Blindsight – An Exploration of Blind Sport and Recreation

Presented at 9:15am in Colorado I-J on Friday, November 10, 2023.



  • Jennifer Johnson, Dr. Jennifer A. Johnson, Georgia State University

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


Join us during this interactive pre-conference event as we explore various recreation and sport activities for the visually impaired and blind (VI/B). This session will include both challenge-by-choice activities for attendees to experience various blind sports as well as the presentation of the initial findings of Blindsight, a blind sport ethnographic research project.


Despite the global salience of VI/B sport, this unique sector of the sport industry continues to be notably absent or neglected in higher education settings. This session will explore the ways in which higher education can leverage academia, collegiate recreation programming, and experiential education opportunities to better serve our visually impaired and blind communities. Topics include the following: INTRODUCTION TO BRAILLE - attendees will learn the basics of braille, use a slate and stylus to punch braille, and discuss strategies to promote literacy and access for the VI/B communities within higher education spaces. PROMOTING ALLYSHIP - attendees will explore theoretical approaches to developing allyship through blind soccer. Attendees will learn the basics of 5v5 blind soccer, the equipment used, and challenge-by-choice participation in sport drills. PARACLIMBING - attendees will investigate the experiential experiences of VI/B athletes specific to the sport of paraclimbing, discuss emerging technology in the sport, and explore the ways in which these advancements ultimately promote independence for the athlete. COLLEGIATE RECREATION- attendees will learn about collegiate recreation and discuss what programs and services can be implemented within their own programs. From team building activities to sport specific instructional clinics, this session presents programming plans and resources to make collegiate recreation environments more accessible and engaging for the visually impaired and blind. ACADEMIA - attendees will discuss and explore to what extent academic programs can incorporate and embrace blind sport education. This includes sample lesson plans, guest speaker resources, syllabi, learning objectives, and more! SPORTS! - attendees will learn about an array of sports for the visually impaired and blind and the emerging assistive technology being developed and implemented in each sport.


  1. Emerging technology in blind sport can further promote the independence of VI/B athletes.
  2. Higher education can leverage collegiate recreation and academic programming to promote VI/B inclusion.
  3. Blind sport has tremendous gaps and subsequent opportunity for future academic inquiry.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Assistive Technology, Research, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Jennifer Johnson

Dr. Jennifer A. Johnson (she/they) has their doctorate in Kinesiology, Sport Administration from Georgia State University (2019) and research interests in allyship development and blind sport. Dr. Johnson is currently working on a blind sport ethnography (Blindsight) heavily based in practitioner experiences and environments with applications in higher education. Dr. Johnson currently serves as the coordinator of Aquatics, Safety, and Student Development with Recreational Services at Georgia State University, their three time alma mater (Go Panthers!). In addition, Dr. Johnson volunteers with the Georgia Blind Sports Association and serves on the executive board of CAM’s Vision Foundation 501(c)3.