Raisin’ Awareness for the Blind

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According to Eye Care America, someone in the world goes blind every five seconds.

According to Eye Care America, someone in the world goes blind every five seconds. While that statistic may be troubling, Karen Karsh, who's been blind since birth, said, "I don't think it's as difficult as disability as people think it is. It's not a horror story, I swear."

 

Karsh is a singer and songwriter who also happens to be on the board of ACBCO, or the American Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Colorado. Last year, they provided no-cost service to over 4000 blind or visually impaired Coloradans.

 

With no-cost service, they have to get overhead funds somehow, and the third-annual Raisin’ Cane was one of their main fundraisers this year.

 

Raisin’ Cane is a 7-block walk in downtown Denver, from the State Capitol to a celebration at the Broker Restaurant. Participants can either walk partially blindfolded, fully blindfolded, or as a guide.

 

Barbara Boyer, the executive director of ACBCO, explained the significant of Raisin’ Cane, “It really brings awareness that it (blindness) can’t be in the closet.”

 

My one-hour, 7-block experience being fully blind was mind-blowing. My guide, Sarah, of the Delta Gamma sorority at DU, did a phenomenal job of guiding me through downtown, but it was still the ultimate trust walk.

 

One thing I noticed was the cracks in the sidewalk. My cane kept getting stuck in the cracks. Another difficulty was steps. They were always bigger than I thought they would be and were body-rattling. It was fascinating how my other senses adjusted to make up for my sight being gone for the chunk of time.

 

Raisin’ Cane is so important because it raises awareness of the blind community and brings help to them. But, Karen is proof that handling a disability and doing awe striking things in life is possible. “Overcoming is a weird word because stuff just goes on and on and doesn’t go away,” she said. “I don’t know about overcoming, I’ve just tried to be as normal as possible.”