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Social Distancing When Blind

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We want to try to help the wider public understand the challenges for visually impaired people when it comes to social distancing. 

Here are links to three videos by visually impaired young people that help to illustrate this in different situations: 

My Guide Dog isn't Trained to Socially Distance

I Was Yelled at for Not Socially Distancing

Social Distancing isn't Easy When Blind


This is useful information, circulated by Guide Dogs who have come up with 3 simple tips for the wider public to help them support people with sight loss:  

1. Keep your distance, but don’t disappear - People with sight loss may find it challenging to social distance, so if you see someone with a Guide Dog or a long cane then you can help them by making sure you keep 2m away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also offer your help.  

2. Say hello and offer your help – Simply by letting someone with sight loss know you are nearby; you are giving them the opportunity to ask for any help if they need it. People often feel unsure about their ability to help someone with sight loss, but their request could be a simple as finding out where a shopping queue starts, or if there is a safer place to cross a road.  

3. Describe the scene – We’ve all had to adapt to unusual sights during lockdown – people standing apart in long lines outside of supermarkets for example. But those with sight loss haven’t always witnessed this to the same extent, which can be isolating and confusing. By describing what you can see to someone with sight loss, you can help them to understand the environment and navigate accordingly.  

Please will you share these tips with your friends and family to make sure everyone knows how they can play their part? Don’t forget you can forward this email on to them too.  

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Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind links