Queen Street Mill Textile Museum and Guide Dogs team up to provide accessible visits for people with sight loss
Guide Dogs and Queen Street Mill Textile Museum in Burnley have teamed up to help improve the visitor experience for visitors who have a vision impairment.
Owned by Lancashire County Council, Queen Street Mill Textile Museum is the last surviving 19th Century steam-powered weaving shed in the world. As part of their ongoing work to make the museum more accessible, members of staff from the museum have received expert training and advice from Guide Dogs’ My Sighted Guide service.
Guide Dogs is working with organisations across the UK to improve accessibility and provide a safe environment for people with sight loss.
During the training, staff from the museum were taught how to approach and introduce themselves to someone who might need guided assistance. They were introduced to common eye conditions and their impact. Staff learnt how to guide blind and partially sighted customers, making visiting the museum much more accessible to many of the thousands of people the museum attracts each year.
Sarah Stewart, Assistant Museum Manager at Queen Street, said: “Not only was the session fun and interactive, but it gave us a better understanding of how people with sight loss can interact with the space, and how we can better support them to deliver a high-quality experience.
“Our whole team gained so much confidence from the training and it has inspired us to look for more ways we can make our museum accessible and relevant. We would recommend this training to anyone!”
The training was delivered by Sharon Swarbrick, My Sighted Guide Community Development Officer at Guide Dogs, who said: “We are proud to work with the Queen Street Mill Textile Museum to provide training for their staff on sight loss awareness and sighted guiding.
“It has been brilliant working with staff who are all very devoted to making the museum more inclusive to visitors with sight loss. The museum is such an interesting place to visit!”
Any organisations or venues interested in making their facilities more inclusive through staff training can get in touch with Guide Dogs via email email@example.com.