Blind Cafe Reviews

Inspired by a musicians trip to Iceland, The Blind Cafe is one of the team building activities in Seattle that will be unforgettable. Imagine you and your coworkers are walking down a hallway that gets darker and darker. You enter a room and it is complete darkness. You take baby steps towards what you assume is a table with chairs and sit down for a meal. It may sound a bit impossible at first but the experience is everyday life for those who are blind.

While founder, Rosh, was traveling Iceland he stumbled upon a Cafe in the Dark. Curious, he visited the cafe and experienced dining in the dark for the first time. During this experience he realized that dining in the dark could be used to promote social awareness and diversity. This social change organization has evolved from charity events to large productions for some well known companies such as AirBnb and Google. Through this experience participants will spend a few hours in the dark, enjoying a meal, and breaking social barriers.

Blind Cafe Highlights

The Blind Cafe is a fantastic opportunity to engage in an activity that will broaden your understanding of diversity and acceptance.

  • The Blind Cafe is more than blind awareness. It promotes team building and diversity. When in the Blind Cafe you realize how much you rely on social cues during socialization, which can be a challenge for some. For example, eye contact is removed which can make having a conversation more difficult.
  • The experience is unique in its ability to remove barriers that may separate us from one another. It is a challenge because we do not realise how much we rely on these barriers. As a result, the activity which may feel odd at times, naturally bonds people.
  • This activity works with the blind community to make the experience authentic and bring credibility to their message.
  • In working with the blind community, members take part in a Q&A session with participants to answer any questions they have about being blind and the everyday challenges or opportunities.
  • The Blind Cafe does not have a physical location which means it can be set up anywhere! Pick a venue or contact the Blind Cafe team to search for an appropriate venue for the event.
  • Choose your own catering. The Blind Cafe has their own chef but they are willing to work with you for alternative catering options should you wish.
  • The Blind Cafe travels to your location and can accommodate a wide range of people. Since this is so customizable the price can vary as well.

FAQ for Blind Cafe

The Blind Cafe is not your ordinary team building activity, so it is normal to have a few questions about the logistics of operating in the dark! Here are just a few of some common questions asked.

  1. How do I see in the dark? It is a good question and often what people ask first when they hear about The Blind Cafe. However, that is the challenge! The Blind Cafe staff will walk you through on how to navigate the room and your table. Fortunately, there is not a lot of moving around while in the dark.
  2. How do they create the darkness? Is it complete darkness? No blindfolds! Depending on the venue you will enter a dark hallway, then into a room that has been specially prepared for the event. Windows will be covered and they will confirm with all participants that phones have been turned off. It is complete darkness.
  3. What if I need help? The Blind Cafe has three ways to make sure you feel safe during the entire event. Facilitators encourage self care, the buddy system, and when necessary you can call out for a waiter.

Interview with Rosh, Founder of Blind Cafe

Listen to my interview with founder Rosh. He goes into detail about his inspiration for the Blind Cafe and how the Blind Cafe got started. We talk about breaking social barriers as well as what happens when you take away a person’s sight.

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Interview Transcript

Kristen: Hi this is Kristen from Team Building Hero and we are here with Rosh who is the executive director and the founder of the Blind Cafe. Thank you so much for joining us Rosh.Rosh: Your welcome, good to be here.

Kristen: So just to get started can you tell us how the blind cafe got started?

Rosh: Sure, so my name is Rosh and I am from Boston originally. I moved out to Boulder Colorado in 2001. I studied contemplative psychology and music at a Buddhist inspired college called Naropa University. While I was there I was exposed to a lot of mindful awareness practices, meditation retreats, yoga retreats, things like that. I realized that there is something powerful about pushing people’s comfort zones. Offering people an opportunity or experience on how they could becomes more aware of themselves. Both their neurosis and both their positives sides. The ability for an individual to develop that type of awareness will determine how well they relate to other people and be of service to them.

