Visually-impaired community warns against ‘Bird Box’ challenge

Published: Jan. 6, 2019 at 7:14 PM CST
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A new Netflix film has people glued to their television screens since it was released last month. But now, the movie Bird Box has stirred up a new internet challenge that's encouraging people to blindfold themselves and then perform different stunts in public.

In the movie, Bird Box characters must cover their eyes to avoid seeing a creature that inevitably kills them, but the visually-impaired in the Bryan-College Station community says they are frustrated by the trend and are wondering why people aren't using common sense.

"As a blind person, I’ve been blind all my life so I’ve learned to use my senses, but I would never take off walking in a strange area or across a street," said Laura Ann Grymes, a visually-impaired woman in College Station.

Grymes was born blind and she relies on her guide dog, Dyson, most days to direct her path.

"His job is to get me there safely and we can move faster. But my job is to give him the directions," Grymes said.

Grymes doesn’t let her disability stop her from living her life. She's been a massage therapist for 13 years. She relies on her other senses, like smell, touch, and hearing, to help her clients and bring them comfort.

"I’ve taken almost 100 hours worth of class hours to learn how to help with lymph flow, and to reduce swelling and inflammation. I also do craniosacral therapy, which can help with headaches," Grymes said.

Grymes says she hopes people stop participating in the challenge, but instead, take into account what a blind person actually goes through every single day.

"It is a way of life and learning, just like you would learn a skill and to not endanger someone else or themselves, and end up in the hospital. Grymes continued. “I'd hope they'd use common sense so they wouldn't endanger other people."

Netflix issued out a warning to users asking them not to do the challenge, saying they don't know how it started, but they don't want anyone to end up in the hospital due to memes.