Visually-impaired inspectors show skills on Media Day for EyesOn Design

The EyesOn Design Car Show is known worldwide for its creative focus on design themes. Aside from the usual cars and interviews, a special segment on Media Preview Day showed two visually-impaired inspectors feeling gaps, fits and finishes with white gloves a 1948 Fiat Topolino 500.

In preparation for the 24th annual event, which takes place on Father’s Day, this Sunday, June 19, 2011 on the grounds of the historic Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, the media was given a special moment that exuded silence, respect and wonder.

While the annual Father’s Day show will feature more than 200 by-invitation-only domestic and foreign vehicles selected for their unique avant-garde designs, it is easy for those who can see to appreciate how the focus of the show is shared with those who are visually impaired.

My own closest experience with visual impairment was my wife’s childhood friend, Sue (or “blind Sue” as she referred to herself) whenever she called on the phone. She was an extraordinary individual.

Oftentimes we would talk for an hour discussing world events as we waited for Judi to return home. Fact is, Sue was better versed on world events than many people I know.

Unfortunately, her diabetes caught up with her and she passed away this past winter. I actually missed her calls and visiting her when she needed occasional help. She was indeed independent.

The exhibition at Media Day by Nino and Marie Pacini brought about a special moment, and immediately took me back to those who used to work at Holley Carburetor during the early years. My old design mentor, Tony DiGiovanni, told me how visually-impaired inspectors literally checked parts with feeler gages, while their seeing-eye dogs sat beside them. They gave productivity and quality a whole new level of meaning.

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