sign here.
For starters, the Association talked to friends and received 8 iPhones as a donation. You can do the same. Talk to your friends and neighbours about this campaign! Even if you do not own an iPhone yourself, spreading the word is important because anyone can help.
*This is a Romanian campaign but could become global in the future.
2. What is the purpose of the campaign?
We are offering iPhones to blind children in specialized schools. After more than ten years of working with the blind, ADU has understood the importance of assistive technology. Through technology, the blind relate to the world and learn.
Blind people’s lives and their integration into society is closely linked to the smartphone because it can transform any text into voice (Siri). The blind get to use technology even more and even better than sighted people. The visually impaired who own an iPhone are ”addicted” to it.
3. Delia’s story
At birth, doctors thought little Delia would not walk, hear, speak, or see. Fortunately, they were wrong. Only her eyesight was affected.
Her adventure began at the age of 8 when Delia took her teddy bear in her arms to come to Bucharest to study at a particular school. That she is a wonder-child, we already found out at the beginning of the story, but what we do not know is that she showed ambition when she had to choose her professional career. As Delia likes to go off the beaten path, she rejected the idea of becoming a masseuse, the primary profession of the blind. She dreamed of being a student at the Faculty of Letters. Yes, yes, the place where you have to read regularly!
After years of struggling with the system, destiny, and herself, Delia got where she wanted: at the Faculty of Letters, specialization: Communication and Public Relations.
Delia dreams of Venice, and she would love to see the sunlight and the colors. She also has a blog where she likes to share her experiences and emotions. She is an optimist – she says:
As long as I breathe and my heart beats, all, absolutely all my problems can be solved.
More than a blind person, Delia is a fighter. And this can be seen from a long distance.
4. How can you donate an iPhone?
Source: Elena G | Unsplash
It’s easy. If you find one left in your drawers, all you have to do is contact the Urban Development Association here. If you live in Romania, they will deal with transportation and even the payment of the courier. You just have to clean your drawers and let them know.
If you want, you can send the found smartphone yourself to the Urban Development Association, Tax Identification Number: 25066833, Address: No. 158, Block 23A, Flat 7, Știrbei Vodă Street, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania, Europe.
In this way, a blind child has the chance to see his/her dream come true. And this is not the dream of owning an iPhone, but that of finding a superhero who can help them gain independence, learn, communicate, be socially active and have a better job.
If you do not live in Romania, maybe you could initialize such a campaign in your city. Just go and ask the local school for the blind if the children need smartphones.
5. What should the blind do?
Through the “An iPhone for Independent Living” campaign, old iPhones reach the blind children in specialized schools directly. How? Through a contest. The blind children must write an essay of about 400 words about how a smartphone can help them fulfill their dreams. You can sign in right here.
A sighted person’s conclusion: See where you hid an old iPhone and send it quickly! Do not leave it in a drawer, when it can become a superhero for a blind person!
A blind person’s conclusion: Write a beautiful story, and you can find your superhero!
Do you have any questions about the “An iPhone for Independent Living” Campaign? Write in the comment section below!