What is your natural reflex as soon as it starts to rain? My guess is that as long as it's not raining too hard, you continue on your chosen path without bothering about that little drip that cools your sunburned skin so pleasantly in summer, and in autumn you shrug your shoulders and think to yourself, well, it's not so bad yet.
wzruszasz ramionami i myślisz sobie, no cóż, jeszcze nie jest tak źle.
But as soon as the rain gets more intense, and you don't want to look like a soggy hen or have the make-up you've put so much work into run down your face with the streams of water coming from the sky like a morning shower, you certainly reach for an umbrella or run to take shelter under a patch of roof.
And what do blind people do when it starts to rain?
When it's raining a little, we don't worry too much about it, and neither do you, but when the intensity of the falling drops of water increases intimidatingly, most blind people, unlike the sighted, don't quickly pull out their umbrella or run to seek shelter because they they would most likely run into a pillar or staircase, and such obstacles are always much more painful for blind people than concrete stairs or metal pillars.
spotkaliby się najprawdopodobniej z jakimś słupem albo schodami, a takie przeszkody są zawsze zdecydowanie bardziej bolesne dla niewidomych niż dla betonowych schodów tudzież metalowych słupów.
Why don't a lot of us use an umbrella when it's the best way not to get wet?
After all, an umbrella is a kind of portable roof that you can take with you anywhere.
It does indeed make it so that you don't have to wring you out later like a wet cloth, but for us blind people it has a fundamental disadvantage.
One of the most important senses for us is hearing. When we carry an umbrella spread over our heads, yes we don't get wet, but we can hardly hear anything either. The sound of large, heavy raindrops hitting hard against the umbrella very effectively makes us almost deaf to the sounds around us. Consequently, we cannot hear: the walls of the buildings along which we are moving, the stairs we are approaching, all sorts of other obstacles in our path. I must add the noise of the tires of the cars on the wet road filling this spell of disorientation.
I personally use an umbrella because I don't like to get wet, but a significant proportion of my blind friends never carry this very useful item for a simple reason: the noise of raindrops falling mercilessly on the outside of the umbrella is very disorientating for them. It's like having a sighted person walking around with unmercifully fogged-up glasses.
Now you know why the umbrella, although very useful for sighted people, is usually another handicap for many blind people.
Warm greetings to you, Paweł Król, representative of the 4 senses, guide at the exhibition , "Into the darkness" in the WOMAI Science and Senses Centre.