Why you and your team should pay a visit to ‘Dialogue in the Dark’

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Are you and/or your team wanting to discover new skills, cultivate creativity and adopt a new perspective of the world?

I was lucky enough to do just that this week at the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) 2019 in Melbourne, thanks to an incredible workshop presented by Guide Dogs Australia.

‘Dialogue in the Dark’ comprised of individual and team activities conducted in complete darkness and delivered by professional facilitators with blindness or low vision.

The workshop placed me in unpredictable situations similar to many business landscapes, highlighting the importance of effective communication, leadership and trust. It also reminded me about the importance of human interaction.

Dialogue in the Dark workshops have been operating for 30 years in more than 40 countries.

From its Aussie base in Docklands, Dialogue in the Dark offers a range of professional development workshops, team building tours and school experiences in partnership with Guide Dogs Australia. It also provides more than 20 people who are blind or have low vision with employment, training and development opportunities.

And, the best part is that all the revenue generated from Dialogue in the Dark is re-invested into the operation.

Guide Dogs Victoria CEO Karen Hayes said Dialogue in the Dark is a testament to the real-life impact dialogue can have on the community, and how it can translate into greater awareness and inclusivity for people who are blind or have low vision.

“It’s important to Guide Dogs Australia that we can get as many people as possible through Dialogue in the Dark and create a more welcoming community for people with low vision or blindness,” she said.

Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO Karen Bolinger said: “One of the reasons we partnered with Guide Dogs Victoria for Dialogue in the Dark is because we really do want to raise that awareness in the business events community on what really can be done to start to enforce universal accessibility in destinations.

“We have to start thinking about the comfort, and understanding when people are in our venues or destinations, how we’re actually dealing with them.

Bolinger said Dialogue in the Dark also helps create an opportunity for better inclusion and social integration for people with blindness across the events industry.

“Inclusivity and accessibility are no longer just buzzwords – they’re actually something that you have to demonstrate,” she said.