Tommy Edison has been blind since birth, and through YouTube videos he shows us how he deals with certain activities that present challenges to him such as using paper money, ATMs, DVD players and crossing streets. He is also a movie critic and his humorous reviews provide us with a glimpse in how the visually impaired enjoy life.
In his latest video, he shows us how he crosses busy streets: in one case, there's an audible signal that lets him know when it is safe to cross, and in the other case, he has to figure out traffic patterns through sound, and then attempt to cross in what he describes as a scary experience:
Mr. Edison is also a film critic. He focuses on the characters, dialogues, music and storytelling, and through his telling, he gives us a new perspective on how a blind person perceives such a visual medium. In this video review, there are parts where the screen goes black while the audio continues which really helps the viewer understand how movies play out for the blind. This next video is his spoiler free review of X-Men: First Class.
Tommy Edison usually goes to the movie theater for the films he reviews, but he also watches DVDs at home. However, setting up a DVD player that was sold to him as accessible proves to be a bit more complicated than he thought. Although the DVD player instructions come in a multiplicity of languages, they don't include Braille so learning to use his new equipment is more than a bit challenging.
This next video shows how, even though technology gets adapted for people with disabilities, efforts fall short of the mark as in the next example of ATM use. If just the technology aspect weren't hard enough, Tommy also has to deal with people's perceptions, as they lose patience because he takes longer to get his money from an automated teller machine designed for people who can see:
And once Tommy has the money in his hand? Things don't get any easier since using paper money requires a whole lot of organization and trust so that people actually give him the right amount of change since in the US, there is no way for the blind to tell bills apart:
Mr. Edison isn't alone on his endeavor: Ben Churchill produces and directs his videos, and the team is on several social networks interacting with followers: for example, people have suggested movies for the Blind Film Critic to watch by leaving a comment on his page. He is also on different social networks.