New sidewalk mural in Tyler honors the vision impaired

“When you’re out walking on a trail, enjoying a peaceful moment, you can see this mural and give a moment to think about how other people experience their lives
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 7:26 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Walk along the Rose Rudman Trail in Tyler and you’ll find a new sidewalk mural.

The Tyler Parks and Rec Department and East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind (ETLB) are creating a mural titled “Walk Your Own Path.”

“When you’re out walking on a trail, enjoying a peaceful moment, you can see this mural and give a moment to think about how other people experience their lives,” Tyler Parks Services Coordinator Kristi Nipp said.

The mural is a visual representation of what people who are bind or visually impaired walk through daily.

To create the mural, members of ETLB walk with their walking canes and chalk at the end of the cane to show their cane patterns.

Next to the mural, a large sign with print and braille will honor the unique paths navigated by those with little or no vision.

“The meaning behind the mural is to show the sighted community what is possible with training and tools designed to assist the blind, regain their independence, and productivity after vision loss,” said Craig Ellis, Community Relations Administrator for ETLB.

Ellis said although people walk different paths in life, he can help people experiencing similar steps.

“I had lost my vision 14 years ago. I was unemployed for three years because no one would hire me because I was legally blind. Despite my talents and abilities, no one would hire me,” Ellis said.

Now with ETLB, he works to empower people who are blind through rehabilitation, education, training, and employment.

“The main thing is to just raise more awareness and understanding about blindness and eliminate maybe in someone’s mind the stereotype, and maybe get them to maybe walk away from the sign with a different view of blindness,” Ellis said.

For the artists, “It doesn’t matter that they can’t see when they finished, they know they did it.”

The goal is to complete the mural by Thursday.