Authored by Sarah Bell
We’re organising an exciting event in September to showcase and discuss initiatives that support people with sight impairment to engage in outdoor adventure activities.
The afternoon event will be held in Bristol on Wednesday 19th September 2018, and will focus on work in the UK and beyond to encourage participation in activities like kayaking, sailing, caving and climbing.
With contributions from the Spirit of Adventure programme (run by the Bendrigg Trust), the Calvert Trust Exmoor, Blind Veterans UK and the Milton Mountaineers, discussions through the afternoon will highlight:
The health and wellbeing benefits of being able to get involved in these activities;
Varied approaches to opening up opportunities to engage in these activities;
The importance of assistance that is appropriate to people’s individual parameters and skills.
The event is aimed at anyone with an interest in this area, including outdoor activity providers, people with sight impairment, people working in the eye health or sight loss sectors, researchers, and those in the policy sector with a remit to open up such experiences to all.
If you would like to attend or find out more, please get in touch via email on Sarah.Bell@exeter.ac.uk.
Alternatively, you can register your interest by calling the European Centre for Environment and Human Health on 01872 258131. If you do call, please leave a name and number so that we can get back to you as soon as possible.
Background to the event
Nature can be many different things to different people. Engaging with nature can involve stepping outside the front door and enjoying a gentle breeze, bird song, the scents of nearby plants. It can be a walk in the park or along the beach; or perhaps a hike, climb or paddle in ‘wilder’ nature settings.
As noted by Sensing Nature participants, opportunities for the latter can be hard to find, and often involve a degree of risk or physical discomfort. Yet they also offer a chance to explore, to develop new skills, to forge alternative identities and negotiate new ‘nature’ sensations.
This workshop will discuss the issues that surround promoting inclusive engagement with outdoor adventure activities, and explore how they can be encouraged more widely.