In late February, Eric Foley, the case manager at the Hatien Center for the Blind, brought several visually impaired students to the climbing gym. The students climbed by feeling the textures of the walls and the holds.
“A few students even focused on the bouldering section; one managed to stay in the bouldering section for the entire two hours,” said Foley. “Everyone got to climb as many times as they wanted and by the end of the two hours, there were nothing but smiles and tired arms.
The students were excited about their trip as well. “I haven’t climbed for a few years and my experience at Berkeley Ironworks reminded me of how exhilarating it is and I am encouraged to climb more in the future,” said Louis
The Ironworks staff helped the students tie in and they described the walls to them. “They were very patient and knowledgeable about the types of walls they had available. They kept good conversations with those who weren’t climbing as well as those who were and they had some very good questions for us,” said Robin. Another student, Fabian also praised the staff. “I definitely had fun. It was one of my favorite trips and the staff was very helpful with helping me figure out which climb to do and they explained what the different colors meant. I wanted a challenge and they got me on a route with the little rocks."
The kids had a lot of fun. “I had a great time and the walls were a great climb!” said Jewell. The Hatien Center students will definitely be back soon.
Tags: Outreach, Hatien Center for the Blind, Blind climbers