In order to create spaces where people can meet, have a coffee or a meal, many cafes and bars have put facilities further out onto pavements and walkways. For those with sight loss these new barriers can present a significant problem when trying to move about safely.
RNIB Scotland, the national sight loss charity says that with the easing of lockdown restrictions (26th April) that these must not create new barriers for blind and partially sighted people and those with other disabilities.
James Adams, Director of RNIB Scotland said:
“With lockdown restrictions easing further today, we’re all looking forward to getting outside to see loved ones and enjoy the warmer weather.
“But we are hearing from many blind and partially sighted people who have lost confidence in going outside after a year of covid restrictions and are anxious about public spaces becoming busier and more cluttered with café and bar tables and chairs.
“Social distancing often relies on being able to see things such as signs, queuing systems or barriers. When you can’t see these changes, they can create new obstacles to navigate and further erode confidence.
“So we’re asking the public to be aware of the challenges people with sight loss might face, and help them to safely social distance as the restrictions change.
“We’re also reminding local authorities and businesses that the measures in place to protect us must be inclusive to everyone, not just to those who can see them.
“This is the ‘new normal’ we should aim to return to in Scotland.”