A British TikToker has captivated social media with a simple explanation of how she both creates and consumes online content as a blind person.
Gracie Marsh, a 19-year-old disability advocate from England who went blind at age 14 due to Septo-optic dysplasia, shared a now-viral video on July 28 explaining how she operates her BrailleNote HumanWare Touch+.
Marsh demonstrates how the tablet, which allows those with visual impairments to read and write with ease, functions as she walks viewers through the keyboard’s nine main buttons — the backspace, enter and space bars, as well as the six keys representing the six dots that make up the braille system.
The device also comes equipped with a touchscreen, which Marsh says is particularly useful for “teachers and sighted peers.”
Her insightful video has since racked up over 1.5M views on TikTok alone, plus 2.2M more on Twitter, along with tons of comments from viewers who were utterly impressed with the technology.
“This is [a] true technological masterpiece!” wrote one user.
“This was really interesting to learn! Thanks for sharing with us,” commented another.
“This blows my mind,” said a third.
Marsh, who was born with multiple chronic illnesses that have caused her to need a wheelchair, feeding tube and catheter, told In The Know that she started making TikToks for entertainment earlier this year before pivoting into disability awareness content after one of her videos went viral with over 450K views in June.
“[A TikTok] where I did my makeup as a blind person kind of blew up, so I decided to try and build a bigger platform,” Marsh, who now boasts over 28K followers, told In The Know.
With content ranging from “rating” her main diagnoses to how she uses an iPhone to how she dreams, Marsh says that her videos have been generally well-received.
She does, however, still occasionally get nasty or misinformed comments, including some that allege she’s faking her condition.
“It’s been really positive overall, but I have received some comments questioning my blindness,” she told In The Know. “‘How are you blind if you’re reading these comments?’ et cetera, even though that’s been explained in many of my TikToks!”
Ultimately, Marsh hopes that her informative — and often humorous — videos can serve to dispel stigmas surrounding the visually impaired and show the world exactly what she’s capable of.
“I think I’d just like people to know that blindness, and disability in general, doesn’t mean that individuals can’t advocate for themselves, participate in ‘normal’ activities and be independent,” she said. “I’d like people to stop underestimating me and the disabled community as a whole!”
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If you enjoyed this article, read about TikToker Chrissy Marshall, who uses her experience as a deaf woman to educate millions.
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