The scheduled BliSS housing project for the blind, visually impaired and sighted people is so far a unique endeavor in Germany. The project’s objective is for blind, visually impaired and sighted people to live together side-by-side and to help each other. The notion of inclusive living is based on the idea of living in friendly, neighborly relationships: people live under one roof, support each other and meet for joint activities.
The idea for this housing project arose during tandem tours of the "Weiße Speiche" (English: "White Spokes") tandem club. The conclusion: bicycling is not the only thing that’s better together. So is living together. The basic concept of BliSS is for people who already know and appreciate each other to live together, to provide mutual support and share in joint adventures. This also forms the foundation of the club that was created in 2013.
The housing project aims to reduce reservations about blind people and people with other disabilities. It is not just a housing but also a learning project. People are able to interact intuitively and without inhibitions. "This is meant to build relationships at eye level that are rooted in normality, where everyone actively contributes", says Matthias Pusch, the club’s president.
The club members develop the individual steps to implement the housing project in collaboration with decision-makers in politics and public agencies. The club consults, develops and actively injects itself into the planning and implementation process. Matthias Pusch explains, "We have received great support but sometimes had to adamantly illustrate things that are unacceptable for our target audience (as it pertains to the design of public thoroughfares for example). Ultimately, our teamwork was constructive and trusting."