We’re excited to announce the launch of new guidance today, designed to support and enable people with visual impairments to take part in group-walking activities.
The guidelines are designed to encourage walking groups – be they for beginners or more established walkers – to welcome and support walkers with sight impairment.
Sensing Nature has teamed up with Walking for Health, British Blind Sport, and Dr Karis Petty to produce the advice, which features a series of ‘top tips’ for welcoming, supporting and sharing walking experiences with sight impaired walkers, and creating opportunities for setting up new walks.
The guidelines are available via Walking for Health, or alternatively, you can download a screen-reader friendly plain text word version below:
They introduce some of the main eye conditions that can affect people’s eyesight, before explaining why schemes like Walking for Health can be beneficial for people with sight impairment. They are also designed to raise awareness of the importance of tailored support - in both specialist and mainstream walking groups.
Established over 14 years ago in collaboration with the Ramblers, Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walks, with over 375 active schemes.
The scheme supports people to build up confidence to start walking, focusing on short routes over relatively accessible terrains. All the schemes are supported by a national team, which provides free promotion, advice and tools.
If you find these guidelines useful or would like to feedback on the content, we would love to hear from you. Do get in touch with Sarah Bell at Sarah.Bell@exeter.ac.uk or Karis Petty at firstname.lastname@example.org.