On Air GEORGE KAY

Taylor Dayne: Tell It to My HeartiTunesAmazon

TfB Director gets taster of what it's like being visually impaired

Simon Dando on walk

2:01pm 14th November 2016

The Contract Director of Transport For Bucks got to experience a taster of what it's like to be visually impaired.

Simon Dando was escorted around Aylesbury in vision loss simulation eyewear by Lisa Bryant and Loretta Knibbs from the charity Guide Dogs, to provide him with an impression of what people who are visually impaired have to deal with every day.

They hoped the walk would be educational for Simon, as well as raise awareness of the work the charity does as well as of sight conditions in general.

The experience first came about after Lisa had emailed Transport for Bucks asking if they had any spare, out-of-service 'wait' boxes they could have.

She said:

“I emailed TfB on the off chance that they may have one no longer in use which we might have, and I was so pleased that they managed to produce three for us. The visually impaired children we work with really benefit from getting used to the feel of everyday objects in their home environment before attempting to experience them for real in the outside world. Often children have other issues as well as visual impairment, for instance they may have anxieties, or ‘tactile defensiveness’ which means they have an aversion to touch sensations. Allowing them to become familiar with the ‘wait’ box while still in their comfort zone, and not out in a busy street, will be really valuable in our work. It will make a real difference in educating visually impaired children about road safety.”

With Lisa Bryant and Loretta Knibbs from the charity guide dogs

Loretta Knibbs, Simon Dando and Lisa Bryant

To gain a better understanding of the challenges visually impaired people face, director Simon Dando decided to take the 'blind challenge', which involved him wearing the vision loss simulation eyewear whilst walking towards the train station from County Hall. 

Speaking of the challenge, Simon said:

"As a fully sighted person I'm probably making a lot of assumptions about how visually impaired people are doing with our infrastructure and how they get safely around from place to place.

I decided to take up the blind challenge, and see what I could understand and learn and see whether I could use it to influence how we put our infrastructure out on the network.

I used three sets of different glasses that simulate different visual impairments.

The first was diabetic retinopathy. You get these black spots where the retina has been damaged as part of the diabetes. What that does is black out part of your vision, so you have to be constantly vigilant as to what's in the black areas, constantly looking left and right.

It was interesting, great expanses of single colour around the town can be quite confusing, so we need to think about what we put on to those sort of services to assist people with this condition.

The next one was tunnel vision. I couldn't see a panoramic view - it was like watching two TV screens at the same time. A car would pass from one eye to another, and you were having to anticipate speed and direction which slows you down.

The final, and probably most disconcerting was the light perception only spectacles. You couldn't see any discerning shapes but just shadow and light.

Simon Dando on walk

Simon being guided by Lisa

"To be guided across one of the busiest roads of Aylesury; I was very conscious of the assistance Lisa was giving me. It was really apparent, with all the noise that was going on, that that assistance was needed."

“I have so much respect for Lisa and Loretta, who guided me through the streets with care and professionalism. The sensation of stepping into the road without being able to see everything I usually can was really unnerving. It was an education for me, and going through the experience of relying on the tactile cone on the wait boxes helped me to understand why Lisa and Loretta wanted the three out-of-service wait boxes, which I was more than happy to donate to them.” 

You can watch a video of Simon's experience below.

Find out more about the charity here.

Share This Story

Delicious Submit this page to reddit
Email Icon Get the latest local news direct to your inbox.
Sign up now for our email updates
.

Comments

No comments have been posted and approved yet.

Submit a Comment

Please log in to comment on this page.

Suggested articles
Matt Berry - With painting

Bucks artist's photo-like painting on show in London

Martyn Burdon's also been nominated for the 2017 BP Portrait Award.

Money

Thame groups could get cash from councillors

Community groups and projects could be eligible for the funding

Most read
Mix96 News - Breaking Finished

Major collision on Aston Clinton Bypass leaving Aylesbury

That stretch of the A41 has been closed.

Mix96 News - Travel

Diesel leaking on A418 after collision between car and lorry

One person is said to be injured and a man's been arrested.

Newer article

Woman sexually assaulted late at night in High Wycombe

Local: She was walking down Priory Road early Sunday morning when it happened.

Older article

Aylesbury student uses grant to give back

Local: 19-year-old Scott Ramsell's studying Audio and Music production and the scholarship cash is boosting his work at The Grange.

Top articles

Gangs grooming kids to sell drugs: NSPCC give advice

Local: It's been revealed gangs use elaborate networks of young people to carry out their illicit trade.

Pain and scarring: Warning over chemical filled black henna tattoos

National: Holidaymakers are being warned about the nasty side effects and long-term scarring that can be caused from black henna tattoos.

HS2: 'It's Stolen My Time & Things I'd Promised Myself For 40 Years'

Local: Stan Mason is 79 and has been fighting the High Speed route for over 6 years. We wanted to see how that's affected him

Linkin Park cancel US tour after singer Chester Bennington's death

Showbiz: Linkin Park have cancelled their North American tour following the suicide of frontman Chester Bennington.

The Open: Spieth leads by two as McIlroy makes big move on day two

Sport: Jordan Spieth will head into the weekend of The 146th Open with a two-shot lead as Rory McIlroy made a significant move on a brutal second day at Royal Birkdale.

Trump didn't want me to quit, press secretary Sean Spicer says

World: Sean Spicer has insisted that Donald Trump didn't want him to quit as White House press secretary.

Cabinet reshuffle: Our MPs' roles

Local: Here's how the cabinet reshuffle today has affected our local MPs