MP takes on blindfold walk in Shotton to put himself in shoes of visually impaired

Reporter:

Beth Hughes

A bilndfold walk helped a Member of Parliament shed some light on the daily obstacles people with sight loss encounter.

Mark Tami MP joined charity organisation Guide Dogs Cymru to walk a mile in the shoes of visually impaired or blind people, equipped with a blindfold and a long cane.

The MP for Alyn and Deeside was joined by Nathan Foy, engagement officer for Guide Dogs Cymru and his guide dog, Mason, rehabilition officer Jane Roberts who demonstrated how she helps people use a roller-tipped walking stick, alongside constituents who suffer from visual impairment, and their families, for an afternoon of awareness.

The group walked from Connah’s Quay to Shotton, on both sides of the road, while Mr Tami wore a full blindfold in one direction, and in the other, a pair of sunglasses with pin-hole vision to mimic how a partially sighted pedestrian would see the street through tunnel vision.

He said: “It was very interesting, and made me realise what it must be like to be blind. Crossing roads was particularly difficult. Some cars would flash and you don’t know whether they mean stop or go.

“What also really struck me was the pavement furniture, such as scaffolding, lampposts, bins. It helped me realise how challenging it can be for people and that sighted people don’t think about these things.”

Mr Tami said he has long supported the Guide Dogs Charity and has been pushing for them to visit Alyn and Deeside for some time.

He said: “Guide Dogs do some fantastic work for the visually impaired and I am grateful for Nathan and the team for coming to Flintshire so I can get a first-hand experience of the difficulties that these individuals face on a day-to-day basis.

“Councillors don’t go out of their way to design things bady but we need to consult more people and see what we can do for everyone. When I speak to officials, I will certainly do what I can to highlight this issue.

“I’m glad we did this and I hope it raises some valuable awareness to what is such a worthwhile cause.”

Email:

beth.hughes@nwn.co.uk

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