This multisensory heart is designed to be a enjoyed by all audiences, especially blind and visually impaired individuals. Using the sunflower as a symbol of pride for the great Midwest, elements of the design incorporate visually impaired student participation for young learners to contribute to the creative process. Locally sourced tactile elements like river rocks from Missouri and limestone from the Flint Hills in Kansas are used within the heart to lovingly frame the high-contrast and recessed “KC” letters at the center. Wind chimes at the base welcome visitors using auditory cues and encourage touch, play, and orientation.
The heart proudly displays a Helen Keller quote in braille and text that reads: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” This “Heart felt & Heart heard” design exemplifies accessibility in our great region, including the white cane, an international symbol for blindness, that would be 3 dimensionally attached to the surface to signify inclusion and independence for all.