The woman behind it all
Mona Minkara lost her vision at a young age. In spite of the doubts about her inability to accomplish her goals, Mona told herself that she could and would one day become a scientist. With the support of her parents and siblings, she started the journey by pursuing a degree in Chemistry at Wellesley College. It was there that Mona developed a passion for research and is now an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Northeastern University. In an inspirational speech at her Wellesley graduation, Mona shared her story, reflected on those who helped her, and her realization that that those who doubted were the ones with limited vision, not her. This idea that “Vision is More than Sight” became the motivation for Mona’s career.
The “woman behind it all” has an array of achievements under her belt. To browse them all, visit www.monaminkara.com
Mona has shared this website with you to not only share all that she has accomplished, but to take you on a journey around the globe and show you what it’s like to travel as a blind person. Come along with her as she experiences five cities, faces challenges, overcomes obstacles, and sheds light on issues that blind and visually-impaired individuals face day-to-day in a society that is designed to exclude them (a slow improvement on that one).
THE MISSION
Mona's application for the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually-Impaired 2019 Holman prize was considered fun, charismatic, and witty.
Mona, a blind woman scientist, dreamed of showing people what traveling around the world with a cane while using public transportation entailed. Her passion for adventure created the “Planes Trains and Canes” documentary series.
Her mission is to show what it's like traveling as a blind woman while using only public transportation. Mona's hopes that her journey will encourage others like herself to travel and inspire improvements in accessibility for the blind and visually-impaired.
THE TEAM
Natalie
Natalie
Videographer
I first met Mona working as her lowly Technical Writing Assistant the University of Minnesota. Ignited by our shared love of cheesy puns and swashbuckling adventure, a deep friendship blossomed. Through the cold Minneapolis months, Mona researched, I studied (sometimes), and together we wistfully dreamed about traveling the world. Enter Planes, Trains, and Canes—Mona’s golden brainchild for the holy grail of all adventures. Together, we worked without rest planning a documentary series so inspiring, so cheesy, and so action-packed that you wouldn’t even have to see it to be moved by it. In all sincerity, I’m honored to be a part of the Planes, Trains, and Canes team, to be trusted to capture the footage as a first-time camerawoman, and most importantly to have the pleasure of knowing and working with Mona. Why are you still reading this? Go watch an episode. You’re still reading. Watch them all!
Ted
Ted
Editor
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Ted Jimenez is one of the video editors for Planes Trains and Canes. Ted has a diverse set of knowledge and experience in the video and media industry from working as a co-op at WGBH and Soundtrack Boston in the Northeast. As well as working in the independent music scene in the Philippines, planning concerts, filming promotional content and music videos with Stages Sessions. Enthusiastic and creative, Ted also enjoys playing the saxophone, scuba diving and traveling around the world.
Ted
Anxhela
Anxhela
Editor
Hi! My name is Anxhela Becolli. I was the video editor for the Episode one, two and the trailer of Johannesburg. I joined the team in November of 2019. At the same time, I designed the second and last version of the Logo for Planes Trains and Canes. The logo design was based on the first draft submitted by Sarika Dagar who did a wonderful job in photoshop. My specialty is photography and my knowledge of photoshop came in handy quite a few times while working on this project including the design of the outro cards for the videos.