Jimmy gets a great deal from touch. This is not always the case with blind people, yet through feeling objects, Jimmy can remember what they are and what they look like. He will also ask questions about what he is feeling as he is feeling it including: what its made of, what colour it is and what the object is used for.
Toys can be a fantastic source of information, but not always practical due to their size. Small objects limit what information can be obtained from the toy itself and once again, it depends on the deafblind person. Jimmy used to feel toy animals and then use that memory to replicate them in clay; remembering proportion, structure and features.
Jimmy recently had the chance to find out what an Alien feels like. It was an amazing experience that was unlike anything that he had ever encountered before. The lady inside was very patient while Jimmy frisked her! Jimmy has no idea about films or tv. He just enjoys feeling the costumes and learning about new things like monsters and robots. (or robits as Jimmy calls them) While he knows that they’re not real, he does know that there are people inside the costumes and that the reason for the person being hidden is that children think they are real.
Costumes are fantastic as they encourage a similar process to toys. However, costumes contain much more information and due to their size are more accessable. They also allow an element of realism as a deafblind person can feel how the costume is worn, what materials are used, if they feel scary and if they are comfortable to wear. Costumes are also a way to highlight that it is just a person dressed up and that it’s not real in any way.
Article written by JJ and Jimmy.
JJ Lucia-Wright is the founder of Feel The Force Day which is the first ever Star Wars meet and greet for the visually impaired and disabled. Held in October 2013, the event was such a success that this year’s venue will hold 2,000 people. To find out more about the event or to buy a ticket for Feel The Force Day 2014, please visit: 1st Sensory Legion