Friday 30th April 2021, NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) have launched a new campaign in response to the easing of Covid19 restrictions. ‘Change Your View’ highlights Ireland’s changed physical and social landscape and asks businesses, government, and the public to keep the needs of those who are blind or vision impaired as we socialise, shop and enjoy society after months of lockdown.
Chris White, NCBI CEO said “We are all delighted to know the Covid19 restrictions are easing after a difficult lockdown. We want to ensure people who are blind or vision impaired can equally reap the benefits as society re-emerges. Their environment has changed along with their familiarity and confidence within it as they must now negotiate different streetscapes with shared spaces, outdoor dining and social distancing rules. We are asking businesses, government, and the public to be more aware of the unique challenges faced by those living with sight loss.”
The campaign includes:
- Asking the public to understand social distancing is virtually impossible when you are blind or vision impaired and to give space or offer verbal assistance.
Watch the video on social distancing.
- A guide to help businesses and retail operate outdoor spaces safely, ensure accessibility, and take simple steps to engage customers who are blind or vision impaired. This includes the safe positioning and layout of outdoor dining sets, accessibility of customer information and awareness of the needs of pedestrians and customers living with sight loss.
Read the tips and guidance to business.
- With the emphasis on outdoor activities, NCBI urges the Government to be proactive in making cultural and heritage sites accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired. This includes more Braille, audio and large print descriptions of exhibits and specialised portable audio-described tours of cultural sites and museums where visual exhibits are present.
Mr White added “This campaign highlights that when we change our view and consider the needs of people who are living with sight loss in using public spaces, hospitality and retail services as well as cultural sites, it really is those straightforward and proactive actions that can have a massive impact on a person’s ability to participate and enjoy society safely.”