Rochester Sight Loss Awareness Event

Image1On 22nd And 25th September 2015 the Maidstone Team held a sight loss awareness event with the aim of making Rochester more accessible. Working with Kent Association for the Blind and Specsavers during Nation Eye Health Week, we invited local councillors to experience first-hand the barriers faced by a person with a visual impairment.
The willing participants negotiated the obstacles such as A-boards, tables and chairs and shop displays with aid of a sighted guide, long cane and trainee guide dog.

Our Mobility officers were then able to offer advice to the people helping to influence and shape the High Street on how it could be more accessible, for example introducing tactile paving at road crossings and considering layout restrictions for shop fronts.

We also invited all local business owners, service providers and residents of Rochester along to our My Guide training, kindly hosted by the Guildhall Museum.

Image2Participants gained the skills and confidence to assist a visually impaired person and put these skills into practice by guiding one another in a blindfold on a route into Rochester Cathedral. The trainees found the session a real 'eye opener' and several are keen to continue supporting Guide Dogs with raising awareness of the work we do.

The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress also joined us for the session -  which 'they enjoyed very much' and hopefully took heed of the gentle reminder to have an eye health check bi-yearly rather than leaving if for another 20 odd years!