Dialogue sparks new perspectives

Image of Guide Dogs Australia CEOs (left-right): Dale Cleaver (NSW), Karen Hays (VIC), Aaron Chia (SA), VisAbility CEO Dr Clare Allen, and Michael Kightley (QLD).

How do you navigate peak-hour in pitch black? What’s it like to feel your way through a crowded footpath? How would you find and communicate with friends using only your feet, hands and sense of hearing?”
(Dialogue in the Dark, 2018).

A simulated experience, Dialogue in the Dark provides participants the opportunity to step into the shoes of a person with low vision or blindness. It is a sensory journey that lasts 60 minutes. During the experience, the CEOs were led through a simulated Melbourne street by a guide who has low vision.

The guide took the group on a tour in complete darkness that plunged them into an unfamiliar environment, challenging their senses and perspectives.[/caption]

“I work with people who are blind and vision impaired every day and I still took away a special awareness of ‘what it actually means’ to be blind or vision impaired and connect to all of our senses. I also experienced what people encounter every day in Melbourne’s city. It really had an impact!” Dr Allen said.

Dialogue in the Dark is a global organisation founded in 1988, and can now be experienced in over 21 countries. Most recently, Dialogue in the Dark journeyed to Melbourne’s Docklands. The Melbourne exhibition was made possible in partnership with Guide Dogs Australia and it was officially opened in June last year.

“Guide Dogs Victoria is the first organisation in Australia to offer the amazing experience of Dialogue in the Dark, an international concept of great acclaim and respect,” remarked Dr Allen. “This is a must for organisations that want to encourage their staff to be more aware of the needs of people who are blind and vision impaired. This is a unique experience to ignite the senses and experience Melbourne like never before.”

If you live with vision impairment, we have a range of services designed to offer support to live independently including Orientation and Mobility (O & M), Assistive Technology and more. Contact us for more information.