There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding being blind or partially sighted. In this video the group talks about common attitudes and personal experiences.
Coming to terms with having sight loss can be difficult. Dealing with the emotional and practical impact of changes to your sight can be overwhelming. A crucial part of this journey is the positive perceptions and supportive attitudes of other people.
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The first step towards gaining empathy with people who have sight loss is having some insight into their experience of accessing services. These videos address some of the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted people when accessing everyday services with a particular reference to libraries, colleges and banks.
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In this video Margaret talks about her experience of accessing her local library as a partially sighted person and offers some tips which she feels will help make the service more inclusive.
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- Introduce yourself to your service users. “I’m Mary and I’m the librarian.”
- Anticipate that your library member needs assistance. It’s nice to know that someone is there to offer help.
- If there are changes to layout or obstacles let your service users know.
In this clip Ann Marie talks about her experience of accessing her local college as a partially sighted student. She identifies some of the key barriers in accessing the course and offers hints and tips to college staff and students on how to be more inclusive for students with eye conditions.
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- Meeting the student and identifying their learning support well in advance to starting the course is a positive starting point.
- Ask the student about their preferred format when accessing learning resources and course notes e.g. large print or audio.
- Offer a sighted guide to meet and greet during college induction.
In this video Sean talks about his experience of accessing bank services as a blind customer. He identifies some existing challenges as well as potential improvements that could be made to help overcome these.
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- Online banking offers greater accessibility for blind and partially sighted customers.
- Accessible Talking ATMs provide greater confidentiality and independence.
- Staff awareness and assistance is always welcome.
Derry/Londonderry Central Library became the first library in Northern Ireland to achieve RNIB Northern Ireland’s Model of Excellence award. The award reflects the library’s excellent work over the last two years in making their services accessible to blind and partially sighted people, including staff training and the installation of technology to make computing facilities accessible.
This video demonstrates best practice when accessing library services including:
- Introduce yourself by stating your name and your role.
- Ask the person if they require assistance and, if so, ask how they wish to be assisted.
- Access to Audio books, magnification and assistive technology.
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RNIB NI Head Office
RNIB Northern Ireland
15-17 Gloucester Street
Belfast, BT1 4LS.
Telephone: 028 9032 9373
International Telephone: +44 28 9032 9373
Website: RNIB NI Head Office