Friends Help Deaf-Blind Man Experience World Cup Frenzy

Published June 27, 2014 2,293 Plays

Rumble / Fascinating PeopleWorld Cup fever has officially taken over everyone’s lives. It’s infectious (but, you know, in good way). We’re powerless to resist its call. Carlos is no different. Though deaf and blind, he wanted to experience the excitement like everyone else. And with the help of his two amazing friends, he was able to do just that.

Thanks to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of a Brazilian sign language interpreter, a young football fan who was born deaf and blind was able to experience the thrill of “watching” a World Cup match for the first time. While thinking of how he could help his friend Carlos, who is deaf and blind, experience the excitement of the World Cup, Brazilian sign language interpreter Helio Fonseca de Araujo came up with this brilliant idea.

Thankfully choosing Brazil-Croatia to test his new method rather than Nigeria-Iran, interpreter Helio Araujo Fonseca built a hand-made replica of a football pitch and used it to communicate with Carlos - indicating where the players were on the pitch and using sign language to “commentate” on the game as it unfolded. He rigged up a tabletop model of the field, and recruited his friend Regiane to provide additional assistance for all the complex information which would need to be relayed during a match. Here you can see Carlos watching the opening match of the tournament live. Helio provides sign language interpretation, which Carlos follows by feeling with his own hands (tactile signing), while Regiane provides information regarding fouls, cards, and jersey numbers with social-haptic communication on Carlos's back. Now that's amazing!

The best part of the video comes near the end when Brazil scores and Carlos celebrates along with his friends.