Description: Give out earplugs to everyone, and explain how to put them in. Load up everyone in the bathroom and shut the lights off. Ask residents how they would go about a routine day if they were blind or deaf. Talk loud enough so that people can hear you even with the earplugs in. Ask several questions, then tell them to be silent for five minutes. (Some people might freak out) Afterwards, walk everyone to the lounge and ask everyone the question that if they had the choice, which would they rather be, deaf or blind, and why. This should spark a conversation.

Instructions_Things_Needed: Earplugs for everyone attending.

Other Considerations: There are several variations on this, you can use blindfolds, etc. I had a large turnout because I told people that I only needed them for two minutes of their time, but after the initial two minutes, it was enough to spark their curiosity, and they wanted to stay for the conversation.

Name: Stephen Humphry
School: Northern Illinois University
email: steveforprez@hotmail.com Editor’s Note: These types of simulations can be very effective. Contact your campus disability resource center. They may have a presentation they can give, and/or simulators of various disabilities. (for example, there are glasses which simulate various types of visual impairments.)
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