iSightCornwall’s new aid for visually impaired social distancing

July 27, 2020 2:43 pm

CORNWALL’S sight loss charity is continuing to find new ways to support those who are visually impaired or blind during the Covid-19 restrictions.

iSightCornwall, which helps visually impaired and blind people across the county, has created a new awareness aid which will help those with visual impairments socially distance.

The new badge reads ‘I am visually impaired, I cannot see to socially distance’, and was created after one of the charity’s clients raised a concern that she was unable to see well enough in public to be able to socially distance herself from others.

The badge has been created in-house and is available for £1.80, which is the cost to produce the item. It comes with a lanyard to allow ease of wear over any clothing.

It is available to buy from the charity’s online store (click here to open in a new tab) or by calling the Sight Centre on 01872 261110.

What the iSightCornwall Chief Executive Says

Carole Theobald, Chief Executive of iSightCornwall, said: “We were approached by one of our members who is visually impaired and therefore struggled to ensure she was the required distance away from other people.

“Our team came up with this new awareness badge, which allows other people to see that the wearer cannot see to socially distance and to alert them that they may need to move away to maintain distance.

“We always appreciate feedback from our members and clients, especially during this unusual time where visually impaired people are facing a whole set of new difficulties. Covid-19 restrictions have meant it’s much harder for them to get out and about; being unable to get help by being guided or using touch to position themselves. Here at iSightCornwall we’re working with our members to offer as much help and support as possible.”

What else have iSightCornwall been doing during the Covid-19 Lockdown?

The charity has also been working to ensure blind and visually impaired people have access to treatment and vital low vision aids by transforming its Low Vision and Eye Clinic Liason services from a face-to-face appointment to an innovative over the phone service.

Many people have also been worried about how their benefits will be affected, as well as many who are feeling lonely or anxious. To help combat this iSightCornwall has had its usual benefit advice service running throughout lockdown and has also created a telephone befriending service which has proved so popular there are plans to expand it beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

When will the iSightCornwall Sight Centre reopen?

The focus now is on reopening the Sight Centre in Truro, so changes are underway to ensure safe social distancing throughout the building, including an extended reception area to create more space for clients. The Sight Centre will remain closed while these essential changes are made and there will be further updates in August.

Carole said: “We are doing all we can to open The Sight Centre safely as soon as possible. In the meantime staff are continuing to work from home, answering calls daily. This means anyone can call the usual number 01872 261110 to receive the help they need.”

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