Friday 22 March 2019

Obstacles for visually impaired are revealed

Community news

A local artist is mounting an exhibition this week at Balbriggan Library that bids to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by blind and visually impaired people when obstructions are placed in their way on public footpaths in our towns and cities.

Margaret Fay is the artist behind the work who has worked with members of the local branch of Irish Guide Dogs on the exhibition.

The exhibition is called 'Awareness' and Margaret explained the ideas that inspired it.

She told the Fingal Independent: 'The work revolves around the everyday urban experience of people who are blind or visually impaired.

'There are around 220,000 blind and visually impaired people living in Ireland today.'

Margaret explained how the exhibition came together, syaing: ' Through a process of working collaboratively with Tom O'Neill, Chairman of Balbriggan Guide Dogs and David from the NCBI, we navigated the streets of Balbriggan and Stillorgan with all the obstacles that fully sighted people see and avoid effortlessly.

'Using the visual medium of photography I have tried to portray to fully sighted people the everyday obstacles encountered by the blind and visually impaired living in the community.'

Margaret added: 'The obstacles put in their way are usually put there by fully sighted members of the community.

'This exhibition is designed to enlighten those of us who are blessed with the gift of sight about the difficulties encounter by our brothers and sisters who have the right to use our streets on a daily basis safely in the same way fully sighted people do.'

She explained her hopes for the exhibition, saying: 'Through viewing this exhibition I hope to leave an image with you which will increase your awareness and to stop and think before placing obstacles (including parking cars ) on the footpath and other areas where people who are not gifted with sight have to navigate every day.'

The exhibition showing at Balbriggan Libary promises to be a fascinating insight into the lives and challenges faced by visually impaired people through the thoughtlessness of others and it is hoped it will make people think twice.

Fingal Independent