Ever wondered what it’s like to eat a meal without being able to see what’s on your plate?
Leading executives will get a taste of what life is like to be vision-impaired when they sit down for Vision Australia’s special Dinner in the Dark fundraiser.
The charity hopes to encourage professionals to reconsider what they think it means to live without sight by blindfolding participants for a portion of the evening.
“Inaccessible menus, poor lighting, loud noises and an unfamiliar environment can all turn a meal at a restaurant into a stressful and uncomfortable experience for people who are blind or who have low vision,” Vision Australia CEO Ron Hooton says. “What we hope Dinner in the Dark will do is give those in attendance a better idea of some of the daily challenges faced by the blind and low-vision community.
“It will also start to get them thinking about what they might be able to do to help build a society that is more accessible and inclusive.”
Hosted at the Hilton Sydney, Dinner in the Dark will present similar challenges faced by those who are vision-impaired – even during the seemingly commonplace task of dining out.
The not-for-profit CEO says the event on 15 August 2019 will help raise awareness among executives, as the business sector can play a major role in increasing opportunities for people living with sight disabilities.
“When businesses make a decision to include people who are blind or have low vision, or live with any disability, we know that has a number of positive impacts,” Hooton says. “Employment obviously brings with it a source of income and the opportunity to be more independent, but it can also give people a sense of purpose and provide them with something they can take pride in.
“For employers, it means your organisation becomes more diverse. You get people who bring different skills, ideas and viewpoints to the workplace, which is a definite benefit.”
“When businesses make a decision to include people who are blind or have low vision, or live with any disability, we know that has a number of positive impacts,” – Ron Hooton
Dinner in the Dark originated in France by Michel Reilhac in 1997 to give diners a unique experience while supporting those with visual impairments. Following the first permanent restaurant launch in 2004, the concept has flourished across the globe with many establishments hiring blind or vision impaired waiters.
The CEO Magazine’s Founder and CEO Chris Dutton will be among the group experiencing the blindfolded meal at the Hilton.
“If we can get 20 people to take part who can raise A$5,000 each, that’s A$100,000 to help people who are blind or have low vision to learn how to read braille, use a white cane, access the latest assistive technology or make use of the number of other services we offer,” Hooton says. “Obviously eating dinner while you’re blindfolded in a crowded room is something that would be a little out of the ordinary for most people, but it’s for a great cause.”
If you’d like to participate in the inspiring Dinner in the Dark, register here.