So I am also an artist and a musician I play guitar, I sing and I am a songwriter. Kind of like Jack Johnson style, but like add a whole quartet. In 2006 and 7 I went on tour across Europe and played in people’s homes. Where people would open up their living room and turn it into a concert hall and we would have dark chocolate, wine and people would come by, and I would connect with the people, the locals. I would stay a couple days in that city, in that town. I did this all across Norway, Ireland, Holland, Iceland in 2006 and 2007 I did these tours.

While I was on tour in Iceland I went to a cafe in the dark randomly that they had set up. It was a disabilities awareness week where they kind of transformed the whole town into a social awareness situation. Like the art galleries would take all the art out and represent a different part of the community. They had this cafe in the dark as well. So I was walking down the street in Reykjavik in Iceland and there was this Icelandic girl outside this building and she had these laminated cards. Like these little laminated cards with braille on them in icelandic words. I went up to her and I was like, ‘what is this?’ and she was like, ‘O it is a cafe in the dark.’ … I was like, ‘O what does that mean?’ She was like, ‘all the waiters are blind and you cannot see anything inside.’ … I thought, ‘wow this is an interesting idea.’ So I decided to attend it and said, ‘ok, can I go inside? Or how does this work?’ and she said, ‘well if you want to have anything you pay for it out here in the light and I will give you one of these cards and it has the braille on it and then you will give it to the waiter when you are in there. Then they will read the braille and go to the kitchen and get you whatever you want.’

So I pay for a coffee and a pastry. Then she brought me over to this tunnel and she opened up this door with all this fabric on it and started pushing me down this long dark hallway and closing the door on me. I was like, ‘nooo what is this? How am I supposed to find my seat if I cannot see anything?’ and she was like, ‘the waiter will find you.’ So she goes, ‘here take this cane.’ Then closed me in this long dark hallway by myself. I was like, ‘ok I can do this.’ So I used the cane and I am scraping it against the floor and I make it all the way down the hallway. To another door and it is really getting darker and darker as I get down the hallway. I open up that door and it was just a wall of sound. It was completely 100% pitch dark there are dishes clanking everywhere everyone is chatting away in Icelandic and it was almost like a moment of shock. Almost like jumping into freezing cold water. You know that sense of like, “ahhh” but then usually when you jump into cold water your body will relax enough and adjust sometimes.

After I got over my shock I could hear everybody and I was like, ‘ok, what do I do?’ So I use my cane and I make my way into the room and I bump into this table. I can tell that there is a group of people at this table. I am like, ‘are there any extra chairs?’ and they are like, ‘we don’t know.’ I said, ‘o yea, good point’ and it turns out that one of the people says to me, ‘are you from Colorado?’ and I was like ‘yea’ and he was like, ‘my name is Collie and you have been contacting me on MySpace.’ Totally just dated myself. But he was like, “You have been contacting me on Myspace trying to find the distance between towns. Cause you have been hitchhiking around the country doing concerts.’ I was like, ‘yes.’ So I hang out with these people in the dark and I thought, ‘wow, this is really interesting. I have no idea if the person next to me is black, white, in a wheelchair, blind, older than me or younger than me. Other then based on any kind of auditory noise.

I thought, “there is something here’ What would it be like if we used the darkness as a social change agent. What if I used darkness as a way to create…break down social barriers between people and help them connect and open up in a way they wouldn’t if they had sight or they had the distraction of their cell phones, social etiquette, or visual conditioning. At that time I was trying to find a way for me to share my music as an artist but do something bigger than just, ‘here is my music, hope you like it.’ I knew that I had a lot of talent and skills of bringing people together in community. It is something I just do naturally. One of my greatest joys is to just bring people together and watch them feel more connected singing, and listen to, and heard. To a point where they go home feeling really fulfilled at night. More if they would if they hadn’t attended. That is what I get out of it the most, and that is the way I set up all my house concerts and performances. At the time I had the Blind Cafe idea.

