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Film raises awareness of blind people's triumphs, challenges; screening in Colorado Springs this week

October 16, 2017 Updated: October 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm
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photo - (Photo courtesy of DoYouDreamInColor.com)
(Photo courtesy of DoYouDreamInColor.com) 

Connor wants to get a sponsorship so he can compete as a skateboarder. Sarah would like to travel the world. Nick fashions himself as a famous drummer in a heavy metal band. Carina is working on being the first member of her family to graduate from high school.

"Do You Dream in Color?" tells a true coming-of-age story of four teenagers who face an additional challenge. The stars of the new film are blind.

"They have dreams like everyone else," says Kevan Worley, a National Federation of the Blind of Colorado board member and Colorado Springs business owner. "But sometimes the school system, society or families unwittingly or unknowingly stand as obstacles rather than aids to their dreams."

The Colorado chapter of the National Federation of the Blind will screen the documentary at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Stargazers Theatre, 10 S. Parkside Drive. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. A town-hall-style discussion with one of the film's stars will follow, along with a presentation on available resources.

The screening is part of the National Federation of the Blind's observance of October as "Meet the Blind Month."

Also sponsoring the event is the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, a Colorado Springs-based, state-funded residential and day school with educational programs for infants to young adults.

"We want to show the public that blind people have challenges but we can also live the life we want," said Worley. "It's a matter of having the right alternative techniques."

The film is airing throughout the nation this month. It's won several accolades, including "Official Selection" at the Dallas International Film Festival and "Audience Choice Award" at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival.

The creators, Sarah Ivy and Abigail Fuller, won the highest Jacob Bolotin award of $15,000 from the National Federation of the Blind for "outstanding contributions toward achieving the full integration of the blind into society on the basis of equality."

"It's a great movie," Worley said. "It's fun, informative, empowering and inspiring."

The teens set out to become equipped with needed technology and acceptance to stand on equal ground with their public school classmates. Low expectations and misconceptions about blindness present obstacles, but the students grow through the challenges and find ways to use the system, go around the system and enlist the help of others to move toward achieving their dreams.

"It parallels or is the philosophy of our civil rights organization, the National Federation of the Blind, which believes that together with love and hope and determination, we can transform dreams into reality," Worley said. "That's what these kids are doing."

Viewers learn if the teens succeed or change direction in their quest to have fulfilling and meaningful lives.

The National Federation of the Blind, billed as the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the nation, has about 20,000 members nationwide and 60 members locally, said Worley, former executive director of the National Association of Blind Merchants.

A trailer of the film is available here: http://www.doyoudreamincolor.com.

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