Bus drivers learn about visual impairment

Public Health and Arriva Yorkshire recently joined forces to help show bus drivers what it was like to travel with a visual impairment.

Swap with me

The ‘swap with me’ event, demonstrated the council and bus companies’ commitment to make services more accessible to blind and partially sighted customers.

The event was organised by Kirklees Council on behalf of the Kirklees Blind and Low Vision Group. The Sight Kirklees Independent Enabling Service (SKIES), the RNIB and Kirklees Transcription Service who support people who are blind and partially sighted, as well as members and friends of the Kirklees Visual Impairment Network all attended the event.

Learning from each other’s experiences

The event provided Arriva Yorkshire’s drivers and managers the chance to ‘swap places’ with blind and partially sighted people, allowing them to learn from each other’s experiences.

The drivers were invited to wear SimsSpecs, which simulates eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. There was also an opportunity for the group to discuss some of the difficulties they have encountered when travelling on buses and a demonstration of some of the techniques white cane users can use to board a bus.

Jon Croxford, managing director of Arriva Yorkshire, said:

“We are delighted to be able support Kirklees Blind and Low Vision Group by hosting a ‘swap with me’ event at Dewsbury depot. Ensuring accessibility and ease of travel for all passengers is high on our agenda and we hope that events like these, shows how serious we are about making travel easier for all.”

Cllr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for health said:

“Bus travel is a vital part of the daily life for many people who are blind or partially sighted. The Swap with Me event was a fun and friendly way for people who are blind or partially sighted, and bus drivers to come together and learn about each other’s experiences and point of views. We hope that the insights and understanding acquired on the day help improve the lives of blind and partially sighted passengers living and working in Kirklees.”

More information about visual impairments in our area can be found through Kirklees Sensory Service.

For more information about support for visually impaired passesnger can be found on the Arriva Bus website.

 

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