This interview was conducted with the help of Chestnut Lane, a place that provides assisted living for deaf, DeafBlind, and seniors.
Tim gave permission for his video comments to be shared.
Ryan (interpreting for Alex): Hello!
(Cutaway to text: This interview was done on recorded videophone chat. Tim Cook approved the use of him on video.)
Ryan: What is your full name?
Tim: Timothy Fisher Cook.
Ryan: Wow, you are famous now because a woman took a picture of you chatting with an ASL student.
Did you expect this to go viral? How do you feel?
Ryan: Did you see that? Astonished.
Why did you feel astonished?
Tim: Because… I was not expecting this. For it to be so much… to be a big deal. I’m just a DeafBlind guy!
Tim: But it is nice. It is nice. All the attention. It is nice.
Ryan: When the woman took the picture of you, did you know she planned to snap a photo?
Tim: No, I didn’t know. I didn’t know she took a picture. I didn’t know.
Ryan: Do you feel okay with it going viral?
Tim: It’s fine. It’s fine. I am happy because a journalist, someone — what is his name?
(Cutaway to text: “Tim said a journalist from Canada, after seeing the story, reached out to him and offered to pay of an out-of-country trip for him and a guide.”)
Ryan: Where do you want to go next?
Tim: Where do I want to go next?
Tim: I am not sure. I have thought about a few different places. I’m thinking of Paris. I like to go to places with good food.
Ryan: On airplanes, do you feel you have equal access or are there barriers?
Tim: Yes… It helps if staff can fingerspell.
Ryan: The girl who chatted with you…
Tim: Oh yes, she was wonderful. Really sweet. It was very fun to talk with her. I enjoyed it a lot.
Ryan: Do you want to give additional comments? Anything you want to add?
Tim: Whoever is losing vision
Ryan: (Losing vision)
Tim: It is very hard. Very hard. It’s horrible. I know from personal experience.
Tim: So I can say you can get used to it. It takes time. So I can understand. Hang in there.
Ryan: Some people say they feel sorry for you. Do you think people should feel pity or no?
Tim: No. I want compassion.
He said “Compassion is good.”
Ryan: Nice to meet you!
Tim: You too. Have a good life.
(Cutaway to text, “Special thanks to Chestnut Lane, Renee Vairora, and Ryan Hadden.”)
To see the original Facebook post of him that went viral: https://bit.ly/2yUs9mK