"The most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart" - #HelenKeller, Blind Visionary
Are You Ready to Challenge the Darkness?
Dialogue in the Dark™ / Dialogue in the Dark Melbourne to Open in Melbourne June 2017
DATES: June 2 till 31 August
LOCATION: Harbour Town Melbourne Level 1, 29-31 Star Crescent, Docklands, VIC 3008
Revolutionising the Way We Perceive Blindness and the World Around Us (For Immediate Release 1 May 2017) After more than 25 years, 132 cities, 41 countries and over 9 million guests, the phenomenally successful global social enterprise that is Dialogue in the Dark™ opens in Melbourne 2 June at Harbour Town Docklands. Dialogue in the Dark™ is an immersive experience in total darkness through which, led by blind guides, guests interact and communicate relying solely on their other senses. Visitors to the exhibition will lose the sense they rely on the most - their vision- as they touch, feel, hear and explore the unseen and learn to “see” in complete darkness as they discover an iconic Melbourne like never before.
Guests are armed only with a white cane while a blind guide provides skilled leadership through life’s everyday challenges and activities. Within a 60 min tour experience, guests will discover how to orientate and move themselves in the dark, identify the world around them through the other senses and collaborate without sight. In Australia, Dialogue in the Dark ™ has partnered with Australia’s most trusted charity brand, Guide Dogs Australia (GDA) whose mission is to provide independence to Australians with low vision or blindness. Karen Hayes, CEO Guide Dogs Victoria has led the way for bringing this globally renowned exhibition to Australia. “This is a wonderful opportunity for GDV to be able to offer meaningful job and social inclusion opportunities for people who are blind and vision impaired, and ultimately, for the sighted community to really take a walk in the shoes of someone with vision impairment,” said Ms. Hayes. ‘People can expect to feel exhilarated, empathetic and inspired as a result of this experience. ‘Together we have the power to create a lasting social impact on our prejudices of blindness as a result of what our guides can teach us,” she added.
Guides range in ages from 21-55 years and are from all walks of life with one thing in common; the desire for independence, inclusion and gainful employment opportunities. “I always had difficulty accepting the term ‘disabled’, says guide and Positive Vision Educator Maribel Steel. “We are just in the limelight, but everyone has a disability in this life. ‘Teaching the sighted what they are capable of without sight will go a long way in changing perceptions of how we live.”
“The general public is often hesitant to engage with us,” says guide Francois Jacobs. ‘There is an apprehension of what you should and shouldn’t do. ‘I look forward to teaching people that they don’t need to have a glum view of the blind. ‘Blindness is just another attribute and as soon as you can cope with what affects your life, the happier you will be.”
The first Dialogue in the Dark™ experience opened in Germany in 1989. Founded by Andreas Heinecke in 1988 he was asked to develop work training for a young journalist who had lost his eyesight. With no previous experience working with the disabled, Heinecke questioned how life could be lived fully with no vision and then understood the prejudices that the sighted can hold. Understanding the true potential of a person living with vision impairment, he designed a whole body experience for the vision impaired to lead the fully sighted through everyday life. Each exhibition caters to a customised and detailed version of the city in which it is located via unique sounds, landscapes and attractions.
Workshops for corporate and school groups are available for more hands-on experiential and nonvisual perception teaching. Led by blind or vision impaired facilitators, groups are encouraged to work together to enhance problem-solving, communication, team-building and social skills.
For more information visit www.dialogueinthedark.com.au
Thanks to the #DialogueInTheDark marketing team and Encore PRBohemian Rhapsody Club and Online Magazine is proudly covering the media view ( multimedia journalist Kieran McNamara at Kieran Mcnamara Photography) . Please stay tuned for more details.