Imagine this: a group of 19 car racers that happen to be both deaf and blind!! Sounds like a bad joke, but a group of deaf-blind individuals in Poland recently got the chance of their lives to do some car racing under the watchful eye of driving instructors. While a few of the racers drove at one point in their lives, the majority had never driven before, let alone raced in a car! Racers who still had some hearing or sight were given helmets and masks to level the playing field. The instructors made up a code of special tactile gestures so that racers would know when to start, turn, stop, etc.
I can only imagine the amount of trust the racers had to have on their sighted companions — I know I would really have to trust my companion if I ever decided to give car racing a try! I only have some light perception in my left eye, and cannot see anything else. Still, I can see (no pun intended) how this activity can boost someone’s confidence. The fact that you can drive by simply trusting someone else to be your eyes and ears can easily build up confidence!
Many technological advances – such as Google’s self-driving car – may possibly allow blind people to get around with more independence in the near future. Assuming that these vehicles are one day deemed safe for passengers, they have a lot of potential. I dream of the day when I can hop in a car and it’ll take me wherever I want whenever I please – I love the idea of no longer relying on public transportation or on others to get around!
You can read the full article about these racers here. I’d be more than thrilled to get the chance to do some car racing! This idea seems more amusing to me given that I’ve never driven before. If anyone’s interested and brave enough to give me this opportunity please let me know – I’m up for it!