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Blindingly Obvious: The beautiful vision of Minnie B. Leader and blind social pioneer

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Minnie Baragwanath
August 2023
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This is the moving story of a woman who, throughout her life, has refused to be defined by what others think she can or cannot do. Minnie Baragwanath was diagnosed, at the age of 15, with a congenital condition that left her legally blind. However, she did not meekly accept the limitations that blindness might have imposed on her: instead, she dug in her heels and set about improving not only her own life but also the lives of all New Zealanders with access needs. The dramatic events of Minnie's life - losing her sight, being admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Japan at 19, becoming a television presenter, participating in the New York Marathon, surviving life-threatening illnesses, founding and leading innovative organisations, receiving prestigious awards (including the New Zealand Order of Merit) - are related in vivid detail. Minnie looks candidly at both her challenges and her triumphs, giving the reader the opportunity to share her exceptional experiences. This book has the potential to change our views of what 'disability' means. Minnie's far-reaching ideas on how our society could be transformed - to everyone's benefit - are not just intellectual speculations: they are based on her experiences, and on those of the many people with disability with whom she has worked. There is a growing demand for information about 'diversity and inclusion'. This book, with its keen insight into what it means to be in meaningful relationship 'with' one another, and in particular how we as a society choose to relate to leaders and pioneers of a more progressive world, breaks new ground on those subjects.