Episode 1

Blind Man Roams the Globe Episode 1 of 2
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Peter's job as a broadcaster has already taken him to many places. At first he thought that he was missing out on not being able to see the standard tourist monuments, but when he travels now he has an arsenal of strategies to get to know a place. He listens to local radio, he takes in the sounds of restaurants, travel systems and the voices of the locals. He also meets other blind people and uses their experiences of an area to understand it better and to appreciate the aural clues which help guide them.

Peter realised sightseeing was not for him when, as a twelve year, he trailed round the ruins of Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire: "The fact is, sightseeing and I were never going to see eye to eye. The plain fact is, though, that however good the intentions, touch is not sight - and once you've run your hands over one piece of ancient stone, one stuccoed wall, one marble floor, well, you've touched them all."

It was a wish to try to explain and share what it was that could make travelling come alive for a totally blind person, unable to see from birth, that gave rise to the series. In these programmes Peter hopes to build on its growing reputation and its unique take on the world's cities He begins by visiting San Francisco, where he uses aural clues to sample typical West Coast life - including trips to an Oakland baseball game, the Golden Gate park and the beach.

As Peter says: 'the fact is, sightseeing and I were never going to see eye to eye. The tragedy is that over the years, people have tried so hard to make it work. Specially recorded tapes for blind people, rails to follow so that you can go round unaided, a huge revolution in what you're allowed to touch.

'The plain fact is, though, that however good the intentions, touch is not sight - and once you've run your hands over one piece of ancient stone, one stuccoed wall, one marble floor, well, you've touched them all.
The problem with touch really is that the hand is too small. You can only touch one little bit at a time.

'There's too much missing; a sense of size, colour, perspective, visual contrast. With the best will in the world, you are playing at being able to see, and for me, that kind of self-deception has never cut any ice.
This, nevertheless, does not mean that travelling, visiting and poking about in other people's cultures cannot be enormous fun for a blind person. It's just that I think you have to be honest about what is fun, and what isn't.'.

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30 minutes

Last on

Mon 18 May 2015 23:30

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