Visually impaired Richmonders take a unique tour of Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly two dozen visually-impaired Richmonders experienced a unique multisensory tour at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Wednesday.

Members of the Low Vision Support Group, many of whom are considered legally blind, took a tour of the gardens that utilized senses other than vision, such as smell, touch and sound.

The group is sponsored by the MEDARVA Foundation, a Richmond-based nonprofit organization focused on improving life for those with low vision.

Many of participants are elderly and have lost a degree of independence. Dr. Suzanne Kim and occupational therapist Mary Bullock, decided to start the group in order to help improve their lives.

“Above all it’s the fellowship of our group,” Bullock said. “Because everyone in our group is going through something. They’re obviously all at a different stage of vision loss but the support that they offer each other is absolutely awesome.”

Attendees range in age from their 40s to 90s and have varying degrees of vision loss. They meet every Wednesday for outings and activities.

The meetings have had a steady attendance of 15 to 22 people each month, Kim said.

Organizers said the participants took away a lot from the experience and have already started planning another trip to the botanical gardens.

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