Dear Orkney News,
Tuesday, March 23rd, marked the anniversary of the day the UK was officially plunged into lockdown. We have lived through what is probably the most extraordinary year in most people’s lifetimes.
Blind and partially sighted people have had to adjust like everyone else to the daily challenges this has created. Thankfully, there’s now light at the end of the tunnel. But some ongoing measures could continue to be barriers to their independence and confidence.
People with sight loss can sometimes find it difficult to judge space, so we’re asking everyone to maintain their own distance, be patient and be helpful.
Just getting out and about can be more hazardous for those without sight. The Government’s ‘Spaces for People’ initiative has already transformed many of our streets and thoroughfares. We must take care that this doesn’t inadvertently create new obstacles for those with disabilities.
The covid crisis has given all of us a sense of uncertainty and vulnerability, of what it’s like to depend more on others. So let’s make one positive legacy of this crisis a resolve to make sure we re-emerge as a society in which no one is left at the margins.
James Adams, Director Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Scotland, Edinburgh