Hi, we are the Owens family. Our youngest son, Kai, is 19 and is going blind from a very rare condition called ABCA4-linked Retinopathy plus Autoimmune Retinopathy. Some days it’s simply too much to feel like the “blindness ambassador” who has to politely and patiently educate an ignorant public. So, we created these shirts based on our own real-life interactions but with a twist – they include our sarcastic thoughts in braille.
Of course, it’s up to you whether or not you tell people what the braille actually says, because they will assume that it says exactly what is on the top, printed line. The joke is on them!
Families dealing with sight loss have real feelings and are facing real challenges to accessibility and the sappy, inspirational, grade one braille t-shirts on the market did not resonate with us. We hope to educate and change public perceptions of individuals who are blind and VI through the use of mature humor and sarcasm and by utilizing a combination of print and UEB contracted braille. The awareness statement is on the top line in white type font, followed by a “twist of sarcasm” on the bottom line which utilizes UEB contracted braille, black dots on white background. The simulated braille is not raised or tactile because we do not want to encourage unexpected touch. The flattering t-shirts are high-quality, pre-shrunk, 100% ring-spun cotton and are available in Men’s/Unisex, Women’s and youth styles.
The profits will fund Kai’s college expenses. He graduated high school as the valedictorian and is attending a large state university, 4 hours from home. He’s working really hard and we want to help him achieve his goals. He walks with a white mobility cane and has recently qualified to receive a guide dog. He’s a braille reader and utilizes assistive technology to access his school work. He’s also a drummer in a few local bands and a sponsored skimboarder. He has a twisted sense of humor that we adore. Thank you for your support.
Peace out, The Owens Family