Liberal Democrat Councillor and Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, Gerald Vernon-Jackson has taken part in a blindfold walk in Southsea to highlight the challenges that blind and partially sighted people face when getting out and about in their local areas.
The blindfold walk coincides with new research by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) which reveals the growing problem of street obstacles; bollards, advertising boards, bins, and cars parked on pavements, which are preventing many people with sight loss from getting out and about. Dangerous street crossings and 'shared space' schemes are also a significant problem.
Marie Jenkins, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for the South East, said:
"Blind and partially sighted people face many challenges on a daily basis and one of the biggest is getting out and about safely and independently.
"People with sight loss should be able to walk to the shops, see friends or visit the doctor's in the same way as everyone else."
Councillor Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem PPC for Portsmouth South, said:
"It's so important that we look after and provide public services that are fully accessible. The blindfold walk has helped me better understand the challenges faced by blind and partially blind people."