Our personal experiences often lead us to our purpose and that rings true for Brooklyn-based mother Gracie Benedith-Cane. She is on a mission to empower individuals who are visually impaired through the creation of her company Braille Code Inc., Today reported.
For Benedith-Cane, finding solutions to the everyday obstacles faced by those who have experienced vision loss was personal. Shortly before her son Wani turned one, he was diagnosed with septo-optic nerve dysplasia; a disorder that affects early brain development. The syndrome—which impacts the optic nerves—significantly altered his vision. As Wani—who is now 12 years old—grew older his mother noticed that he struggled to do things that were a part of his daily routine, like getting dressed.
Determined to help her son become more independent she created adhesive braille patches to put on his clothes and sneakers. The braille features directional prompts so he can decipher right from left or if a piece of clothing is turned inside-out. After witnessing how effective the patches were for Wani, Benedith-Cane decided to turn her concept into a business as an avenue to help other individuals who were experiencing the same obstacles as her son. She launched Braille Code Inc. in 2015.
“As a mother of a legally blind child, I saw the struggles that my son had to deal with getting dressed every single morning. My husband and I had to take turns getting up earlier to assist him with his clothes while gradually trying to teach him how to get dressed on his own. I had an epiphany to create patches for blind and visually impaired people and I named it Braille Code,” she said in a statement on the Braille Code Inc. website. “I designed patches that would appeal exclusively to the blind and visually impaired. All of my products will assist them to get dressed more efficiently and independently. This can work and help those who may have been struggling for years to dress by themselves. My goal is to give parents like me a way to help give our children a sense of pride, independence, and acceptance of who they are.” She’s also determined to increase the representation of visually impaired characters in children’s books. She penned a book titled What’s Cool About Braille Code School?.
As for Wani, he wants to use his journey to inspire others. “I’m glad my mom created this,” he said. “I want people to know that blind and vision-impaired people can do great things despite their condition.”