Before losing his eyesight unexpectedly to a misdiagnosis of fungal meningitis in 2006, Albert Rizzi was the Executive Director/Principal of a pre-K afterschool program in the South Bronx, serving 250 children and their families.
After losing his vision, Rizzi became the inspirational founder and president of My Blind Spot (MBS), an organization that focuses on online accessibility for people of all abilities. Rizzi says that the non-profit organization focuses on authentic inclusion and digital equity, because of the struggles that he encountered when trying to use websites and other digital platforms as a blind person.
“I ran into walls literally and virtually and decided to do something about it instead of (being satisfied by) being dealt a bad hand of cards and (I) started My Blind Spot to advocate for digital equity and inclusion of ability alongside race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion,” said Rizzi.
Today, MBS works with all types of agencies, corporations, and organizations to make sure that their digital platforms work for people of all abilities. With 25 million people in the US and over 300 million worldwide having a visual disability, My Blind Spot’s services are crucial in the Information Age. When millions can often be unintentionally prohibited from accessing digital platforms and information as the general population there is certainly no question on why this work needs to be done. One phrase associated with MBS spells this all out clearly: Access = Ability. MBS finds digital equity solutions for digital platform problems and has helped organizations such as American Express, American Airlines, Intuit, and many schools, municipalities, and even government entities throughout New York.
Amazingly, they do all of this with the collaborative work of 10 skilled individuals. All of whom are representative of the disability community, including individuals with sensory loss, mobility issues, cognitive delays, learning disabilities, and aging. Fortunately, the pandemic hasn’t slowed MBS at all; they’ve been going strong even during this challenging time!
Keep a lookout for Albert Rizzi on the premiere of the program “Together We Are Able”, scheduled to air on NBC on Saturday, October 30th to coincide with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. He’ll be featured with others who happen to have a disability who also are doing amazing things.
I’d like to thank Albert again for speaking with me and commend him for founding My Blind Spot, and for all the advocacy and community work he does. Be sure to visit www.myblindspot.org if you’d like to learn more about him and MBS!