I was invited by the CNIB Group in Canada to talk about Blindfold Games and ObjectiveEd (our new company creating curriculum-based games for visually impaired students) at their accessible retreat in Lake Joseph, Ontario. The CNIB Group comprises the CNIB Foundation, Vision Loss Rehabilitation Canada and the CNIB Deafblind Community Services. They bring their management team to the Lake Joseph Center for a week of professional development, team building and mission engagement.
Prior to the meeting, managers were asked to download Blindfold Racer to their iPhones and bring earbuds. After I gave a quick talk on the origin of the games and how the games are now used by Teachers of the Visually Impaired and Orientation and Mobility Specialists, everyone started playing the game.
Blindfold Racer is a driving game where you drive with your ears instead of your eyes. In general, visually impaired people are far better at this game than sighted people.
There were about 100 managers at the retreat, and all went through the tutorial quickly, and began playing at level one. Almost everyone made it to level 3; some people had practiced before we met, and were up to levels 8 or 9 (there are 65 levels in the game). About 20 of the managers were visually impaired; the sighted managers said the game gave them a little bit of insight on how assistive technology, like the iPhone, can improve the lives of their clients.
CNIB just launched “Phone It Forward”: a first-of-its-kind initiative that gives Canadians an unique opportunity to donate their old phones, receive a tax receipt, and empower people who are blind. John Rafferty, CEO of CNIB, said that “Phone It Forward” lets CNIB put an all-in-one communications and accessibility solution into the hands of blind people, that will help reduce barriers and drive independence.
To download Blindfold Racer, click here: