Should Sighted People Simulate Blindness Through Blindfolds?

Blindfolded man - fuzzy imageWell-meaning sighted people sometimes will spend time blindfolded, simulating what it's like to be blind, in an effort to better understand blindness.  Sometimes these initiatives are personal, other times they are suggested by a teacher, trainer, speaker, etc.

Typically, when sighted people spend time blindfolded, and trying to live life as a blind person would, they gain a deeper empathy for blind people and some of the issues they face.  However, these simulations typically represent what it's like to BECOME blind much more than they represent what it's like to BE blind.

In order for such blindness simulations to minimize the negative effects, such as discrimination, and accentuate the positive effects, these experiences should include training on and some mastery of certain skills blind people require, and they should include meaningful interaction with people who are actually blind.

The Perils of Playing Blind: Problems with Blindness Simulation and a Better Way to Teach about Blindness

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