Top tips for spring for people with a visual impairment

Simon Merrills, our Community Services Development Manager (First Step and Patient Support Lead), shares some top tips for getting out and about as the season changes and we enter spring. Simon is also a qualified Rehabilitation Officer and has low vision himself.

It’s spring and we’re all looking forward to getting out and about; I know I am. I can’t see much in the dark or dusk, so I’m always raring to go in spring.

Below I share my top tips for getting out and about at this time of year.

Mind the weather

We could still have some ice and rain, so just keep in mind that it could be icy, plus the rain reduces contrast very quickly.
The weather is still picking up, but we’re not there yet, so don’t forget to wrap up warm; the wind is cutting and can cause a nasty distraction when you’re trying to think.

Dress for success

I don’t like wearing a hood, I can’t hear the traffic. It’s important to remember to keep your ears out.
Take a backpack. You can put all your gear and shopping in it, keeping both hands free. You could always take an extra coat if you need extra storage.

Be lighting aware

The sun is starting to get up in the sky. I always wear a peaked cap, it keeps the sun out of my face and eyes.
The other thing I keep out of my line of sight is the good old British spring sky which can be bright white and dazzling.
Lighting is a big factor; it is staying light longer but, don’t get caught out, it still goes dark quickly, so keep note of the time.
If you’re travelling on public transport, remember you’ll be getting into peak travel times.

Plan, plan, plan

Plan ahead. If you’ve not been out in a while, have a plan. If you’re not sure, ask a friend to go with you, as we all know it gets complicated navigating and keeping track of what’s going on sometimes.
It’s worth checking with public transport providers what’s going on; there may be upgrades or disruptions so check before you travel.

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