Councillor pledges to do more to help the blind

Councillor pledges to do more to help the blind

BLINDFOLD CHALLENGE: Darlington councillors are led blindfold around Darlington. From left Coun Wendy Newall, Lucy Dixon from RNIB, Adele Waterfall-Brown and Coun Andrew Scott. Picture: ANDY LAMB (7020200)

BLINDFOLD CHALLENGE: Darlington councillors are led blindfold around Darlington. From left Adele Waterfall-Brown, Coun Andrew Scott, Coun Wendy Newall and Lucy Dixon from RNIB. Picture: ANDY LAMB (7020219)

BLINDFOLD CHALLENGE: Darlington councillors are led blindfold around Darlington. From left Coun Wendy Newall, Lucy Dixon from RNIB, Adele Waterfall-Brown and Coun Andrew Scott. Picture: ANDY LAMB (7020200)

BLINDFOLD CHALLENGE: Darlington councillors are led blindfold around Darlington. From left Adele Waterfall-Brown, Coun Andrew Scott, Coun Wendy Newall and Lucy Dixon from RNIB. Picture: ANDY LAMB (7020203)

First published in News

DARLINGTON councillors have pledged to do more to help the blind after spending time walking in their shoes.

Earlier this week, Councillors Andrew Scott and Wendy Newall were blindfolded and led around Darlington town centre by Adele Waterfall-Brown, a visually impaired campaigner from the town.

The blindfold walk was arranged in conjunction with the national RNIB charity in a bid to highlight the difficulties faced by those with sight loss.

Ms Waterfall-Brown said the walk allowed councillors to understand the day-to-day problems the visually impaired face when making journeys on foot.

She said: “Blind and partially sighted people face many challenges every day and one of the biggest is getting out and about safely and independently.

“There are often obstacles such as parked cars blocking the way, poor street design, or people cycling on the pavement – all of which make it harder for me to get around the town.”

Coun Scott said the walk had inspired him to attempt to make positive, simple changes around Darlington.

He said: “It was a very powerful experience and highlighted a lot of the difficulties that sight impaired people have when walking around town.

“Congestion around the bus stops means there’s a lot of noise which takes away another sense and becomes quite scary.

“A very simple change we could make is making road markings clearer so people with some sight can see them better and putting markings on the steps on High Row.

“I’d also like to make bus timetables easier to read as they’re positioned too high at the moment.”

He added: “I’m going to take all of these issues forward and try to progress them.”

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