PROFILE — 10-year-old visually impaired YouTuber is breaking down blind tech
Abby Walz wants people to see through her eyes
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Claim to fame
“Hey guys, it’s Abby, and I’m visually impaired.”
That’s how 10-year-old Abby Walz starts each video of her YouTube channel, Through the Eyes of Abby.
Abby started the channel last year to help teach visually impaired and blind people about new technologies that can make their lives more accessible and easier.
Along with tech, Abby also makes tutorials on other tools used by the visually impaired, like white canes. (Image credit: ThroughTheEyesofAbby/YouTube)
By giving people a glimpse into what life is like through her eyes, Abby also hopes to raise awareness about parts of our society that still aren’t inclusive to her and her community.
“For the community that isn’t blind in the world, I want to educate them on blindness and being visually impaired.”
Breaking down blind tech
Abby started her channel a year ago with a video explaining how she uses the Amazon Echo — a smart speaker that you can ask questions to by saying “Hey Alexa” — in her everyday life.
In the video, she points out how visually impaired people who can’t read print can use the device to help them define words, like a dictionary, and set timers for themselves.
Abby demonstrates how to use the BrailleNote Touch device. (Image credit: ThroughTheEyesofAbby/YouTube)
In another video, she does a tutorial on the BrailleNote Touch, a device that combines the braille keyboard, which some visually impaired people use to type, with a modern tablet.
Braille is a way of writing and reading that visually impaired people use. Each letter in the alphabet is represented by a small collection of raised dots, so that people who can’t see letters can feel them instead. (Image credit: Abid Katib/Getty Images)
Abby even has a video demonstrating how to use a white cane, which some visually impaired people use to navigate the world and to identify to others that they can’t see everything.
But Abby’s videos aren’t just about tech and tools for the visually impaired.
She also makes day-in-the-life videos that are part of her goal of educating the able-bodied community on how life looks differently for her and others in her community.
For example, she has a video on how she makes a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Abby’s YouTube channel also includes videos like ‘Abby creates a creature,’ where she shows off her process of making monsters from clay. (Image credit: ThroughTheEyesofAbby/YouTube)
“For the community that isn’t blind in the world, I want to educate them on blindness and being visually impaired,” said Abby.
So what’s next?
Abby said that her next goal is to reach 1,000 subscribers so that she can unlock the ability to go live on YouTube.
She also said, with a chuckle, that being a household name would also be pretty cool.
“I’m hoping I can get at least a little bit famous out of this,” she said. “If it’s not a full-time job, I’m hoping I can at least make it part time and just have a little YouTube channel to help people.”
With files from Hala Ghonaim/CBC