So that was 2007 and then several years went by and I told the stories of the blind cafe, or the cafe in the dark experience in Iceland, and at my shows and to my friends. Then everybody was like, ‘you got to do that, you got to do that.’ Then in 2010 I decided I would do it. I was going to do it as a one off, and I had a friend who was a chef. I said, ‘Hey do you want to do the food? I will organize it. I will do the music and I have a whole quartette. That perform in the dark with me. We rehearse for 5 or 6 weeks blindfold, then we lock ourselves in the closet and try to learn how to perform music in the dark.

But the one missing piece was that I knew I wanted to engage and include the blind community. I just intuitively felt that because I never knew someone that was blind in my life. But I was a little apprehensive, I didn’t know if they would like the idea or not and I knew that I wanted to create the Blind Cafe as something that was bigger than just blindness. It was not just blind awareness. The Blind Cafe is really just a social change organization. We try to create and initiate opportunities for social change using the darkness. That includes our public events, huge pieces of blind awareness. Which is interesting because the blind awareness discussion we do have in the dark really actually applies to dismantling racism, to discrimination, to other types of disabilities. There are so many levels to it, it is pretty powerful.

So we did our first Blind Cafe in 2010 and sold out. We did two nights, 54 people a night and sold out two nights in a row. Everyone wanted to do it again a month later. I was like, ‘o no, I can’t get away from work for free and do that again for free.” Because it was all volunteer the first time. Then we gave all the funds to a local guide puppy raising dog group. That raises puppies to become guide dogs in their first year. So we get to have puppies, for a public event right. So anyways, long story short. We did two events in the spring of 2010. There was just all this demand from people all over the country asking us to bring this event to them. So I ended up moving to Portland Oregan, spending 4.5 months over there and setting up the first Portland Blind Cafe experience. We sold out 140 people, 3 nights in a row, front page of the Oregonian newspaper. We went back and forth for a year or so between Portland and Boulder and eventually I went down to Austin Texas to do the whole Blind Cafe experience. Established a scene there. When I say established I mean building genuine relationships with the locals and blind community. Really connecting with people on a heart to heart level. When we do our shows at this point nearly 7 years later it is like family when we go to each city.

Kristen: Yea, so it is really a grassroots organization.

Rosh: O yea, very much. So we ended up setting up in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Denver. We are going to be launching Marin County in a few months. Basically over the years it has been a lot of trial and error creating the programs. So to explain the program of the Blind Cafe experience is for the public event, it is pretty much the same for the corporate events, just adjusted a little bit. But the main experience is all the guesses will arrive into a lighted lobby area that is all candle lit. There will be wine and dark chocolate. Then for the public event we will have puppies, so you get to hang out with puppies and have dark chocolate and wine. I mean you can’t go wrong, right? You are in a lighted lobby area, we will check you in, and everybodys phones are off. We ask everyone to literally turn off their phones and prove to us that it is 100% off. Not on vibrate or airplane mode. Then we have then take off their watches and put those away. Then we have everyone go to the bathroom. Then they get their wine and hang out and wait for announcement. I then I stand up on a chair and I bring a Tibetan singing pole to bring everybody’s attention together and I prepare everybody to go in the dark. I basically reiterate that we are not going to bring any light in the dark and everybody has agreed not to breach the darkness. Number 2, the second agreement is when you hear this tibetan singing pole that is when we are going to come together as a group and really practice active listening. I explain what active listening is and I kind of train everybody to go from being really chatty and coming back and being present and listening and engaging. I kind of almost test that out in the lighted lobby. So when we are in the dark it is a lot more chaotic. People are kind of almost trained to come together. There are a couple times where we will come together and connect over that.

Kristen: Wow, that sounds like such an incredible experience really. For the public and educating people on things like diversity, and not only listening. That is not something we often come across with team building companies is talking about diversity and eliminating that boundary which is not always easy to do with a lot of these activities. But you have found a way to do that and give people that experience. That is really awesome.

