Re: Blind Aikidoka
I think there are several arts that accommodate training without one or more senses. I think aikido can accommodate training without vision and the methodology of instruction is flexible for unique teaching challenges.
I think the practicality of fighting without an ability or sense is suspect. Because of our teaching paradigm in aikido, we sometimes forget that initiating an attack is often an advantage. We also sometimes forget that we create deliberate contact with our partners so we can aikido each other. I think it is intimidating to imagine a self-defense situation with my full skills outside of the aikido paradigm.
I remember a study that found elderly were more at-risk to sustain a serious injury from falling than robbery. Elderly taking aikido and learning how to fall may be far more practical than using their aikido in an assault situation. Similarly, I think keeping focus on practical applications of aikido for the vision impaired is a better perspective... One of my old students who was legally blind had difficulty with depth perception. Just learning balanced walking in case he missed a step or caught his foot on a crack was a huge benefit to his daily life.