Blind Guides provide Educational Experience
A Life Changing Experience
All exhibition guides at the global Dialogue in the Dark hubs are blind or visually impaired people. They lead visitors through the exhibitions providing an imaginative, educational and entertaining experience. Progressing from initial disorientation to the joy of perceiving the world through the other senses, blind guides enable visitors to feel comfortable and safe during the exhibition tour.
We believe that the opportunity to work in the exhibition empowers blind people, as they become aware of their different abilities, their value and beauty, personality and energy. Guides working for an exhibition perceive this as a chance to move from unemployment and a sense of limitation to a fulfilling work with a social context.
In many cases, exhibition guides have been working in other positions before they became blind. They join Dialogue in the Dark because they believe in its mission and feel honoured to help raising awareness towards inclusion and diversity. In other cases, the candidates have never been working, sometimes they not even received a higher education. For them it is a long journey from a passive receiver of care and services to an active contributor to the society. Potential exhibition guide candidates undergo a strict selection process. If there is the potential to develop positive attitude, mobility and orientation, communication and presentation skills, they undergo an intensive training where they learn how to interact with the public in a save, entertaining and educational way. After the successful completion of the training, guides are certified by Dialogue Social Enterprise and can work on a full or part time base contract. For most of the exhibition guides the personal growth aspect through their professional association with «Dialogue in the Dark» proves to be a life changing experience.
Erik Weinstock, former guide of Dialog in the Dark, Atlanta, USA:
"When I was a Dialog in the Dark tour guide from 2008 to 2012 I would say to the groups I am differently abled, or I have different abilities. Later I would say because I am different that makes me special, I am specially abled. I have a very slow progressive eye disease, and I am 53. It took me a long time to even admit to anyone that I had a problem with my vision. I tried to deny it. But now this is what I tell people that I'm special. And today I even think it's cool to be blind!"