When they were 7 years old, Bradford and Bryan Manning were both diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, an eye disease that causes blindness over an extended period of time. Now in their thirties, the blind brothers have both lost their central vision. They see mostly using their peripheral vision or, in other words, out of the sides of their eyes. Children with this condition may need to use large print books and special devices that magnify print to see properly. But while the two brothers’ may be losing their sight, their vision for helping others who have problems seeing was growing!
A Vision for Two Blind Brothers
While shopping for clothes, the two brothers often have to use their touch, not their sight, to choose items. They love soft clothes. And it gave them inspiration.
In 2016, to leave their succesful careers to start a clothing company called “Two Blind Brothers.” The mission of Two Blind Brothers is to make the softest clothing and gifts in the world and donate 100% of the profits to charities that help fight blindness, like the Foundation Fighting Blindness. They also hire blind workers to make their products.
The company sells mystery boxes that provide an assortment of their ultra-soft products like shirts, socks, and beanies. Each box is sent “blind” to a customer, meaning they do not know what it contains.
People love the mission and cause of Two Blind Brothers. As a result, the company has grown quickly on social media and has attracted attention from celebrities such as Ellen Degeneres. To date, Bradford and Bryan have donated well over one million dollars to causes that support the cure of blindness.
Here is a video that explains the very inspirational story of Two Blind Brothers, Bradford and Bryan Manning:
This video explains what it’s like to experience different kinds of vision loss:
- Learn more about Stargardt Disease and Visual Impairment
- Visit the National Federation of the Blind website to learn more about Braille and how you can help support its use.
- Read and watch more inspirational IMK stories about people dealing with blindness.
Topics for Discussion:
- Do you find Bryan and Bradford to be inspiring? Why?
- How would it feel to lose your sight after being able to see?
- What character traits do show in facing her blindness?
- Check out the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Industries for the Blind and VisionWalk to learn more about how you can help fight blindness and support those who are afflicted with it.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.