I found Craig’s blog when browsing the guide dog website. I have read several pieces, which mainly documented daily routines of what a visually impaired person wound do. But it also covers plenty of mental activities of Craig, like what he thinks of other people’s reaction to his guide dog, how his guide dog will perform when certain issue happens. He attempts to use his imagination to picture the world he can not see, then put in down on words for us to read, so that we could know more about his life. From his writings, I think readers could detect the contrast between real-happening interaction and imaginary interaction in Craig’s mind, it is interesting to sort out the links in between, also a brand new angle to see this world and the society or even ourselves. However, Craig’s blog is buried deep in the website, only a few can find out this amusing treasure. So, my “empathy drawing” project starts with the idea of visualizing Craig’s blogs. I think drawing might be a much more amusing way to tell these entertaining stories, then post them on Facebook and Twitter, both platforms will allow more audiences to access Craig and his guide dog commando’s anecdotes.
Browsing Guide dog’s Facebook and Twitter, I find out they have held several activities for people to experience the life blind people are having. Like “EyesShut Makeup”, “blindfold walk”, and etc. I do think it is a good practice for those who take part in to obtain better understanding of the life of a person with a guide dog. Those are ways of generating empathy, simple but significant.
I occasionally checked Crufts on the youtube, it held a competition of friends for life, telling people the heart warming stories between man and dog.
From the stories, I actually get a feeling that all stories are mainly telling people the life they used to be in is quite depressing, pessimistic, unhopeful, cause people tend to memorise the hard part they have suffered, but it also indicates that the changes brought by a guide dog are subtle but consistent, physically and mentally. It is actually non sense for them to bring up all issues already happened for thousand times to audiences, they only tell people the first time, the most memorable one, the life-changing moment, however, all these moments come from the stack of physical and mental help by the guide dog on each ordinary day, maybe it is a stride, a lead to somewhere, even an accompany. They just regain what they have lost gradually, unconsciously. From the stories, I could say guide dogs have become an indispensable component of their owners’ life, they do the most common but most important thing, they are no longer like a pet, but a family member.
Although I have chosen to finish the project in a creative way, I still feel glad to receive email again from the Guide Dog, and thanks for the advice. Yep, it takes a month for the final response to come, I think I am not ambitious enough, or passive when dealing with this issue. However, there is a lesson I have learnt through the email communication process, start doing something nice to help those in need, then one day you will be helped in return.(Do not always ask for things for granted) Hope my creative solution goes well. 🙂
So happy to hear from the Guide Dog, but bad news is they can not offer help to me. Maybe the reason why they refuse is I talk explicitly about my research object – the harness. Since I initially thought a research project is not convincing enough for them to help me, I also tell them about the final outcome I have pictured in mind, now it seems they have much proper reason to reject my request in some way…
This project is a research based project which is seeking a way to investigate the intimate relationship between visually impaired person and the guide dog, also to explore the space existed in those two and the society.
Nidhi and I recently went to NDCS and Guide dog for blind man, both organisations are based in London. Before that, we prepare ourselves with words to convince them to collaborate with us.
Project briefing – Guide dog related
This project initiates with an experience happened in the lift of a tube station. After getting in the lift, I stared blankly. But suddenly I heard someone said “forward, forward, forward”, I was so confused, then I looked back and found a dog walked leading a man, I was soon aware of that the man is a blind man. Outside the elevator, passengers were so confused since there were still space spare in the lift, but the blind man did not walk in. They actually can not see the guide dog in the lift. The door closed, I noticed that the blind man put down the metal lead, and get a rope leading the guide dog. During the lift went up, the guide dog is so afraid that its legs were trembling due to the surrounded crowd and unfamiliar environment. When the lift arrived on the floor, the blind man repeated the action, dropped down a rope and picked up the metal lead. When leaving the station, staffs helped him access the special channel.