Seeing what life is like for visually impaired

PUBLISHED: 06:59 13 October 2015 | UPDATED: 16:10 19 October 2015

Lions Club members and Seaton Mayor Tony Woodman wearing their blindfolds and holding white canes. Photo IAN BARRADALE

Lions Club members and Seaton Mayor Tony Woodman wearing their blindfolds and holding white canes. Photo IAN BARRADALE

© Ian Barradale Cerilian Photography

Seaton mayor dons a blindfold and takes a white cane to negotiate the streets

Lions Club members and Seaton Mayor Tony Woodman wearing their blindfolds and holding white canes. Photo IAN BARRADALELions Club members and Seaton Mayor Tony Woodman wearing their blindfolds and holding white canes. Photo IAN BARRADALE

People in Seaton got a chance to see what life is like for residents who are blind.

Seaton and District Lions Club marked two special events for the visually impaired on Saturday by asking people in the resort to don a blindfold and walk through parts of the town centre, using a white cane to guide them.

World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.

World Sight Day this year was on Thursday, October 8.

Meanwhile, International White Cane Safety Day takes place tomorrow (Thursday, October 15) and is an opportunity to increase awareness of the white cane traffic safety laws.

The white cane was first used in 1921 by James Biggs, a photographer from Bristol. Lions clubs in America adopted the white cane in 1930 and its use quickly spread and it is now used worldwide.

Saturday’s walk was an effort to raise awareness of the difficulties that blind and partially sighted people face when going about their normal lives.

All of those who took part in the walk around Seaton town centre remarked on how strange it was not being able to see and how depending on the white cane to navigate around the streets made each small bump and obstacle disorientating.

Amongst those who took part in the event was Seaton’s town mayor, Cllr Tony Woodman.

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