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Top dogs in business to go on a blind date for Guide Dogs

March 12th, 2018

Some of Adelaide’s top dogs in business are going on a blind date this month – for a good cause.

Fifteen visionary business men and women will put on blindfolds to go about their business for one day in March to help raise funds for Guide Dogs SA/NT.

As well, Boss’ Blind Date will help raise awareness of the challenges faced by people with vision loss and ways that workplaces can lead the way in accessibility.

While wearing a blindfold, participants will complete a variety of challenges, including taking public transport, going out for lunch and signing documents. They will have a few assistive aids and a human guide to assist them.

To help them get through the day they will be given a kit of a banknote measure, coin buddy, ID cane, liquid level indicator and signature guide when they unlock their first level of fundraising.

These are common aids that people with vision loss use. After the challenge, the bosses will pay the kit forward and it will be given to a person living with vision loss.

“For participants, the challenge will be to get through one work day,” said Guide Dogs CEO Aaron Chia, who is taking part in the experience.

“But for the thousands of South Australians who are blind or vision impaired, these are challenges they face on a daily basis.

“Guide Dogs SA/NT sincerely thanks this year’s participants. They represent some of South Australia’s well-known businesses and we appreciate that their leaders wish to help us build a more inclusive community.”

Boss’ Blind Date follows a successful pilot last year. The idea was developed by Guide Dogs SA/NT and inspired by Westpac South Australia State General Manager, Lester Wynne-Jones. The event will help raise vital funds while also providing a rich experience in inclusion, team building and compassion.

Mr Wynne-Jones said Boss’ Blind date was motivated by witnessing how much a Guide Dog (“Monty”) had changed the life of a friend in England, who had lost his sight in a car accident at an early age.

“Their bond, the independence and mobility that the dog provided my friend was incredible,” Mr Wynne-Jones said. “By taking part in Boss’ Blind Date last year, while I initially had to overcome a feeling of vulnerability, I came to understand that with support, guidance, and equipment I could achieve many tasks I wouldn’t have thought possible.

“As leaders it is important that we ensure we build communities where everyone can achieve and reach their own goals.”

Guide Dogs SA/NT delivers life-changing services providing safety, independence and inclusion.

It costs more than $35,000 to breed, raise and train a Guide Dog. As well, Guide Dogs provides services over and above its iconic dog program, including white cane training, falls prevention strategies, personalised training and specialised equipment to enable people to navigate their home, community and workplace safely.

To support the Bosses on their Blind Date click here

There are more than 453,000 Australians living with vision loss. National Eye Health Survey 2016. A summary report of the first national survey to determine the prevalence and major causes of vision impairment and blindness in Australia prepared by the Centre for Eye Research Australia and Vision 2020 Australia.

 

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