Texas Tech students learned what it’s like to be blind as part of a simulation exercise on Wednesday in downtown Lubbock.
Heather Withrow, a student in the Sowell Center’s Orientation and Mobility Program, put on her blind fold.
“People are on a bus or in a car and they drive by and see a person with a cane and they’re like oh what’s that,” Withrow said.
However, Withrow’s obstacles were a bit more challenging.
“I am a deaf person, so I am really paying attention to what’s going on,” Withrow said.
She said the activity showed her what it’s like to maneuver the city without two of her senses.
“My youngest son who was born deaf-blind, he has a totally different way of developing and his movement is super important,” Withrow said.
Troy Abrams, a certified orientation and mobility specialist, said when a person is blind and deaf or hard of hearing, it’s much more difficult to maneuver around the city.
The simulation required the participants to use blind folds and get around using white walking canes. The students were taught how to walk through intersections, get around businesses and use public transportation.
“We set out before we started the training she told us what she would like us to signal for her to do,” Abrams said.
Withrow said she wants people to understand the type of world she lives in.
“It’s a physical, emotional disability,” Withrow said. “Just the more we see these things the more comfortable we become as a community.”