Media Appearances

Laura and Wagner have taken their petition for Equal Access Rights for blind and visually impaired people in Curaçao and the Netherlands to the airwaves. Below, you'll find a log of recent coverage. More to be updated as our site redesign continues . . .

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January 26, 2008

Dolfijn FM - Curaçao

Week of January 21st, 2008

Radio Hoyer - Curaçao


Week of January 21st, 2008

Radio Hoyer 1 Interview with Phyllis Hernandez




Radio Hoyer 2 Interview with Otti Thomas

Guide dogs still don't have access to a lot of public places. An interview with Laura de Haseth-Meddens, who fights for guide dogs access legislation on Curacao. For instance for her own dog Wagner.

Listen (The quality of this mp3-file was adjusted to limit download time.)

Blindegeleide honden worden nog steeds op veel plekken geweigerd. Een interview met Laura de Haseth-Meddens, die strijd voor de wettelijke toegang voor blindegeleide honden op Curacao, zoals voor haar eigen hond Wagner.

Luister (De geluidskwaliteit van deze mp3-file is aangepast om het downloaden te versnellen.)

Copyright Radio Hoyer, 2008

Radio Paradise - Curaçao

Week of January 21st, 2008

Radio Paradise Interview with Oscar van Dam


“Blindness” to Hit the Big Screen this Summer

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Anyone who has read Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago’s novel about a town in which everyone goes blind will be eagerly anticipating its film adaptation, Blindness. The film has been described as a psychological thriller about the fragility of mankind.

Hollywood veterans Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo have signed on for the film, which explores the effects of a widespread epidemic of blindness and how it wreaks havoc on a contemporary city, pushing society to the brink of collapse. Danny Glover and Gabriel Gael Garcia Bernal will also star alongside Sandra Oh, who plays a pivotal role as the Minister of Health deciding how to handle those affected.

In the Saramago novel, only a portion of the people living in the affected town go blind and those who lose their sight are quarantined in an asylum marked by desolate and inhumane conditions. They’re guarded by soldiers who can see but do also eventually lose their sight. Early indications, however, imply that in the movie version of the story, Blindness, the entire city will be walled off from the rest of the world in an attempt to keep the blindness from spreading.

The trailer for Blindness was released April 7, 2008. The 90-second teaser from Miramax Films kicks off with the incessant beeping of a digital alarm clock. It continues as viewers watch Moore and Ruffalo, who are married, wake up in the bed they share and prepare to begin their morning. The two seem to go about their business normally, making coffee and getting ready in the bathroom but the easy, breezy a.m. routine is interrupted when Ruffalo realizes his sight is getting blurry.

Viewers who watch the trailer in its entirety will be able to intuit that the blindness, described as “an unexplained event,” has swept a large area and at least one city affected has become little more than a ghost town. The twist, however, is that Moore’s character will remain unaffected by the virus that causes the rest of the people in her town to lose their sight. She is then forced to pretend in the new society in which she’s living.

When Entertainment Weekly asked Moore about the project she said only that, “It’s a beautiful, beautiful story. Not a comedy.”

Blindness, thus far, is being compared to Children of Men in terms of style and tone.

Don McKellar (The Red Violin) wrote the screenplay; Brazilian Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener and City of God) directs. Meirelles shot the film last summer in Canada and documented much of the process in 13 blog entries (written in Portuguese). In one, Meirelles writes about the process of whittling his movie from two hours and 40 minutes down to two hours flat, so as not to “waste so much of the viewers’ precious time.”

Of his leading lady, Meirelles says “We used a trick of the trade which served as a bulletproof vest, a solution which can never disappoint you: Julianne Moore. The scene sucks and nothing else works? Cut to a close-up of Julianne Moore’s face and stay there. Checkmate.”

Beautiful and talented as Moore is, many within the disability community had looked forward to the fact that the project was a natural one in which some blind actors could have been involved. At the very least, many hoped that the non-disabled stars hired, including Ruffalo (who, in 2000, suffered temporary paralysis after surviving a brain tumor), might advocate for struggling disabled actors. While the anticipation of an interesting and beautifully-shot film still lingers, with the announcement of the cast and premiere of the trailer, any lingering hope for seeing disabled characters hit the big screen in Blindness appears to have gone dark.

Expected release date: August 8, 2008.

More to come . . .