Guide Dogs and the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds have teamed up with a new pilot project, aimed at improving the experience for visitors who have a vision impairment.
More than 20 members of staff from the Royal Armouries have received expert training and advice from Guide Dogs’ My Sighted Guide service. The museum is the first in the region to receive this training.
The training teaches people how to properly and safely guide someone with a visual impairment, explaining how to describe the environment and help someone navigate around.
The Royal Armouries was pleased to take part in this new collaborative approach with Guide Dogs.
Robert Childs, Duty Manager at the Royal Armouries, who took part in the training, said:
“I’m so glad I did this training as I now feel much more confident and comfortable in helping to guide people with a vision impairment."
“I loved how interactive the course was, it really helped with my understanding of sight loss and gain a good grasp of how to guide someone safely.
“With front of house and Museum Assistant staff learning how to guide blind and partially sighted customers, it will make visits much more accessible in future."
Kelle Myers, My Sighted Guide Community Development Officer at Guide Dogs, said: “We are proud to partner with the Royal Armouries to provide training for their staff on sight loss awareness and sighted guiding.
“It’s been brilliant working with visitor-facing staff who are all very devoted to making the museum more inclusive to visitors with sight loss.
“The museum is the first in the region to establish this kind of partnership, and we hope it encourages similar organisations to consider their accessibility for people with a vision impairment.”
Guide Dogs is currently piloting this new partner model, in which the charity will work with organisations across the UK to improve inclusivity, accessibility and provide a safe environment for people with sight loss.
Any organisations or venues interested in making their facilities more inclusive through staff training can get in touch with Guide Dogs by contacting Lorraine Brinnen, My Sighted Guide Partnership Development Specialist at Partners@guidedogs.org.uk
Online training is also available via the Guide Dogs My Sighted Guide page
With Love Island welcoming their first contestant with a vision impairment this year, we hear from Lynette, a guide dog owner and Love Island fan, who asks whether it's time to make the show more accessible as well as inclusive.