Rosh: Yea, absolutely. So once we basically have those two agreements down. We have the no light when you hear the bell that means it is time to let go of your individual conversations, pay attention, come together for a group experience. There are going to be a couple times during the event while we are in the dark where we are going to want to come together and connect as a community experience. So that is where we have a Q&A in the dark with the blind staff. Where the legally blind staff open up and share about their lives and who they are and what it is like to be blind. Then the guests get to ask questions. It turns into this heart to heart like discussion, like social change discussion. It is very organic. But it works really well. It kind of cracks everybody open, like emotionally. There is something about being in the darkness that makes it a little bit more safe for everybody to be able to speak up and share. A lot of people who wouldn’t normally speak or feel uncomfortable in the light, speaking in a group, feel very free to open up in the dark.

Kristen: So how do you ask a question in the dark? Usually people raise their hand or something. But how do you try to organize everyone so it is not chaotic talking?

Rosh: Well we have the bell. So we bring the bell in and everybody has been trained out in the light before they go in the dark that this is a time to really pay attention and listen. Then the blind staff will teach everybody how to basically ask a question. Which is to call out your name and say, “hey this is Beth with a question.” Then she will ask the question and a lot of times they won’t say it loud enough for everyone to hear so the blind staff are really skillful at repeating the question or interpreting the question and repeating it out loud for the rest of the room. Then the blind staff will answer it based on the question. Sometimes it will be several blind staff that will give different perspectives. Sometimes the question is only necessary for one of them.

So basically what happens next is we are still out in the lighted lobby area and we still got the 4 agreements that we got everybody ready for. So basically there is, bring in no light, then there is also when you hear the bell come together as a group and practice active listening. Then I go into safety and I really prepare people on 3 different levels. The first level is self care then there is your safety buddy and there is the community. For instance when everybody goes into the dark, people are brought in in groups of 6 to 8 people. Kind of like a conga line, led by one of the blind staff through our darkness structure or our darkness tunnel which brings them from a lighted room to a 100% dark room where they are going to have their experience. As people go into the dark and/or after people are in the dark for a while a lot of challenging emotions and feelings can come up for people. Cause they have to relinquish control. Number one they don’t have their phones on for 2 hours. That alone is life changing. Right?

So then the next thing is they are in complete darkness they don’t have eye contact to initiate conversations. So they start talking to somebody, or they feel like they are talking to somebody anyways. And they responding and then they realize the other person was talking to somebody else. They are like, “woah” it is a real bit of a mind trip. When you are in the dark with everybody, you don’t have your habitual ways of checking out, you have to be mindful of what you are doing. Whether you are trying to eat with a fork or trying to engage in a conversation with the blind staff or you are listening to music or if you are trying to really be present and have a conversation with somebody or if you are trying to navigate the table and pass the bread around. So feelings of anxiety and challenges can come up for some people. A lot of times those are actually really great things. Cause that actually puts people on the edge of their comfort zone. That is really one of the most powerful things about our program is that you are really putting people on their edge.

Then some people are going to be uncomfortable. Depending on their ability to compete with themselves or work with themselves or the group to support that person as they engage a challenging part of experiencing blind cafe will determine how much they will grow. Of course we are really into working with people, so as they go into the dark they start to feel a little overwhelmed. So we take them and say ok first is self care. We have them….take a deep breathe. Be present with what is coming up for you. Make room for it, just emotionally make room for it and like, “ok yea, I am feeling this.” Then check in with your buddy. Your buddy is whoever you came with. We create a buddy system. And your buddys job is to kind of help you in case you start to lose your mind a little bit. So you guys are kind of a team and you are checking in on each other. Then the third component is if you do need help, say help. The wait staff will be visiting every 10 minutes to your table. So you just wait for them to come indoors. If you need help right away, you get your table to go, “1, 2, 3, WAITER!” and call over a waiter. We’ll come get you out of the dark. A lot of people go in…well I wouldn’t say a lot, I would say 1 out of 300 – 400 people per weekend can’t do it right away. They come out and we kind of coach them and wait until the Q&A for them to calm down. Cause that first 10 to 15 minutes are the most excited cause they are all in the dark.

