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Courts opens customers’ eyes to blindness

Shoppers at Courts experienced an alternate reality this morning as the Lion Clubs of Bridgetown hosted Dialogue in The Dark.

The event, which was held to mark World Sight Day, was aimed at sensitizing Barbadians to the challenges faced by those who are visually impaired.

During the social experiment, patrons of the retail store attempted to cook, differentiate ingredients, make a bed, and determine the difference between male and female clothing by touch and texture.

For some, it was an eye-opening experience, as normal daily tasks became difficult. Cy Francis described the initiative as “interesting” and said it showed what people with sight took for granted.

A blindfolded Cy Francis trying to figure out items in the kitchen cupboard while member of the Barbados Association of the Blind and Deaf, Megan Davis-Vaughan instructs him.

A blindfolded Cy Francis trying to figure out items in the kitchen cupboard while member of the Barbados Association of the Blind and Deaf, Megan Davis-Vaughan instructs him.

“Even with walking with the cane, it was a bit intimidating because you aren’t sure of what is in front of you . . . [but] all in all, it was a good experience to see what blind persons go through,” he said.

Representatives of the Barbados Association for the Blind and Deaf (BABD) were on hand to advise participants on techniques to make performing tasks without sight, easier.

“Every day, people will acquire disabilities, either through accidents, non-communicable diseases. . . .The idea is that we want to encourage persons to recognize that when these situations do occur, life does not come to an end,” BABD president Elviston Maloney told Barbados TODAY. “You can still live a normal life, just with a little assistance here and there but you can go back to living normally, doing the things you used to do before.”

President of the Lions Club, Nicola Callender asserted that there was a need for more education on the difficulties faced by the visually impaired, reminding the public that anyone could lose their sight.

A Courts employee tries making a bed while blindfolded.  

A Courts employee tries making a bed while blindfolded.
 

Patron Shemille Waterman attempts to use the mobility cane.

Patron Shemille Waterman attempts to use the mobility cane.

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