Movie night for blindies - 25 April 2009

Not sure exactly how many people we had there, but was quite a few, including the team who got me started in 2006 with orientation and mobility training, basic braille learning/training, and got me started using computers again after my initial reserve relating to actually using a screen reader productively.

Also had some people from/linked to Action4 there and a few of other visually impaired/blindie friends there.

Apart from these groups, I would guess that there were around 20 people there looking to let themselves 'see' how it feels to be blind in the real world, and this included 3 or 4 of my bike club members.

We started off with a speech from one of the sponsors explaining how we were going to handle the use of the blinkers etc., how the people would need to ask for assistance/service with regard to either getting served, or with help getting to the bathroom - where, for example, we would require the person to get to the bathroom with assistance from a waitress/barlady, and there they would be required to walk the last 2-3 metres using a cane although they'd never been trained to use one as such.

Anyway, once we had done the introduction, we got the people to put on their blindfolds - for the peeping there out of which they would be required to pay a small fine - and I started the small intro to how I would be navigating on the computer I had there, and then after going through a few different types of movie soundtracks, etc. we chose to make use of charlie and the chocolate factory, and I let it get started playing.

After around 20 minutes we again paused the movie soundtrack and let the guys comment on their new experience etc. and started getting ready to serve the meal - which as far as I know was a form of chicken cordon bleu including peas and mashed potatoes, - which they would also have to eat with their blindfolds on, and preferably using utensils.

Aside from this we also had the master of ceremonies chat a bit about some other things, and we also played some music by stevie wonder to which some of the people tried dancing to, and I played one or two other light-hearted songs/audio clips as part of this while the meal was being served, and we also did a bit of lucky draw - where we hadn't told the sighted guys to check the lucky numbers on their tickets before the blindfolding, but had in fact stuck braille labels on a few of them.

I then carried on the movie sound track while the people tried to eat as normally as possible in this 'new' environment.

I'll be honest and I mostly just heard utensils being used as a form of clatter on the plates etc., and since time was flying We didn't really finish listening to the movie sound track, but I think most of the people wer, partly due to the sighties trying to find their foode in fact a bit too distracted to be listening to too much of the audio description/narration while it was playing.

Anyway, after all of this, we again had the master of ceremonies say one or two words relating to the 'whole new world' they'd now discovered, and they were finally allowed to actually remove their blindfolds/blinkers.

Hereafter I was chatting to a bunch of people who were explaining to me how they'd tried to carry out activities, and who were also asking me some questions about what I use as my method of workaround for relatively simple every day tasks, and this is exactly why I wanted to put this sort of thing together - to open the sighted people's eyes/minds with regard to our world.

As far as I know, 2 people were in fact caught out peeping from behind their blindfolds/blinkers, and they received their fines therefor.

Will also just, again, say thankyou to the guys linked to Antheo's for their major contribution to this whole deal, and something similar will definitely be happening again!

Would also just like to thank the Kempton Express, local newspaper, for placing the ad before the time, and they also popped round on the day to take a photo or two and put a write-up in one of the following issues.

Old page relating to arranging of movie night
Back to homepage