Kristen: So is it typically people who you would say are claustrophobic or is it people with anxiety, you would suggest this is maybe not a good activity for them?

Rosh: You know, you would think that at first but I kind of question that because a lot of people come through with phobias and they move through it and it is like life changing for them. Some people come and they don’t think there is going to be any problem at all and those are the ones that can’t do it. So I challenge that idea and I don’t know if I am painting it off to be like a crazy challenging experience but it is not. It is not that out of control. So basically after everyones got their safety que, we prepare them for how to navigate their food. There is food on the table already. Unless the client would like to have it served individually like a regular restaurant. We do that as well.

Everybody gets seated and they have bread and butter already on the table. Then they have to navigate their food. Pass bread around. Then we have those 4 agreements then we start the seating process. My blind friends bring them into the dark, sit them at their tables. They have 20 minutes or so to chat, let loose some of their excitement. Then about 20 minutes into the darkness we bring out the tibet singing pole and have a discussion with the blind staff for about 25 minutes or so. And our staff are really good at accommodating a company’s goals in a way. Sometimes they have had themes before and that is very organic the way we do that. After the Q&A we give everybody a break and we bring them some kind of dessert or dark chocolate. Then wait another 15 minutes. Some people need to go to the bathroom then, things like that. Then we go up on stage. For the corp events we do anywhere from 1-3 songs as a wrap up for the evening. We have this one song called the light, that is very endearing. It gets everybody in touch with just how precious and valuable life is. Then we have everybody stand up and singing their hearts out in the dark. Then at that heightened moment I go out to the middle of the room and I do the thing that does the thing that makes it all happen.

Which I can’t say throughout the evening. Everybody keeps saying, ‘what’s the thing? I don’t understand.’ Then finally while everyone is standing up we just finished the final song and emotions are super high I go out to the middle of the room and light a candle. Like, “ooooo” and it brings us all back to the light. Everybody looks around and everybody is pretty blown away cause they haven’t seen the room and their spacial awareness. What they imagined the room is completely different. Or who they are sitting next to is just blowing their mind. Then everyone is looking around at each other as if we have all just somehow woken up from some collective dream together. It is a really powerful experience. So that’s the program.

In 2015 an AirBnb executive, their executive team hired us to do our first corporate gig and we did a corporate event for them. They actually rented out this gorgeous home in San Francisco. We blackened it out, I think we did like 3 events for them. Then that guy Brian, the owner of AirBnb, he came out like crying, it was really powerful. They loved it. Then I think we did something for a German company. Then what else did we do…we did something for Portland, for a company in Portland. Then Columbine high school called us, so the principal of Columbine high school of the 1999 shooting. The principal calls me and says, “Rosh we heard your program is amazing we want you to do it for our students.” So I was like, “Ok” We went and blackened out their gym and we did the very last day of the senior classes high school students experience. It went so well, they booked us out every year now for it to be the very last experience for the high school students. They said it was the best experience of their lives, in high school. Then just recently in 2016 Etsy hired us and then Google hired us. I am not sure if I am supposed to tell you that or not.

Kristen: It is ok, usually people do.

Rosh: Yea, they hired us and they did 4 events with us last November and December and have already booked us out for 6 events this year. We are part of one of their aiding and complexity programs or something. Where they fly out their global executives from around the world and they come to San Francisco for 3 or 4 days. I think they stay in Sausalito, cause that is where we do our events right now. They do like all sorts of activities and they like herd goats, like literally herd goats. Like the last day of their program they herd goats and then they come see us in the dark. They love me so much that they have already made me become like one of their google diversity suppliers or whatever so we come in.Yea, so it has been blowing up right now, we have requests all over the world right now. We are actually having trouble keeping up with it to be honest with you.

