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
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
The team behind planes, trains, and canes.
Video editor
Web developer