In our Belgian charity article Frederic Storme, Founding President of I See Public Benefit Foundation, explains what the initiative does.
Frederic says: “The creation of the I See Public Benefit Foundation is the result of my personal journey. Visually impaired, I gained optimal mobility thanks to Yankee, a female Belgian shepherd dog. With her by my side, my autonomy has become complete: I move independently, I work, I lead an intense family, social and cultural life.
While Yankee had been sharing my road for 10 years, I had to worry about preparing for her replacement. I realized then that the situation for the acquisition and training of guide dogs was still difficult in Belgium: too few training centres, a very long waiting time and a very high cost.
So, in 2009, I decided to surround myself with specialists with a long experience in the field of guide dog training as well as various aspects of visual impairment to create a foundation dedicated to the accompaniment of visual impairment.
Today, I am pleased to see our activities grow and our team strengthens. This is a sign that we are on the right track, that of integration.”
Their services include guide dogs, new technologies, personal accompaniment, family support and, last but not least, audio description, which is an additional narration track intended primarily for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media (including television and film, dance, opera, and visual art).
The audio description service is intended for all public or private organizations wishing to use it for an event, convention, conference, training or public event to make it accessible to all visually impaired people who attend. During an event, many visual elements are used to support oral communication: Power Point presentations, placards with speakers’ names, stands, etc. These elements are often essential for an overall understanding of the message, but are not accessible for the visually impaired.
During an event, the audio-descriptor is placed in a room next to the conference room or in a booth from which it observes the unfolding of the event filmed on a screen. Each visually impaired person who wishes to benefit from the audio description is equipped with a headset connected to the cabin of the audio-descriptor and thus receives all the visual information to which he or she would not normally have access. The I See Foundation takes care of bringing and installing all the technical material on site on the day of the event.