Marburg, Germany, is no ordinary city. Happily calling itself "Blindenstadt," basically meaning "city for the blind," it's full of accessibility features -- and has been so for a long time. Much of this is largely due to its ground-breaking educational institute for the blind, the Blindenstudienanstalt (or Blista for short), founded during World War I. Since its inception it has been a hub for countless accommodating innovations that pervade the entire city. Examples include foldable canes, beeping traffic lights, buildings with raised floor plans, and detailed miniature landmark models. Even more, the institute is opening up fields in academia that were previously not accessible by the visually impaired. In 2017 the institute offered its first advanced chemistry course, employing multi-sensory materials such as a 3-D curving river bed and charts printed on swelling paper to aid students in their learning. The school is even working on bringing multi-sensory methods into filmmaking. At the heart of all this is the vision to make ingenuity human-oriented. "Marburg appears to specialize in an alternative mode of smartness," says Dago Schelin, a sighted filmmaker and media studies researcher.

Read Full Story


More: