Walking in their shoes

Local councillor goes on ‘blindfold’ walk to better understand the needs of blind and partially-sighted people

Roy Miller pictured (right)

A local councillor has completed a ‘blindfold’ walk around the town centre of his constituency to highlight the challenges that blind and partially-sighted people face when navigating the area. 

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council’s councillor, Roy Miller, was invited on the ‘blindfold’ walk by the borough’s Visual Impairment Accessible Environment Sub Group, which is working to make Barnsley town centre more accessible for all. During the walk, Mr Miller wore ‘sim’ spectacles which simulate three of the most common sight conditions – age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. 

The walk was supported by the Royal National Institute of Blind People's (RNIB) regional campaigns officer in Yorkshire and the Humber, Maqsood Sheikh.

Commenting on the experience, Mr Miller said: “Walking around the streets in an area I’ve lived in for years and know very well, while wearing simulation spectacles, really put the issues that blind and partially-sighted people face into perspective.” 

The RNIB has produced a Street Charter toolkit that details the changes that the charity would like to see. It hopes that campaigners will use the toolkit to create their own charters in partnership with their local council. For more information, visit the website.