Some of the challenges blind individuals have to overcome are obvious, but others go completely unnoticed by the sighted community.
A campaign launched by a class at the Metropolitan State College of Denver is seeking to bring awareness to the hurdles that blind citizens have to overcome throughout their everyday lives. The project is especially applicable to Littleton, which is home to the internationally renowned Colorado Center for the Blind.
The 10 participating Metro State students, all of whom are undergraduates with a focus on communication design, reached out to the center early in the project’s planning stages. The center’s executive director, Julie Deden, was thankful for the effort and pleased with how the proposal was offered.
“We are very appreciative that the students and instructors involved had the foresight to invite us to collaborate on the project, and did not automatically assume what we as blind individuals needed or wanted in terms of accessibility,” Deden said.
The Blind Spot: Advocate for Access campaign is scheduled for launch in early December. Blind and sighted participants will plant small adhesive markers, called spots, in areas throughout Littleton where they experience environmental, communication or technological barriers associated with impaired vision.
“We’re pointing out areas of concern in and around our living environments, which we all share,” said Lisa Abendroth, coordinator of the communication design program at Metro State.
The spots are supposed to bring awareness to problems of which many sighted individuals may not be aware, such as restaurant menus or ATMs that don’t feature Braille. A campaign to implement specific changes would likely have been overwhelming for the one-semester course, so the students are instead hoping to create buzz and discussion.
“It’s just to say, maybe this is something you haven’t been aware of and there are easy ways to remedy it,” Abendroth said.
The organizers from Metro State and representatives from the Colorado Center for the Blind are hosting a Blind Spot launch celebration at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 7 at the Downtown Littleton RTD Station. The students also are applying for an award from the Design Ignites Change organization to fund a permanent website to foster dialogue about blind advocacy. Interested individuals can visit www.facebook.com/blindspotdenver for more information.