An absolute dark environment was provided as a disorienting dilemma for visitors. The dark was the element to provoke a shift of roles where the sighted visitor plays the role of the blind person and the blind guide becomes the expert.
And this leads to the encounter, one of our key identity elements. We activate the encounters between blind and sighted persons which do not happen frequently in daily life.
But the lockdowns derived from the pandemic became our own disorienting dilemma. No more visits to the dark were allowed. And the key organizational question raised: how to attract the visitors to these unique inclusive encounters with the visually impaired guides if in-person encounters cannot happen?
Despite appealing innovative external potential solutions, often the fundamental answer lies at home.
To continue the capacity building for online inclusion for our blind colleagues, we have expanded this training to a reduced selected international group. We got blind participants from Singapore, Hong Kong, Lithuania, UK, Australia, and other countries.
But thanks to Christian Koch’s facilitation, this is not only training, but a co-creation lab where hopeful answers are raising. There was a disorientating moment where we, as blind guides, could not see a possibility to continue our Dialogue with no dark. However, now we can discern some answers.
Strengthening storytelling in our blind colleagues is a must. There are incredible encouraging and helpful stories which were hidden in the dark for years and which deserve to be shared.
But there is another experiential learning technique we are trying, which is focused again on the truth encounter between blind and sighted people working towards a common goal. We believe this technique will be unique and highly powerful especially for inclusion objectives. We hope to share more with you very soon.
The conclusion is: even when your profound identity is broken, the fundamental answer is still there inside.