Simulation glasses help kids understand blind cricket

25 March 2020

Vision Australia has donated vision simulation glasses to the Gisborne Cricket Club as part of a recent blind cricket session the club held.

The glasses are designed to provide members of the sighted community with an insight as to what it is like to live with blindness or low vision. They come in different types to simulate varying degrees of vision loss and common vision conditions.

The glasses were worn by sighted player during a session run by Dan Pritchard and Johnny Boland, two current members of the Australian Blind Cricket team.

Dan and Johnny took young players and their parents through a number of fast-paced and enjoyable activities, giving them an understanding of how people who are blind or have low vision take part in one of Australia’s favourite pastimes.

Blind cricketers Dan Pritchard and Johnny Boland explain the sport to a crowd of young players
Caption: Blind cricketers Dan Pritchard and Johnny Boland explain the sport to a crowd of young players

Michelle Eunson, Vision Australia National Manager of Commercial Development, said Vision Australia was happy to support the event.

“Vision Australia was glad to provide the opportunity for people sighted people to experience cricket the way in a similar way to how people who are blind or have low vision do,” Michelle said.

“There are still many misconceptions out there about what people who are blind or have low vision can and can’t participate in, so hopefully we’ve helped educate some people that living with blindness or low vision doesn’t mean cricket and other typical activities are off-limits,” she said.

Blind Cricket is similar in many ways to regular cricket. One difference is that the ball makes either a ringing or rattling noise when it moves so that the players know where it is. There are 11 players with varying degrees of sight, as well as three reserves.

Blind cricket was first played in Melbourne in 1922. The players used a tin can filled with rocks instead of a ball. It is currently played in several other countries throughout the world. Australia has teams in every state except Tasmania, as well as a national team.

You can find out more about Vision Australia's simulation glasses on our website.