Clear our paths and ensure they’re are safe and clean.
That’s the call from the National Council for the Blind of Ireland as it kicks off a weeklong campaign.
About 2,000 people across Carlow and Kilkenny have a visual impairment.
And NCBI’s Head of Advocacy June Tinsley outlines some of the everyday challenges they face, saying “Things like cars parked on footpaths, overhanging branches, outdoor furniture, bicycles parked against lampposts, those kind of things which genuinely cause an obstruction for someone who is blind or visually impaired to navigate past safely so our call is to the public is to remove those temporary obstacles so that it ensures people who are blind or visually impaired can navigate safely and continue to maintain their independence and confidence when they’re out and about”.
With no fines issued in 2020 by Carlow or Kilkenny county councils for dog fouling and the rate low across the country, June says “The volume of fines being issued to dog owners is very, very low so it’s not really acting as a deterrent and I suppose I would ask pet owners to consider what it must be like when you’re blind or visually impaired, you can’t see the dog poo and yet it comes upon you and it’s on your cane, it’s on your shoes and not only is it absolutely disgusting to have to clean it all up but it’s exceptionally unhygienic as well so our plea would be to clean up after your dog and to be more considerate of those who cannot see the dog poo problem because it is quite expensive at the minute”.
Edith, a 9-year-old speaks about her experience as cane user to assist her in her daily life and makes a plea to the public to pick up after their dogs:
As well as assisting with the above, you can also help online by sharing the message and your own experience using the #clearourpaths