Taste of Darkness, an initiative of Dialogue in the Dark (DID), is a gastronomic experience you cannot replicate or even hope to experience. Imagine...a proper, formal, sit-down dinner with 50 people, in a room that's bathed in complete darkness. Everyday a surprise menu awaits you. Expect to be served courteously by well-trained dining guides with selection of local and global cuisine while you experience the pleasure of enjoying food maneuvering only the aroma and your taste buds as reference.
Dialogue in the Dark (DID) offers exhibition and workshop experiences to heighten awareness and sensitize the society about the abilities of disabled, with blind people leading the experience.In the DID centers, spread across three locations namely Chennai, Raipur and Hyderabad, visitors experience being visually impaired for 45 minutes to one hour and undergo various experiential activities such as playing cricket, typing on a computer, touching sculptures, and inhaling specific fragrances, etc. in complete darkness. A visually impaired guide helps them through these experiences revealing his/her disability at the end of the tour. This is intended to sensitize the visitors and make them understand about the abilities of a visually impaired person and people with disabilities (PwDs) in general.
In India, with nearly 2.6 crore disabled population, it is estimated that 1.5 crore PwDs are in the working age group of 15-59 years. Over 99 lakhs need skill training. Targeting candidates from poor and marginalized background with little or no exposure to education and work,DID training program is designed to provide a holistic training to the PwDs including practical training, communication and soft skills. ACE’s Take1 process begins with job mapping followed with aspirations match, skill development and placement of PwDs. Shifting the paradigm from the supply side to the demand size of the value chain, DID attracts corporates using practical demonstration approach highlighting PwDs abilities.
DID, established in 2011 by ACE Experiences Asia Pvt Ltd (ACE – acronym for Awareness, Care & Empowerment)partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2014 to support the Skill India Mission. The funding from NSDC helped ACE to scale up its operations and open new exhibition centers. The partnership has helped sensitizing close to 2.5 lakh visitors and engaging with over 1,000 corporates, leading to 8,000 job pledges.
A movement towards skilling PwDs and empowering them for employability, DID has helped 3,140 PwD candidates being placed across 18 sectors including retail, telecom, gems & jewelry, education, hospitality amongst others.