I had a two day training this week about visually impaired children, since I have a student this year that is visually impaired. This training was very informative and gave me many things to think about.
The first day we had to try on different safety glasses that had been modified to make our vision difficult. Later we had to go to a dark cafe, which was very intense in my opinion. There was simulated noise and you had to really concentrate on what you were doing when getting your coffee. By the time I got to the table, I was exhausted. Our final task of the day was when we were led to a room blindfolded. We had to first get to know the room by walking next to the walls and feeling our way around. When we were done we were led to a table and tried some activities with children's toys in the same room. At the end we had all assumed we were in a playroom (hence the toys), but when we took off our blindfolds, we were in a room that was used for meetings.
The second day we had to help lead our blind folded partner around the building. I turned out to be a poor guide, since my partner never went through door ways without bumping into the side. Oops! Later we had to go do a obstacle course blindfolded. The teacher led us one by one through the course, and the theme was 'We are going on a lion hunt'. The music had been playing earlier, and the teacher asked us if we remembered what came first, next and so on as we went through the course.
On most of these blindfolded activities, I always had an excellent visual in my mind, how everything looked. Always when I took off my blindfold, I was a bit disappointed it wasn't as great!
Here is a pic of the obstacle course.
After all of this I have thought about doing a blind obstacle course with my students. I think it would be really interesting for students to experience. Also, we could make some modified safety glasses for the classroom, so that students can get an idea how our visually impaired student experiences life.
I am grateful to have had these experiences!