Moving around shopping precincts can be a challenge for people who have impaired vision. Café furniture, buskers and advertising boards are all potential obstructions in their path of travel.
Our Orientation and Mobility Instructors train people to travel confidently and safely around shopping areas. We work with clients to plan and travel the best route to the shops, which may include the use of public transport and road crossings. We also provide orientation training within the shopping area itself, locating specific destinations such as the post office or bank.
This training is tailored to the specific needs of individuals. People can learn to use low-vision aids (such as a magnifier or monocular) to locate signs or read prices. We can also teach clients how to differentiate between the different money notes and coins, or seek help from shop assistants.
In addition, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT can advocate for shopping centres and specific shops to be made more accessible for people who have impaired vision. For example, we may request for the path to the door to be clear - with no obstacles (such as tables and chairs), unmarked stairs or hazards at head height.
We also provide educational seminars for the commercial sector. These are tailored to the needs of the business, whether it's an organisation with specific concerns or a shop that wishes to assist a person who has impaired vision.
It should be remembered that people who are accompanied by a Guide Dog have legal rights to enter all public places, including shops and restaurants.
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