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Indy 500 2019

Bosma Enterprises - 5/17/2019 1:56:41 PM

How do people who are blind watch the Indy 500?

If you grew up in Indianapolis, it is probably safe to say you are either a Colts, Pacers or racing
fan. One of the most spectacular sporting events for racing fans is happening in a couple of
weeks, the Indianapolis 500, and just like our sighted friends, the blind community will be
participating in festivities surrounding the race.

The Indianapolis 500 is the most prestigious event on the IndyCar calendar, as well as one of the
oldest automobile races. You may be asking yourself, how does a person who is blind or visually
impaired watch the Indy 500? Well, people who are blind enjoy the activities that take place
leading up to the race.

We recently spoke with Brian Petraits and David Krieghbaum, two racing fans who happen to be
blind, and asked them what they enjoy most about the Indy 500. Brian and David are both
Indianapolis natives, and ever since they can remember, they have watched, attended or listened
to the Indy 500. David, who actually grew up down the street from the Indianapolis Motor
Speedway, has attended multiple races throughout the years. Like many Hoosiers, David enjoys
the traditions that take place at the track. Some of David’s favorite traditions include the
honoring of our nation’s veterans and how they pay tribute to past drivers.

Brian also loves the traditions, and how the race brings the city together. When he attends the
race, he brings his scanner, a device you can also rent at the track. These scanners allow a person
who is blind the ability to listen to all the race day action and all the build up to the race
including qualifying and TV broadcasts. For people who are blind, having access to a scanner
can really enhance their race day experience. The scanner also provides a behind-the-scenes
experience with pit crews & team officials, giving you unfiltered access to what’s really going on
with a driver or car in real time.

Another option for people who are blind is to download a racing app on your smart phone.
Although apps have a ton of great features, the downside to them is that they use a lot of battery
life and data. Most racing fans do not recommend this option because the race is six hours long.

Many racing fans who are blind (and even most Hoosiers) listen to the race on the radio. Radio
announcers do a fantastic job and paint an elaborate picture for their listeners. Listening to the
race on the radio adds more to the event for people who are blind, and is very mainstream in
Indianapolis. So, just like our sighted counterparts, people who are blind have similar race day
traditions, and enjoy attending the race and all the activities that surround the Indy500. We hope
by reading this blog, you have been enlightened on how people who are blind keep up with the
race, and on the equipment and accessible features the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has
implemented to ensure all people have a wonderful race day experience. Other than attending the
race in person, sitting back with your favorite beverage with your radio is the way to go. If you
or someone you know would like to learn more about adaptive technology for people who are
blind or maybe dealing with vision loss, please contact Bosma Enterprises at: www.bosma.org.