Kristen: Well, that is great. Hey that is a good problem to have.

Rosh: Yea.

Kristen: So you actually answered a lot of my questions already. But I just want to talk a little bit more about your corporate event. Your corporate versus your more public events, are there any things that you focus on in the corporate events, any topics you talk about more, maybe? Like workplace issues, that sort of thing.

Rosh: Well, here is the interesting thing is that, it has been very organic. Working with corporations. So each corporation has different types of goals and things. Most of them have just wanted to experiment and just break down those social barriers and see what it is like for them. There is something about the Q&A that sparks people’s perspectives. It is almost like a Q&A about blindness and how blind people relate to the world and how they are perceived. Other questions people come up with for the blind staff have a lot of metaphors towards how the working relationship in the office and social dynamics in businesses. I am not the expert in that area actually. One of our VP keynote blind facilitators and ambassadors, his name is Richie Flores he works for The Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco. He is the one that chats with all of the corporate executives and checks in with them on how they can apply Q&A towards that. Cause when we first started doing the corporate events we were like, ‘O should we just do team building things off of other team building you know, products out there. Which we might start to develop that but we got a lot of feedback that the program we are doing is actually very organic and next level in what they wanted. As opposed to something that other people do.

So there are a lot of aspects that break down social barriers. This is what is happening when people are in the dark, they are all kind of separate and they are in their worlds. They have their phones and they work together or they don’t work together. Some of them are like Google, and they come from all over the world and they don’t really know each other. So they have just spent that week together. They all have their iPhones and their different family situations and friends, and work dynamics and social environments. Then they come to our event and then they are all going through this initiatory process. Where they are all individuals and then forming as a group and going through this like challenging and positive experience in the darkness and coming out the other side. Something about when you go through and sort of ordeal or challenge you come out the other end really bonded. I think that is why what we do works so well. I don’t know if you are familiar with Outward Bound or if somebody goes through a tragedy together or a car accident and they survive they feel really bonded. Like they started separate, they have gone through something together. They have related on a very human and vulnerable and compassionate way and they come out the other end. That is what happens with the darkness, because they have to learn how to socialize with each other without their usual habitual ways of acting socially. So like the clown, or the person that usually dominates the table and waves their hands everywhere in a social crew or work environment. Wherever. That person is sometimes the most quiet and starts to learn how to listen. The opposite happens for people who are usually quiet they are just like, ‘wow I am not being seen. I don’t feel those self conscious glances.’ So they start to open up and ask questions or speak more. So it kind of messes with everybody in their usual ways of how they relate. That alone is a very individual experience. It is a very group experience, but it is also a very individual experience.

Kristen: Naturally, it really does cater to your corporate clients as it caters to the public. It gets that same sort of message out that your are looking to communicate.

Rosh: Yep, exactly

Kristen: Awesome, I do have a couple logistic type questions. You seem like you are really able to host these events anywhere. Do you have a minimum or maximum that you suggest? Or you cannot host above a certain amount of people because of staffing or size? What amount of people can you host?

Rosh: What amount can we put in the dark safely?

Kristen: Yea – haha – safe and you can cover…

Rosh: …without it being complete chaos?

Kristen: Exactly.

Rosh: We can do up to 200. If it is well funded and we have enough time to plan it. Then we can put our whole team towards it. But our ideal numbers…we have done as little as 12 people. Generally the same for us to come out to San Francisco and do an event for 40 people as it does for 20 people or 60 people. When you start to get over 60 people we have to start upping our staff and everything. We got to rent out a different size venu and things like that.

