Police Take Part In Visual Impairment Workshop

Imagine living your life in complete darkness.

It's a reality for many people living with severe vision impairments.

Tuesday, some Colorado Springs police officers got to experience exactly what that would feel like through a workshop hosted by the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind.

Coinciding with "White Cane Safety Day," a day in which celebrates the achievements and self-sufficiency of the blind and visually impaired, participating police were given the chance to experience first-hand how that those in that community navigate the world.

Officers took turns both being blindfolded and playing the role of a sight guide. Students trained officers on how to manage their way around busy streets and the outdoors by only using their ears and canes.

The cane is considered a symbol of independence in the blind and visually impaired community, and is why "White Cane Safety Day" was given that particular name.

Officers told 11 News they appreciated the opportunity to literally walk in the students' shoes.

"It's just your footing, the sounds that you hear being unfamiliar...it's just a strange place to be in when you're not used to it," William McAllister with CSPD said.

Students appreciated the willingness of the officers to learn what their lives are like.

"It's good to know they're learning the right precautions to help us," student Philo Grommon said. "I have random people that will just drag me across the street. It's nice to know that when an officer's around, they're gonna identify with me and they'll ask before taking me."

Springs police hope it will teach hundreds of other officers how to accommodate those with visual impairments.