ELVis Vision Impairment Awareness Training
Posted on: Wednesday 3 October 2018
On Monday 21st May, I travelled to London with two of my fundraising colleagues, Leanne Thomas and Laura Conway, for vision impairment awareness training. Paula McGrath, who is soon to be joining RP Fighting Blindness as Head of Development, also took part in the session.
The training was delivered by Masuma Ali, CEO of East London Vision (ELVis), and Bhavini Makwana, ELVis Activities Coordinator and RPFB Ambassador. We learnt about terminology, communication, and tried on some specially adapted glasses that simulate common eye conditions, including cataracts, tunnel vision and macular degeneration. The session gave us a clearer understanding of how to communicate with people experiencing sight loss, how to guide a vision impaired person, and ways of adjusting services and facilities to cater for vision impaired people.
After listening carefully to Masuma and Bhavini describe different methods of guiding, we took to the streets of London in pairs; one wearing a blindfold and one acting as the guide, to practice this for ourselves. After tentatively manoeuvring the stairs and the lift in the building, we experienced walking down a busy London street and crossing on a zebra crossing. This really demonstrated how reliant a vision impaired person can be on their guide, and the importance of communicating effectively!
The day was extremely informative and well delivered, and I look forward to implementing what I have learnt at the Hope to Seaview fundraiser and RPFB Annual Conference in the upcoming weeks. Huge thanks to Masuma and Bhavini for their time and sharing their expert knowledge and advice with us.