Braille Trail

By Tammy Robbins

October is a season of change, as the first hints of autumn brings forth an array of colors bursting from greens to sunset orange and gold. Jack-o-lanterns squint with their grimaced faces, illuminated from the steps of houses. In a world steeped in sensory expression, it’s hard to imagine closing one’s eyes to such sights forever. But that is precisely what October’s “Beyond Sight Awareness Month” is asking us to do. Braille Trail 1

Organizations worldwide are participating in various forms of education, demonstrations and support not only for the blind and visually impaired, but also for those of us whose sight is intact. As a nationwide strive for equality continues, it is adamant that the community as a whole supports these organizations.

As part of such support, the St. Augustine Art Association presents, in partnership with The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and Flagler College, the unveiling of the Braille Trail and Art Garden, a public art accessibility project which gives equal access to the blind.

TOUCH of St. Augustine is an initiative that encourages Tactile, Orientation for Understanding Creativity and History. St. Augustine is full of fantastical, historical perspectives that have been commemorated into a number of sculptures. But these historical markers have been left inaccessible to the blind until now. As part of October’s “Blind Sight Awareness Month,” the Braille Trail will incorporate plaques with historical information in braille along with a pictorial description, as well as a raised representation of each statue. Also, through the month of October, the St. Augustine Art Association is hosting a tactile art exhibit that not only stimulates sight but is specifically geared toward touch as well. The Association is also building a garden to encourage hands on exploration. To find out more, visit www.facebook.com/StAArt.

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*Editor’s note: Even though October is over, blind awareness is always an important topic to discuss and share with others. Get informed and find out how you can help the cause throughout the year by going to the website for the Foundation Fighting Blindness: http://www.blindness.org/blog/.