WARRENSBURG — Amy Wilson and her board have created the first proactive personal safety course for blind and visually impaired individuals.
The Safety Positive Foundation teaches blind and visually impaired individuals personal safety and security.
“We are looking to teach blind people to have a proactive approach towards their personal safety and security,” Wilson said during the launch event Friday, March 3 at the Warrensburg Community Center. “A lot of times it's reactive… I have been involved in other self-defense organizations and programs that have been offered in the blind community… There are people at different levels of learning and I want to be able to meet people where they are on that journey and offer them the education that is going to bring them the most value.”
The event was also live-streamed on Zoom, allowing people from across the country to learn about the new nonprofit’s opportunities.
Wilson was the Missouri School for the Blind’s first women's wrestler and a part of the United States Association of Blind Athletes' first women’s judo team.
Wilson is also a victim of crimes against blind people.
According to the Department of Justice, blind or visually impaired individuals are three times more likely to be victims of violent crimes and seven to eight times more likely to be a victim of sexual assault.
The Safety Positive Foundation wants to teach those individuals to protect themselves and stand up for themselves to help prevent those situations.
Wilson said the program will start with learning verbal craft, which will teach individuals to speak up in certain situations because individuals are less likely to be physical if they cannot be vocal.
“Part of it is us learning to first find value and dignity within ourselves as blind people,” Wilson said. “We are worth protecting and being respected and having people not treat us like public property…we are not. We need to educate ourselves and make a plan for not if those things happen, but when they happen.”
The foundation will create a community for blind and visually impaired individuals, not just in Warrensburg but around the world.
Along with the classes, there will be a free weekly discussion called “Safety Positive Tea Time,” which allows all topics of discussion.
There will be multiple courses taught by Wilson and the rest of her board.
Group and individual packages will be offered as well as sponsorships from local businesses.
For more information, contact Amy Wilson at email@example.com.
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