The ATOU Dark Meal provides participants with the “eye-opening” experience of eating a meal under blindfold, to gain understanding, appreciation and respect for individuals who are blind, and for the skills they use to navigate their world. In addition, through disability etiquette training, participants will acquire the skills to more easily and comfortably interact with individuals with disabilities including: blindness, deafness, paralysis, loss of limb, and autism spectrum disorder.
Each participant will:
· put on a blindfold provided by ATOU;
· walk to their seat with a white cane with assistance from ATOU staff;
· receive instruction from facilitator Darlene O’Brien to effectively navigate their place setting;
· eat their meal while talking with their peers;
· have the opportunity to share new insights from their experience;
· receive a disability etiquette reference guide.
Ideally, the Dark Meal takes hours. However, it can be adjusted to a shorter time period if necessary.
This is an excellent team-building experience for any group, from corporate groups to youth groups.
The unique training is facilitated by Darlene O’Brien who has been a speaker and advocate for A Touch of Understanding since August of 2000 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the agency.
Since going blind in 1998, Darlene has dedicated herself to demonstrating that all people, with or without disabilities, deserve the same considerations and opportunities found through social interaction and competitive employment.
Darlene owns and operates her own business, BLIND AMBITION, which offers a lively Disability Etiquette Training program to human resource professionals, officials, staffing agencies, medical professionals and others. Darlene has developed a reputation for being a dynamic trainer and inspirational speaker. Her enthusiasm and “tell-it-like-it-is” humorous style has won over audiences in both the public and private sectors.