Aquarium Offering Event for People with Vision Loss

Amy Adamle
Created: November 06, 2019 10:52 AM

An event for people with vision loss is coming up on Saturday at the Great Lakes Aquarium.  It's called Experience the Aquarium by Touch and Sound.


Samantha Smingler, the Great Lakes Aquarium Inclusion Coordinator, said it's going to be an epic day for everyone.  

"It's a day really celebrating our community with vision loss," Smingler said.  "There will be programs throughout the day, but we'll have a professional audio describing them, so actually describing what the animals are doing or what the trainers are doing."

She said they'll have volunteers from the Lighthouse Center for Vision Loss and there will be different tactile things for people to feel including fur, skulls, examples of the animals, and models. 

"There's so much more that you can gain from really taking more time to notice and observe and to feel and we're excited to share that," Smingler said. 

They're also hoping the event brings awareness to support for people with vision loss in the community.  

"We want to change the dynamic about how if you're experiencing vision loss, there's still amazing opportunities to have an epic time in our community," Smingler said. 

James Kelm, with the Lighthouse Center For Vision Loss, has vision loss and became blind later in life.  He said it got to touch a jellyfish and it was a unique experience.

"We're very proud of what the aquarium is doing, because they're actually bringing awareness to where as our population grows older, there's more and more people with vision loss and it's just great to have somebody stepping up," Kelm said.

Kelm said he loves the idea that people can come experience something new, but they also will bring awareness.

The event is Saturday, November 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Great Lakes Aquarium.  You can RSVP beforehand at


Amy Adamle

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