So basically how it works is how the logistical price breakdown comes to where are you guys located? So we are going to come out and travel, costs for us. If we are going to come down to Florida or Chicago and do things for Pepsi. That is going to cost a little bit more since most of us are based in colorado. Then it would be to just go to San Francisco which is a lot cheaper. We already have a lot of resources in that city already. So there is that travel, then there is the venu. So if you want 200 people that is going to be a different venu. So the size of the venue and the size of the people you would like to experience this. As well the catering. You could order Olive Garden food and we can put that on the table or we could order the most high end catering food at $200 a head. That is your choice. Then there is the cost of our program to come out basically travel, create the darkness.

Kristen: What is the typical cost for 20 – 40 people?

Rosh: It is generally $10,000 at least. To come out and do an event. That is where our resources are already available. That may or may not include catering depending on what you want. So in general we do think it is more worth it for the client to be at least 40 people unless they have the money to spend.

Kristen: For venues, do you prefer that people find a venue and then contact you? Or do you have like a list of venus in certain areas that you suggest?

Rosh: We have preferred venus in different cities. But for a city that we don’t work in yet we will have to find a venue. In general, I have found that the corporate clients want us to handle everything. They just want the bill. We have had some clients say like, sometimes they have their own venue or they have access to a venue that they can get for free or just kind of great or one of the people’s owns it or the business owns it or it is on site as opposed to off site. Otherwise in general we usually find a venue, establish a caterer. Figure out what level they want. So if you were a corporate client and calling me up, “O so how do we set this up? We want to do it for 100 people.” I would ask, what level of catering do you want? You could be like, ‘O I think I would like this kind of food.’ We would look into it and say, ‘ok, that is going to be about $80 a head.’ So that is costing for catering. Then here is our program fee to come out and do that. Which varies depending on availability of our staff, how quickly you want us to do it and location as well, then there is the cost of the venu. Then coordinating the time, so it can vary. But then we have had events that have been from $1,000 up to $25,000 in cost.

Kristen: Great, well I think you have answered all of my questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Rosh: Um I think that is it. If you need more of like a breakdown of our whole kind of menu, like if you were going to look at it our menu and say, ‘hey, I want to do a corporate event can you send me the menu.’ I can send that to you as well. So you have that to chop up. The interesting thing about our event is it is very experimental. So we haven’t had any studies done yet but we are looking to have like Stanford university to come in and start doing some social dynamics in the dark studies. We think that would be really interesting.

Kristen: Yea, that would be awesome.

Rosh: When people meet each other in the dark without knowing if someone is black or white. You know, we definitely have people in the dark who start opening up. And start opening up in tears about how powerful it is to be related to without being seen as a black woman or an overweight person, just personality. So a lot of really deep interesting and powerful things to coming to surface that we are just digging into and paying attention to, documenting.

Kristen: Definitely, well thank you so much for your time that was a lot of really great information and you are listening to Team Building Hero, thank you.

Blind Cafe Reviews

The Blind Cafe is grassroots social change organization that is learning to spread itself to a variety of different markets. Check out some reviews by people who benefited from the experience at The Blind Cafe.

“This was a very awesome and unique experience. Food was solid. Very tasty well made meal. Waitstaff was incredibly pleasant and very cool too talk too … I loved talking to my fellow tablemates in the dark and I would have loved to have that continue. Overall I will for sure be returning next time the blind cafe is in town, and look forward to future experiences with the blind cafe.” -John L., Yelp

“After dinner there is my FAVORITE part of the night, a wonderful conversation with the blind staff about what it means to be blind and whatever else anyone wants to ask. I always leave with a new appreciation for my site and a bond with my peers at the event. No question is off limits and I love the heart that goes in to the conversation. People really open up, maybe because you can’t be seen!” -Samantha G. –Yelp

“This is a truly unique and incredible experience. Dining in complete blackness, trusting your blind server to get you safely to your table, meeting new friends while you dine on a delicious meal (and talk to each other to discover what you’re eating!), getting to ask any questions you can think of to the blind hosts and hostesses – getting a tiny taste of their daily lives, listening to beautiful music and poetry and just completely letting it soak in… No visual distractions. Amazing!” -Leanna Jensen, Facebook

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