“Touch and See” offers interactive display for Fairgoers with visual impairments

The Handicrafts and Hobbies competition showcases the work of some of our state’s most talented painters, wood carvers, quilters, glassblowers and potters. In the Commercial Building, you’ll find handmade items created by young and old alike. However, the displays come with a warning: please don’t touch the crafts.

Judith Uhrick, superintendent of Handicrafts and Hobbies, hopes to change that with a new exhibit. She and others developed an idea for “Touch and See” – an interactive, tactile display that makes Handicrafts and Hobbies more welcoming to those with visual impairments.

At Touch and See, participants can hold and manipulate different items to “see” them with their sense of touch. The exhibit will include items like pieces of pottery, woven baskets, mosaics, small woodworking pieces and acrylic paintings with thick textures. Staff will be on hand to talk visitors through the process of creating the piece.

“We’re always looking for ways to make the State Fair more accessible to different groups,” said Judith. “We hope this will enhance the Fair experience for those with limited vision.”

The Touch and See display will make its debut appearance at the State Fair starting Friday, Oct. 12. Come by daily between 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. to see Handicrafts and Hobbies in a whole new way.

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