Posted on January 20th, 2017 by Beth Finke
Easterseals National blog readers might recall a guest post Ali Krage wrote for Valentine’s Day last year about the challenges and joys of dating someone who is blind. Lucky us — she’s back again this year with a new post about the challenges and joys of planning a date with her boyfriend.
by Alicia Krage
In my post here last year I talked about how being with another blind person made me more independent. My boyfriend, Joe, and I talk about doing other things on dates besides the traditional dinner date. We’d be especially interested in doing something special in Chicago.
Finding something to do in Chicago that wasn’t especially visual was difficult — and to be honest, a little discouraging. But then, suddenly, it came to me. A friend who is blind let me know once that she liked to go to Andy’s Jazz Club in Chicago. Joe absolutely loves jazz music and would be up for it, so I did some research.
I started by calling the club and asking about admission prices. After that I used a program called JAWS (Job Access With Speech) on my computer to go over the dinner menu.
Now for looking up the distance from the train station to the jazz club. Google Maps doesn’t work well with JAWS, so I used an app called VoiceOver on my iPhone for Google Maps — iPhones come with an embedded voice synthesizer for VoiceOver.
I was pretty excited after doing all this research. This would be perfect for our two year anniversary, I thought. We’d have to wait until our anniversary comes in Spring, but we could do it. Excitedly, I called Joe and ran it all by him. He agreed!
Since I had him on the phone, we proceeded to look at train times to Chicago. I’m already familiar with the closest commuter train station to the university where Joe and I go to school, and I already had train times written down and memorized. We knew that there were two shows at the jazz club, and I could already tell from the enthusiasm in Joe’s voice over the phone. He didn’t even have to say it. He wanted to go to the earlier one.
We chose a train that would get us into Chicago more than an hour before the first show. We’d arrange our cab (I used Google Maps to look up the distance) and arrive at the Jazz Club a half-hour before the first show started.
Planning all of this took some time, but I’m getting more excited with every day that passes. It’s a long way away, but with the help of some technology and by contacting my friend who’d been there before to ask her questions about the jazz club and cab companies, I feel confident this will work. We may encounter some obstacles, but it’ll be a learning experience.