Nature-based Experiences for the Blind and Visually Impaired People

Nature-based experiences and barrier-free access to nature for visually handicapped people is not a new topic, but is only in recent times on the agenda.

In the database for tourism services for blind and visually impaired people in Germany only around 10% from the nearly 500 offers have relations to nature, most of them in zoos and botanical gardens. The German Blind and Visually Impaired Association (DBSV) developed in 2008 recommendations for barrier-free design of hiking trails, walking paths and nature trails in large state-owned protected areas that have been tested in the National Park Hainich and made available to the public since then. Parallel to this development, the Federal Competence Center Accessibility e.V. develops a training concept for nature and landscape guides since 2012. But despite these activities there is a lack of offers and the blind and visually impaired people are still largely excluded from the nature-based experiences. This deficit will be addressed by the project "Nature-based Experiences for the Blind and Visually Impaired People", in which the Lake Constance Foundation and the Global Nature Fund together with partners from the Network Living Lakes Germany (NLSD) want to create nature experience products for the blind and visually impaired.
The aim of the project is to put nature-based experience for blind and visually impaired people more in focus of environmental and conservation organizations at Lake Constance as well as at three other lakes in Germany. For this, concepts with offers for nature experiences with individual recommendations for implementation at each lake and 3D information cards with Braille-lettering and contours of the lakes and the most important points at the lakes will be developed. The implemented measures and the cards are evaluated in events with a group of blind and visually impaired. Moreover, in a further step nature pedagogues will be trained specifically for nature-based experiences with blind and visually impaired.

Contact at Lake Constance Foundation:
Kerstin Fröhle (kerstin.froehle[a la]bodensee-stiftung.org; 07732 9995 40)
Patrick Trötschler (patrick.troetschler[a la]bodensee-stiftung.org; 07732 9995 41)

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