Brighton & Hove City Council walk blind through Hove
Members of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Transport Projects and Engineering team experienced how it feels walk blind through Hove’s busiest streets ahead of redevelopment plans.
The team wore simulation spectacles that mirror various sight conditions many Brighton & Hove residents have.
The walk follows talks with East Sussex Sight Loss Council (SLC) about proposed developments to the Hove station corridor. During the recent consultation, Dave Smith, SLC Engagement Manager, and SLC member Iris Keppler, visited the site and raised concerns about how the proposed changes will impact blind and partially sighted people.
SLC members were joined by members of the Transport Projects and Engineering team. This included; Senior Project Managers; Jazmine Hayes and James Hammond, and Project officers; Lesley Heath, Freya Woodhouse, Michelle Jamieson, and Jonathan Martin.
East Sussex SLC Engagement Manager, David Smith said:
“Today’s sim spec experience has been a great success. It was clear to me that the team understood the barriers for blind and partially sighted people after participating in the walk. They also expressed the need for, and importance of, more training and awareness to be provided to all council staff”.
Feedback from the walk
Feedback from the Transport Projects and Engineering team highlights how they felt walking blind through the streets of Hove.
Jonathon Martin, Project Officer, said:
“I felt very unbalanced and vulnerable”.
James Hammond, Senior Project Officer, added:
“We all noticed how we had to use our others sense more. Picking up on particular smells and noises. I felt like I was at the mercy of the good will of others”.
Jazmine Hayes, Senior Project Officer, said:
“I really noticed the importance of the tactile paving”.
Lesley Heath, Project Officer for Transport Projects and Engineering Team, said:
“We’d like to thank the Sight Loss Council for a really useful morning. The simulation walk with the glasses gave us the unique perspective of someone with sight loss and the challenges they face when navigating the public realm. We can now bring this real life experience into our management of scheme designs and ensure we consider everyone”.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Sight Loss Council and others to develop our active travel schemes to support walking for people who are blind or have sight loss”.
East Sussex Sight Loss Council are looking forward to continuing their work with Brighton & Hove City Council
Interested in joining East Sussex Sight Loss Council?
Are you blind or partially sighted? Would you be interested in joining the Sight Loss Council to help create positive change for others?
Publication date: 12 September 2022