When I was a junior at Boston College (BC), I had applied and been accepted at a Top 40 radio station for an internship. I had hosted a radio show at BC for 2 years by this point and had done well in my production classes. At my internship interview, the people from the radio station met me and realized that I was blind. They didn’t know what I could do or how I could do it and they didn’t seem willing to take my suggestions. After that initial meeting, they said they would call me back. They never did. Surprised?
The following semester, a professor mentioned that Jack Clancy, of Burclan Productions, would at times take interns from BC for his video and audio production company. I called Jack, we scheduled an interview, and reeling from not hearing back from that radio station, I said to Jack, “I also want to let you know that I am blind. Is that a problem?” Jack answered me with a quick, “No, I don’t see why it would be.”
I learned a lot in those weeks at Burclan Productions and I went on to take video production courses at BC. Yes, you read that correctly – video production courses. And I got A’s. Ok, I didn’t run the camera, but I did put together some compelling story lines for the videos. After I graduated, I began to work in the non-profit field. Those non-profits often needed videos to tell their stories, and I called on my friend Jack to help out with these productions. He did so, with my input on how the story should be told. He loved my storytelling ideas, my interview style, and how I imagined the opening sequences for each video. Together, we created some impressive videos for some deserving non-profits.
I believe the reason Jack didn’t need convincing those many years ago when I applied to be his intern is because he really believes in blind people. He believes that blind people can do any kind of work and excel at it. This includes professional fields that are often thought of as “visual.” Jack and I have taught each other many lessons since I first interned for him 16 years ago. One of those lessons was that to tell a story, the most important thing is to have a vision, not the use of your vision.