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Blind brother and sister help others 'see' their world

'Outlook' might be a radio show about blindness, but it's about 'seeing' the world with a little more clarity and compassion.

Brian and Kerry Kijewski's radio show about blindness is geared toward people who can see

Blind brother and sister help others 'see' their world

CBC News London

2 years agoVideo
1:03
Blind brother and sister help others 'see' their world 1:03

Outlook might be a radio show about blindness, but it's about "seeing" the world with a little more clarity and compassion. 

At least that's what the show's creators, brother and sister Brian and Kerry Kijewski, hope their audience will get out of the half-hour talk show, which airs on Mondays at 11 a.m. on CHRW Radio Western.

Both Brian and Kerry are blind, but everything they do on the air is meant for people who can see. 

'There's a lot of fear'

Brian Kijewski (foreground) and his sister Kerry Kijewski host 'Outlook' every Monday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. from this studio at CHRW Radio Western. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

"There's a lot fear," Kerry said. "I don't know how many blind people [most sighted people] know. They say 'oh my god I could never do that' and it stops there. Fear is as far as they go." 

She said to try and remove that fear, she and her brother delve into topics that include, how braille works, how blind people travel, even common mistakes people make while trying to help someone who is blind. 

"A lot of these issues have stayed undercover for so many years that we think need to be brought out into the open and that's the best way to do that." 

Teaching people

Brian Kijewski is a trained audio engineer and also hosts a radio show about music. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

Brian adds that the hope is, educating people about the blind might break down some of the barriers that prevent some blind people from becoming full participants in society.  

 "We realized the lack of employment, the lack of education, and so we decided to do this show to specifically focus on that and teach people this kind of stuff," said Brian.

"We just don't feel like blindness is discussed very much," he said. "Nothing is going to change if [we] all just sit on our couch and do nothing about it."

'We're trying to do our part'

Kerry Kijewski, 32, lost her sight at a young age. She hosts a radio show with her brother Brian, who is also blind, about their disability on CHRW Radio Western. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

Born into a family of four children, Brian was blind at birth, while Kerry was born sighted, but lost her vision at a young age. It means they understand each other in a way most other people don't.

"I call it soul mates, which is not what most people [think] ... a soul mate is," Kerry said. It's just a connection you have to one person that you don't have [with] anybody else."

"He knows me and he pushes me to be better and calls me out on things."

Now into their sixth month on the air, the two hope to continue their show well into the future.

"I want people to see blind people out in the world doing what everyone else is doing," Kerry said. "We're just trying to do our part." 

About the Author

Colin Butler

Video Journalist

Colin Butler is a veteran CBC reporter who's worked in Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Hamilton and London, Ont. Email: colin.butler@cbc.ca

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