Tenn. School for the Blind Team Fights Stereotypes
Secondary Level teams took the stage on Thursday to raise awareness and address real community needs in Pitch & Play, the Service Learning Challenge.
The presentations were entertaining and often humorous, and their props were colorful and creative. But the issues and needs they each dealt with made these Challenge performances even more impressive.
A team from Tennessee School for the Blind competed at Global Finals for the first time. For its outreach project, the TSB Tigers visited area schools and were interviewed by WKRN-TV (News Channel 2) in Nashville to raise awareness about correcting the stereotypes of blind people.
Team members performed a scene where a waitress did not know how to speak to a blind person and is quite rude, portraying the ignorance of many people. This is an issue that each team member has personally faced.
“There are a lot of stereotypes, and a lot of people can be very rude and hurtful,” said team member Alisha Whitehead. “Sometimes you get these people who look at you like you’re stupid and like you have cognitive issues even though you just have a sight problem.”
For the TSB Tigers, DI is the perfect way to help others understand that visually impaired people are just like them and that stereotypes can distract from the real person.
“I wanted to see how these kids could compete with their sighted peers,” said Team Manager Dr. Marta Whittington. “And I think they just proved that they can compete very well. I’m not surprised.”