Faces Behind the Screen: Rachel Melton

Rachel Melton

Part One

“I think the very simple fact of going to go see a play, looking at a piece of artwork, people make the assumption that, well, they can’t see it, so they don’t need it. That’s it. That’s the end of the story. Why would they care? They can’t see it.

And of course, they care. Because art and culture shapes our society. It shapes who we are. And especially for someone who loses their vision later in life, their connection with color, with certain pieces of art, are still just as strong — and maybe sometimes more so– once they’ve lost their vision. And I think, just the assumption that, why would a blind person even go to a play– well, to enjoy it, and to experience it just like you.

Yea, they’re not going to experience it exactly the way you are. But no one experiences everything exactly the same way as someone else. And one of the things that we really talk about with our audio description services, here at MindsEye, is that the idea of what we’re doing when we’re going in, and we’re providing those descriptive elements for a piece of artwork that you can’t touch, that’s behind some glass — and that’s the only way you can experience it, you think, is by staring at it.

Well, we can still provide those elements of the content of that context of the thickness of the paint or even what kind of medium it is, plus the history of the painter. There’s so much that you can actually describe about one still image, let alone, an entire production, play or a video.

And what that does is, it means that that person who wasn’t able to just go to the museum with their friends and family before, can now go and have those shared experiences and have those conversations and have those opinions about art and culture and enjoy it. They can absolutely enjoy it just as much as a sighted person.”

Part Two: Coming Next Wednesday

Pictures of four people who were interviewed for the Faces Behind the Screen project

Faces Behind the Screen is a storytelling project focusing on communities that benefit from a more accessible web.