By Kath Gannaway
Members of Badger Creek Men’s Shed are putting their skills to work to help inform sighted people on what it is like to live in the dark.
They are working with Guide Dogs Victoria to build two props for their Dialogue in the Dark experience at Docklands.
In a role reversal, visitors are led through a space that is in total darkness where they learn to interact and communicate by relying on non-visual senses.
With a low vision or blind guide by their side, sighted people are removed from their familiar world to become reliant on their guide to provide security and orientation as they travel through a world without imagery.
“In this setting, guides open each attendee’s eyes to show them that the world of low vision is in no way poorer – only a different way to experience an environment,” GDV explains on its www.guidedogsvictoria.com.au/get-involved/dialogue-in-the-dark .
Men’s Shed president Mario Herodotus and member Jim Bray are on the team working on the project which involves working from designs provided by GDV for what they would only described as “like a puzzle”.
“We don’t want to give anything away,” Mario said.
To find out exactly what role the finished items play in the Dialogue in the Dark experience means venturing into the darkness.
Jim said the team was pleased to have the opportunity to help.
“It’s a project that you care about specifically because it is for Guide Dogs,” he said.
“You feel that you’re doing something which is useful, but at the same time is not taking a job away from someone who makes a living from this type of thing.
Mario said the Men’s Shed was donating their time and the materials and the fact that the Dialogue in the Dark experience also produces funds for GDV was something they also appreciated about the project.