Resources offer important learning on sight loss in relation to COVID-19 pandemic

Section: The ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 24th July 2020
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The ALLIANCE is pleased to share information on two important pieces of work, from RNIB and Guide Dogs Scotland respectively.

RNIB has introduced a new podcast series, which explores the range of simple apps which can be used in everyday life to support people with sight loss.

The ‘Chat about Apps’ series was produced by RNIB’s Older People and Complex Needs team and comes in six episodes.

They will be helpful for people living with sight loss, sight loss and complex needs and for people who are supporting someone living with sight loss and complex needs.

Access RNIB’s ‘Chat about Apps’ podcast series (this link will take you away from our website).


Coming out of lockdown and moving to a so called ‘new normal’ is a challenge for all of us; but this is especially true for people who might face additional barriers in navigating public spaces.

Our colleagues at Guide Dogs Scotland have been running the ‘Be There’ campaign to encourage members of the public to offer assistance and support to people with sight loss whilst they try and maintain a 2-metre social distance.

The campaign has 3 key messages which people are asked to take in to account;

  1. Keep your distance, but don’t disappear – People with sight loss may find it challenging to social distance, so if you see someone with a Guide Dog or a long cane then you can help them by making sure you keep 2m away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also offer your help.
  2. Say hello and offer your help – Simply by letting someone with sight loss know you are nearby; you are giving them the opportunity to ask for any help if they need it. People often feel unsure about their ability to help someone with sight loss, but their request could be a simple as finding out where a shopping queue starts, or if there is a safer place to cross a road.
  3. Describe the scene – We’ve all had to adapt to unusual sights during lockdown – people standing apart in long lines outside of supermarkets for example. But those with sight loss haven’t always witnessed this to the same extent, which can be isolating and confusing. By describing what you can see to someone with sight loss, you can help them to understand the environment and navigate accordingly.

Visit the Guide Dogs Scotland website for more information on the campaign (this link will take you away from our website).

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