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On TikTok, two British users, Lucy Edwards, who is blind, and Gem Hubbard, a paraplegic, decided to video answer Internet users’ questions about their disability. The goal: to raise awareness about their daily lives and fight against preconceived ideas. They explain their approach in our show.
“How does a blind girl light a candle?”, “Have you ever looked at someone in a wheelchair wondering how they get into their bath?”. Lucy Edwards and Gem Hubbard took to TikTok to document their daily lives and answer Internet users’ questions about their disability. Their fun videos are aimed at the platform’s young audience.
“I bet you there are a lot of people who don’t know how I live on a daily basis”
“I lost my eyesight when I was 17, due to a rare genetic disease, incontontinentia pigementi. It’s a very long way of saying: I’m totally blind,” says Lucy Edwards. This activist hopes that its content will allow people who are not disabled to better understand her daily life:
I saw that there was a gap to be filled in the knowledge about blindness on the internet. And I was like, “Alright! I can make really short, punchy videos,” and call the whole series, “How does a blind girl do it?” I bet you there are a lot of people who don’t know how I live on a daily basis. My favorite video is “A blind girl who wears makeup on her own”. Putting on makeup is typically a very visual task. I took back control of my appearance.
“To say that all people in wheelchairs need help is discriminatory”
For his part, Gem Hubbard, tries to fight against the prejudices and inappropriate gestures of certain people:
To say that everyone in a wheelchair needs help is discriminatory. We will ask if we need it. You would not get rid of a non-disabled person [en la déplaçant, dans un magasin par exemple, comme le montre Gem Hubbard dans une vidéo, NDLR]. So why do it with a person in a wheelchair?
As a first step, TikTok decided to prevent videos of people with a disability from being referenced in its suggestion column “For You” (“for you”). These videos were therefore unlikely to be seen: the application wanted thus protect people with disabilities from being the target of potential harassment. TikTok has finally apologized and changed its policy.