Meeting her cousin for the first time means the world to Dani

Sun 24 Aug 316Pm

Dani stepping off a bus with her guide dog

It’s an emotional moment for guide dog owner Dani as she takes the bus to meet her long-lost cousin Yannik. Dani’s parents left Poland after the war, so there’s a whole side of her family she’s never had a chance to meet. Now thanks to the audio announcements installed on her local buses, she finally feels confident enough to make this important journey.

Dani has been blind her whole life, and travelling by bus hasn’t always been easy. It’s a daunting experience shared by thousands of people living with sight loss throughout the UK.

At the moment, talking buses are only available in a handful of cities, but Guide Dogs wants them to be available for everybody. “It was frightening before”, Dani says, “I’d worry about going past my stop and having to find my way back from a very unfamiliar place.”

Now that her local buses announce the current stop, next stop and destination, Dani uses them all the time with guide dog Honey. “It’s made a massive difference. I know I’ll make it safely to appointments. And I go out to meet friends almost every day now. It’s made it so much easier to meet Yannik while he’s over in England, because I know I’ll get to the right stop on time.”

With a whole new family to meet, Dani is already planning her next adventure. This autumn, she’s using a talking bus to get to the airport, where she’ll catch a flight to Poland and meet even more of her relatives. “It’s really transformed the way I travel”, says Dani. And with more happy reunions to come, it’s transformed the shape of her family too.

Guide Dogs is campaigning to make audio announcements available on board bus and coach services across the UK, so all people with sight loss can travel with confidence, and get where they want to go in life. You can find out more about the Talking Buses campaign and sign the petition here.

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