Jay and Mihai are walking on the street with their white canes. Mihai is blindfolded.

Today, I, Jay, a volunteer working in a ESC project with a group of teenagers, held a workshop to raise awareness about blindness and visual impairment.

This was my first experience organizing such a workshop with a young  sighted audience, having previously only worked with adults. The results were surprisingly positive.

The workshop was divided into three distinct activities.

The first revolved around Braille writing, during which I explained the Braille system and the writing method used by the visually impaired. The teenagers had the opportunity to directly experiment, trying to write their names using a Braille typewriter.

The second activity developped  a practical demonstration of how to guide a person with visual impairment, highlighting the common mistakes people usually make. This session provided a valuable learning opportunity for the teenagers, helping them understand the daily challenges faced by visually impaired people and how to provide appropriate support.

The third and final activity was dedicated to the leisure and entertainment of visually impaired people.  I shared my personal experience, highlighting my love for computer and phone games. I also introduced various board games specifically adapted for visually impaired people. This activity culminated in a shared game session that involved all participants for the last thirty minutes of the workshop.

The teenagers showed great enthusiasm and participation throughout the entire event, much more than in previous activities. Despite the limited time for questions, their interest and curiosity were evident, particularly during the name-writing activity in Braille and the board games.

Moreover, it was significant to note that the activity was not only of interest to the teenagers, but also to the two teachers with whom I work. They showed great interest, reinforcing the importance and value of these awareness-raising workshops.

In conclusion, this experience has shown that while the world of visually impaired people may seem different, it is in fact very similar to everyone else’s. This workshop offered a unique opportunity to break down barriers and promote inclusion and mutual understanding, contributing to a more aware and respectful society.

Jay, 16/05/2023