How to support people who are blind or partially sighted to participate in everyday life
As our society emerges from the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, we are all learning and adapting to new measures that will help us to resume our everyday activities including shopping, commuting, employment, travel and recreation. These include social distancing and the reorganisation of some public spaces. They affect every area of life, from our homes to streets and town centres, public transport, the workplace, and leisure spaces.
Blind and partially sighted people have told us that they find social distancing more difficult to maintain, and this can cause anxiety. There is a risk that the positive actions we are taking as a society to ‘return to normal’ could create barriers for people who are blind or partially sighted. It is important therefore that we work together to share information and take steps to support equality of access.
For up to date information on Northern Ireland’s COVID-19 regulations and guidance, please visit the NI Direct website at the following link:
This information has been developed in partnership between RNIB Northern Ireland, Guide Dogs NI and Health and Social Care. These guidelines have been informed by the following:
- Guide Dogs, “Covid-19 Recovery Guidance and Documentation: Working with a Client or Volunteer Person to Person”
- Guide Dogs, “Information and guidance for people with vision impairment on the use of face coverings in England”
- RNIB, “Sighted Guiding and Support Bubble Guidance”
- RNIB, “Use of Face Coverings (England only)”
- The National Council for the Blind of Ireland
- The Canadian National Institute for the Blind