Last weekend was prom at the New York Institute of Special Education, a school for blind and visually disabled students in the Bronx. Photographer Vincent Tullo followed students wearing gowns and tuxedos from their requisite pre-prom photo shoots to the venue at F & J Pine Restaurant. He shot the prom court’s crowning, flower corsages, and raised hands on the dance floor.
Tullo said most students who use canes left them behind for prom night, opting for someone to guide them instead. “They want to feel more stylish and independent in their outfits during prom,” he said. “The main focus is to simply show that blind individuals do everything that sighted people do. They still like to look good and feel good about themselves just as much as everyone else.” He started taking his camera to NYISE earlier this year, hoping to learn more about the blind community for his college thesis at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Because the school is smaller, grades 8 through 12 attend the prom each year. Tullo began the night with a few students who live in the school’s campus dorms, photographing their preparations before they headed to the venue. See his photos with stories about each student in the slideshow ahead.