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Visual Impairment Support

This page was last updated on 22 February 2021 at 15.15hrs.

Did you know that a guide dog is trained to take its owner on the shortest possible route to get to its destination? They simply don’t understand the meaning of social distancing.

With the introduction of different queuing systems to enter shops and the need to social distance, many Islanders who have a visual impairment are finding this change difficult making their trips out much more challenging.

A visual impairment can be classified as a hidden disability, though when the individual is accompanied by an assistance dog or uses a white guide cane, it may be more apparent to others that they have this impairment. They might choose to wear a sunflower lanyard.

Only 5 % of those who are registered blind actually see nothing at all. Many have a problem with certain parts of their vision: it might be that the central part is missing, or that the peripheral vision is affected. Everyone’s sight impairment will be different and therefore present different challenges.

If you are aware that someone has a visual impairment, please be patient and give them some space, as they may not be able to see you to be able to socially distance themselves.

If you are overtaken in a queue by someone who is accompanied by a guide dog, please understand that this is how the dog has been trained, taking their owner on the most direct route.

Please also think to ask if the person needs help. When routes have been changed and things have been moved, an offer of assistance may be gratefully accepted.

Let us all have a little understanding of each other’s needs at this time.

For more information contact the Disability Officer or for support contact the Guernsey Blind Association

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