Imagine having only Braille as your GPS to guide you through you a racecourse.
Ninety sighted drivers had blind navigators with Braille maps to guide them through the Round Table Car Rally on the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, India in February.
The Blind People’s Association provided the Braille maps for blind navigators in the rally organized by Round Table India to raise funds to build a school at Jetalpur. Round Table India is a non-political international organization active in 56 countries, focusing on community service, self-development, fellowship and fostering international relationships.
The rally, a unique example of collaboration between a sighted driver and a blind navigator, aimed to bypass misconceptions and create a visionary way of looking at people with disabilities.
Together, the drivers and their blind guides needed to work as a team with an acute sense of direction, fast mental calculation, precision control, great reflexes, and coordination of skills like listening, visualizing time, speed and distance measurements.
The navigators had to ensure that the drivers not only traveled the correct 66 kilometer route at the correct speed, but also that they arrived at six checkpoints precisely on time. Any time they didn’t meet those requirements, they received penalty points: three points for arriving at a checkpoint one minute early; one penalty point for reaching one minute late; and 30 penalty points for missing a check point.
By creating a relationship of total dependency between the driver and the blind navigator, the initiative was to build not only a winning team, but also an emotional connection with close communication.
Prizes were awarded for best decorated car; best all-women’s team; and the best handicapped team.
– Debanshu Banerjee is General Manager of Innovairre Communications, India. Innovairre supports 500+ nonprofit organizations around the world. For more information on Innovairre, contact us at Answers@Innovairre.com.