Cannes Lions

ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND

MUDRA DDB GROUP, Mumbai / ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED / 2010

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May I help you?The differently abled peopleSynopsis:There is no such thing called disability, it’s just the unavailability of resources and opportunities.

This was the thought behind the Ambient-experiential event, ‘May I help you?’ executed on the world disability day (1st, 2nd, 3rd Dec. 2009)Aim:The event was done for the ‘National Association for the Blind’ and aimed at changing the perception that blind are disabled people who need help.Insight:Blind are not disabled but ‘differently abled’. They just need special resources.Idea:To put ‘normal people’ in a helpless situation, and make them realize that there is no such thing called disability; it’s just the unavailability of resources.Execution:On 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dec. 2009 (The world disability day) at all the five outlets of Copper Chimney restaurant (Mumbai), regular menus were replaced with Braille menus.The initial shock and discomfort among diners was followed by a pleasant surprise, when a blind volunteer reached there for rescue, saying ‘May I help you?’He/she read out the Braille menu, making the point that they are not disabled but ‘differently abled’ and just need special resources.It was ended with a message: “There is no difference. Just like we can’t read your script you can’t read ours. Is this a disability? What if, all books are printed in Braille?

We think it’s more of the availability of resources and opportunities.On the world disability day this is the point we just wanted to make through this small effort. Hope, now you will not sympathize with a blind but empathize. Thanks for bearing with us. Have a nice lunch.”The event was endorsed by popular bollywood actors 'Suniel shetty' and 'Naser Khan' (visually challenged)Results:The activity effectively changed perception of people from sympathy to empathy towards the blind.•NAB got 15 employment offers for their visually challenged members•542 people who visited the restaurants signed on as volunteer members of NAB•The program received immense PR in the press and Television media, valued at approximately 150,000 USDThe program boosted the morale of the blind volunteers. For the first time, they could confidently ask a sighted person –“May I help you?

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