DCSIMG

Activities raise awareness of visual impairment issues

Helen Lambert from Adapt North East (left) and Katy Barrass from Healthwatch Northumberland try on simulation glasses at a Disability Awareness Event at Morpeth's County Hall.
REF 1306146297

Helen Lambert from Adapt North East (left) and Katy Barrass from Healthwatch Northumberland try on simulation glasses at a Disability Awareness Event at Morpeth's County Hall. REF 1306146297

Council employees were left in the dark when they took on a challenge outside County Hall.

A range of activities took place at Northumberland County Council’s headquarters in Morpeth during its disability awareness day.

Various workshops were held, including sessions on how to meet the needs of people who are visually impaired, have hearing loss, dementia or mental health needs.

Representatives from the charity Guide Dogs attended. They brought along some of their dogs and took people on blindfolded guided walks, allowing them to experience the obstacles blind or partially sighted people face.

The Bloomers, a group of visually impaired gardeners based in Morpeth, provided demonstrations on how to create the perfect potted plants or hanging baskets and sold some of their own plants, tubs and baskets to help get people’s gardens looking splendid for summer.

Josh Avery a business administration apprentice with Northumberland County Council attended the visually impaired disability awareness workshop.

He said: “The workshop was helpful and informative and has given me the confidence since to approach those with a visual impairment and ask if they need any help. I know that this will help me to meet the needs of those with visual impairments within the workplace.

“Before the workshop I had no experience of working with people with visual impairments and I would not have known how to help them best, but since the session I feel much more confident.”

There was also representation during the day from the Royal National Institution for the Blind, the Northumberland (Low Vision) Action Group (NAG), the Northumberland County Blind Association, the Macular Society and EyeWish.

Coun Susan Dungworth, policy board member for adult care and public health at the county council, said: “The event was well attended and I’m pleased that so many employees took part and found the day a useful experience.

“It’s important to build an awareness of the needs of disabled people so we can design and deliver services that are more appropriate to their needs. I hope more events like this can happen in the future.”

 

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