BEFORE "Blindness" (the film) and before Jose Saramago's book, there was John Wyndham and his "Day of the Triffids." Originally published in 1951, it is well known to readers of science fiction, and anticipates Saramago's idea by decades. Having only read Reed Johnson's article and the plot synopsis of the novel, I can't really compare, but it sure sounds similar.
The London Times said of ["...Triffids"] in 1951: " . . . a brain-chilling tale of tomorrow. . . . all the reality of a vividly realized nightmare." It is certainly worth a read and a nod of recognition for the idea. In "Day of the Triffids," blindness affects the entire globe and the natural world, that we have taken for granted and destroyed, literally lashes out at the survivors.
Katharine E.S. Donahue