This idea is still in it’s VERY EARLY stages. All names/dates/times/locations/details are simply placeholders and are subject to change.
The 1st Annual “In Our Shoes” 10K Walk
Raising awareness of our city’s accessibility level and the state of assistive technology for the blind.
A real-world-situation walk with no set path to the finish line… blindfolded. Also, the finish line is a secret until the walk begins. The idea is for the participants to be mixed in the crowds on the street, and experience the world without vision. Participate solo or in pairs.
To have fun, raise awareness, and foster changes that allow the blind and visually impaired to independently move around our city more easily. It’s also a way to bring attention to new assistive tech gear, test its usability in real-world situations, and push the state of the art forward.
Each participant will approach the starting line one at a time. After you affix your blindfold, your left hand will be placed on a time clock and a time card will be placed in your right hand. As soon as you clock in, you will be told the address of the finish line. You and a non-blindfolded spotter will leave the area and the next participant will queue up.
There will be winners in 4 categories, based on shortest travel time:
1. Sighted, Solo
2. Sighted, Pair
3. Blind/Visually Impaired, Solo
4. Blind/Visually Impaired, Pair
Everyone who makes it to the finish line will get a certificate of participation.
The finish line will be between 8K and 10K away. No matter which path you take, you will travel roughly the same distance north-to-south as you will east-to-west.
Your spotter will be recording your trek on video. You cannot ask your spotter for help or to remind you of the address of the finish line. He/she will only speak to (or grab) you if you are in immediate physical danger.
You are allowed (encouraged even) to use any and all assistive technology available. You are not allowed to have a guide dog, or guide monkey, or guide human, or any other guide creature, This walk is to promote accessibility/mobility independent of other living beings. There is one exception: You are free to talk to people on the street and if you are participating as a pair you can talk to one another.
Pre- and Post-
Before the walk there is a giant disclaimer, and after the walk is a questionnaire. If you are among those who may be winners, you will be asked to submit your video for verification. Peeking will not disqualify you, but there will be severe time penalties.
OK, so that’s the idea (minus a lot of the small print).
In Seattle and want to help make it a reality?
Not in Seattle and still want to help?
I’ll need help designing posters, T-Shirts, web sites, and banners. I need to be connected with organizations that could stand to mutually benefit from our awareness campaign. I need to be made aware of the legal land-mines ahead. etc. etc.
Anyone know a local celebrity or sports figure that could participate and bring in national coverage?
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDIT: Continued in “Details, Details, Details, Part One —->“