Deaf and blind, they go together to venture into the wilderness

deafblind hike in the desert of Tunisia
On Saturday, March 5, six deafblind people set out on an extraordinary journey: a trip in the Tunisian desert. They will be accompanied by six supervisors, a doctor and a videographer for the production of a documentary. © Vestfyret

A great human and sensory adventure is on the doorstep from 5 to 15 March 2022 six deafblind and their companions.

For the first time, they have to wander in the Tunisian desert on the initiative of the associations “Beyond the look” and Phare d’Ouest.

A double defect that isolates

They no longer see, or badly. They do not hear, or poorly. Their double deficiency, since birth or due to a developing genetic disease, severely hampers their daily lives. And often isolates them, due to the inability to communicate calmly with the world around them. This disability is all the more disabling as it is often invisible.

In France, they are like this almost 6,000 people under the age of 60 suffer from “deafblindness” . ONE poorly understood disability whereupon the Phare d’Ouest Association (Brittany), chaired by Jean Briens (Saint-Quay-Portrieux), has been making light since 2009.

Our goal is twofold: to raise awareness of deafblindness and its consequences; and allow these people to find each other, he explains. We also want to change the image that is often worn on those of people who have become incapacitated and who we feel sorry for.

Evening camp in the dune cave

The march will be accompanied by camels.
The march will be accompanied by camels. © Vestfyret

From 5 to 15 March 2022, Phare d’Ouest and the association “Au-délà du regard” will give six of them an extraordinary experience: a week-long camel ride in the Tunisian desert.

Michael ( Plourhan47), Camille (auray30), Marie Odile (Quimper67), Florent (Towers45), Arnaud (Paris51), Thomas (Lyons20 years) going to “Dare the desert”, accompanied by six supervisors (including Jean Briens from Saint-Quay and Dominique Le Roux from Plouha), a doctor and a videographer for the production of a documentary.


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At the discretion of four hours of light walking a day and of guards divided, together they will taste life in the middle of nature, in infinite space, in absolute silence as in the camel drivers’ music, in the evening camp in the dune cave, in the cake prepared in the sand.

Videos: currently on Actu

The voice, the look, the touch, the sign language … nothing dove obstacle to exchange and share.

A key documentary

The journey will be filmed by videographer Gérald Serrault (Pixels de Mer, auray) to direct two films: a 52-minute documentary, intended to be shown in cinemas or on television to the general public, and a short 10-minute film for educational purposes at the start of a professional conference or training. A documentary project made possible by achieving two prizes of € 20,000 of the funds of the companies Puyoo (cosmetics) and Sucden (trade in sweet products).

Jean Briens (Saint-Quay-Portrieux) is the chairman of Phare d'Ouest, for a different look and a different way of dealing with deafblindness.
Jean Briens (Saint-Quay-Portrieux, Brittany), President of the Phare d’Ouest. © Nathalie Bot-Jaffray, La Presse d’Armor

At the end of this tour, we hope to organize actions to raise awareness of the consequences of dual sensory loss among the public who are not affected by these shortcomings. With in addition to these movies a virtual reality tool.

Jean Briens, President of the Phare d’Ouest

So that deafblindness is nothing more thana funny wordbut a handicap recognized in its singularity.

‘It was equated with either deafness or blindness. Things seem to be changing, “according to Jean Brien’s pagea European recommendation aims to have it recognized as a specificity that requires specific support practices.

More information: contact@pharedouest.fr

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