Can you imagine what it would be like to be blind? I think about these types of things every so often. A couple of years ago I stopped to chat with a blind gentleman who was standing at the corner of Summer and Delaware. When I first saw him I wondered how I would go about approaching him. After all, he couldn’t see me and I didn’t want to startle him. Eventually I walked nearer and said that I was sorry to bother him. I explained that I was curious about what sort of support system he had in place to help him with his daily routines. He happily answered that the Olmsted Center for Sight was the place that had helped him to relearn much of what he had always taken for granted. After chatting for upwards of half an hour he suggested that I stop into the facility, which I did. At the time I really wanted to find a way to share with Buffalo Rising readers something that I myself was unfamiliar with. I thought that maybe by sitting down with a number of visually impaired people, a discussion would ensue that would help to shed some light on the impairment… so that more people would feel comfortable approaching the blind in a manner that would be conducive rather than abrasive.
While my idea never actually panned out, I have finally figured out a way to introduce my sentiments to the Buffalo Rising audience. On April 12, 2012 Olmsted Center for Sight will host an event that is designed to “Bring awareness of one aspect of the challenges faced by blind people.” The aspect? Being blind. You are cordially invited to a dinner party in the dark. If there was ever a way to attempt to gain an understanding as to what it is like to be blind, then attending a dinner party with the lights out would have to be it. From the service of the meal to the placement of cutlery. How do you know where the food is positioned on the plate? Where is your glass? And what’s in it? Did anything spill? If so, what did it spill on? While this sort of event might sound entertaining for a hot second, I assure you that that is not the point. It’s a chance to truly know what it’s like to lose your sight. It’s also a charitable way to raise money for a worthy cause.
Learn more about all of the incredible work that the Statler Center does, as profiled by BRO.
Cost: $100 per person; a Silent and Chinese Auction will be held during the event. RSVP: Renee DiFlavio at 716-888-4647 by March 30, 2012
The event will take place on April 12, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, Two Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, New York. Reception, hors d’oeuvres and Silent Auction begin at 6:00pm and the lights go out from 7:30pm – 8:15pm for dinner. The event will close with dessert, a keynote speaker and the announcement of auction winners. Participation is extremely limited. Facebook
Following is a list of Programs & Services offered by Olmsted Center for Sight:
Olmsted Center offers a broad range of services for people of all ages and degrees of visual impairment.
Orientation & Mobility: Expert instruction in getting around safely, indoors or out.
Housing: Apartments custom-designed for physically disabled and visually impaired tenants.
Olmsted Early Education Program: A unique program for children with vision impairments and other disabilities.
Rehabilitation: Daily living skills, communication techniques and leisure activities.
Vision Clinic: Exams by certified low-vision optometrists, special visual aids and equipment.
Employment: Aptitude testing, job training and placement assistance.
Senior Vision Services: Helping seniors remain as functional as possible in their own homes.
Resource Center: A unique store and lending library especially for those with visual impairments.
GuildCare™: A day healthcare program for visually impaired adults.
Manufacturing: Production, packaging and other sub-contracting manufacturing services.
Education Center & Auditorium: Seminars, conferences and events. Attend one of ours or hold your own.
Job Training at Statler Center: Specialized career training for visually impaired or physically disabled adults.