Blindness is not always darkness and darkness is not always lack of vision. In this exhibit you will meet 14 individuals who see the world not through their eyes, but from their hearts.

What does it mean to be blind, to have a visual impairment, not to see? We thought it was about darkness. It is not. It is about light, energy and the boundless creativity of the human mind to discover the world using all senses.

Each of us has a unique view of the world around us. The people documented here know that. They have discovered their own ways of seeing and only ask that you join their conversation. They have given us insight into what it is to see differently. And, while each has a diagnosis that lessens their physical sight, we found them all to have great vision.

We all have different ways of seeing, the important thing, is that we listen.

About Billy Howard

Billy Howard is a documentary photographer specializing in public health and education. His photographic books include Epitaphs for the Living: Words and Images in the Time of AIDS; Portrait of Spirit: One Story at a Time, with an introduction by Christopher Reeve and Angels and Monsters: A Child’s Eye View of Cancer for The American Cancer Society.

His work has been featured on "Good Morning America," "CBS This Morning," NPR’s "Performance Today," and in the HBO special "And the Band Played On" and the TBS special "The Coming Plague." His photographs were projected in the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremonies for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

He was a 2011–2012 Rosalyn Carter Fellow in Mental Health Journalism, and holds an honorary doctor of literature degree from St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, N.C.

About Laurie Shock

Laurie Shock, president of Shock Design Books, is a designer and art director specializing in book design and publishing. She has designed and produced over two hundred books, including Isaac Asimov’s Library of the Universe book series and A Century of Women, the companion book to the Turner Broadcasting series. Among her clients are The Centers for Disease Control, The Carter Center, Shepherd Center, the American Cancer Society, Longstreet Press, Peachtree Publishers, and Fall Line Press. Her books have been published internationally, including a childrens’ cancer memoir published in Japan. Three of her books have won international book awards.

She teaches workshops and seminars on book publishing for photographers and authored the book How to Publish Your Own Photography Book.

Photo of Billy Howard

Photography and stories
by Billy Howard

Illustrations and visual descriptions by Laurie Shock