First ever braille Playboy magazine uncovered in vision exhibition

EVER wondered how blind and vision-impaired people dealt with life 100 years ago compared to today?

Have you pondered how a blind sport is played, or what the first ever braille Playboy magazine looks like?

If these things have piqued your fancy, then a visit to the latest exhibition at Sovereign Hill’s Gold Museum is the perfect family activity this summer.

The exhibition, Living In a Sensory World, features 19 showcase pieces, including the first ball used in a blind cricket match, the first braille Playboy magazine and a simulation of how a bionic eye user would see the world.

Vision Australia secured funding through the federal government for the travelling exhibition, which will be based at the Ballarat museum until February 3.

Gold museum curator Roger Trudgeon said between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors were expected to see the exhibition this summer.

“As a touring exhibition, it’s fantastic because it has so many artefacts and exhibits,” he said.

“I find it hard to go past the bionic eye exhibit ... when you think that someone who has never had vision before might actually get some sort of vision by using this technology, it’s amazing.”

In Ballarat for the exhibition’s opening yesterday, Vision Australia chairman Kevin Murfitt said Living In a Sensory World would appeal to blind and sighted people alike.

“A person like me, who is blind, comes along to get a sense of the history of the services which I have benefited from,” he said.

“For a person who is sighted, you get a real awareness of the various supports that are available for those with low vision.”

Vision Australia Ballarat team leader Yvonne Clark said the exhibition highlighted what the vision impaired could do, rather than couldn’t.

“Often it’s the really simple stuff that makes the biggest difference to someone’s life,” he said.

“There are so many people who walk into our office and say ‘I’ve been told there’s nothing else anyone can do for me’ and they’re really quite distressed.

“But they see the equipment and services that we can provide and they walk out with a whole different outlook.”

Gold Museum curator Roger Trudgeon and a braille copy of Playboy magazine. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Gold Museum curator Roger Trudgeon and a braille copy of Playboy magazine. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER


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