Don't turn a blind eye
The Don't turn a blind eye campaign is a initiative by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT that encourages positive changes in the community to make it easier for people with impaired vision to independently get around.
New research reveals that most Australians would offer help to someone who is blind or has impaired vision1.
However, despite these positive intentions, people with impaired vision have told Guide Dogs NSW/ACT that their ability to get around would be made easier if those offering assistance knew a little more about how they can help2.
Anecdotes from people with impaired vision include being approached unannounced by a member of the public who has grabbed them by the arm and dragged them across the road. The person who told the story said they hadn't wanted help and, worse, because they couldn't see the other person, they thought they were being mugged or robbed.
Statistics also show that nine out of 10 people with impaired vision have experienced difficulty getting around because of footpath obstructions. Topping the list of obstacles are overhanging branches, uneven surfaces and cluttered alfresco dining2.
Don't turn a blind eye is a public education campaign offering practical solutions to encourage the community to play a more active role in helping people with impaired vision to get around safely an independently.
This online resource kit provides tips for useful guiding communication and how to keep footpaths clear of obstructions.
Video footage and photos demonstrate the challenges footpath obstacles pose to people with impaired vision, while fact sheets and articles that councils can include in their staff and community newsletters, provide advice and solutions.
1. Roy Morgan Research. Conducted for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT. September 2010
2. Guide Dogs NSW/ACT 2010 Client Survey
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