New film highlights Sight Loss Council work to improve street design

Sight Loss Councils (SLC) are working with councillors and local authorities to improve street design and better understand the impact of street obstacles.

As part of this work, Merseyside SLC is working with Sefton Council to increase awareness of some of the challenges blind and partially sighted people (BPS) people encounter.

SLC members have delivered vision awareness sessions and shared their lived experience with councillors and officers from the highways and planning teams to inform future policy. By using this lived experience, they have highlighted some of the problems BPS face when navigating the streets. Additionally, staff members have also participated in guided walks using simulation glasses. These are special glasses which simulate some of the different eye conditions that many BPS people have.

View this short video filmed by Sefton Council about our recent work led by Merseyside Sight Loss Council.

This film illustrates work carried out by SLCs across the country to improve street design. SLCs are also looking to work with local authorities for them to adopt the social model of disability and a street charter. SLCs aims to create this street charter with other disabled groups in their region.

Video description and transcript

Positive partnerships for creating change

Kelly Barton, Engagement Manager for the North West, said:

“Merseyside SLC has been working with Sefton Council for the past year.  During this time, we have done a number of simulation spec walks and have forged a really positive partnership with the council.

“As a result of these walks, officers seem genuinely committed to making changes that will make a real difference for blind and partially sighted people.

“We recently held a reflection session following our work to date where officers discussed how they are thinking differently in their job roles. This is because they now have a better understanding of the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face in accessing the built environment.”

Mike Wright, Merseyside SLC member, added

“I am really happy that Sefton Council officers have taken on board the issues faced by blind and partially sighted people following our sim specs walks.

“I was pleased to note that a number of them stated that they would give these matters serious consideration and it would influence their decision making when implementing ongoing policy.”

Learn more about our work to improve street design

About Sight Loss Councils

Sight Loss Councils are led by blind and partially sighted members and funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust. We advocate the needs of visually impaired people in our communities and work to improve access to goods and services at a local and national level.

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Publication date: 15 January 2024

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