independent

Sunday 18 November 2018

Joe joins call to stamp out path parking in towns

Joe McPhillips
Joe McPhillips

David Looby

A New Ross man who lost his sight aged 33 as a result of Diabetic Retinopathy has joined a national campaign urging people not to place obstacles and cars in the way of people with visual impairments.

Joe McPhillips is backing the National Council for the Blind of Ireland initiative which was launched in early November.

Joe said: 'I know people mean well but they have to be aware that sometimes their actions make life hell for people with sight loss. Parking on footpaths is a practise that has to be stamped out. People need to have consideration and realise that while they may be able to get around with no bother, those of us with sight loss are experiencing huge difficulties as a result of their actions.'

Joe, who contributed to the NCBI' Clear Our Paths' campaign video, said: 'These things make our lives hell. One of the biggest barriers for people with any level of sight loss is fear and if you are impeded by obstacles as you try and get out and about, the fear only increases. Local authorities should put proper traffic management plans in place and clean up trip hazards.'

The sight loss agency video shows the difficulties that people with impaired vision face on a daily basis, as they try to navigate their way through towns and cities countrywide.

Obstacles include cars parked on footpaths, bins in the middle of paths, overhanging branches and dog litter - all of which pose huge problems and potential danger for people with sight loss.

NCBI is urging people to place specially designed stickers on offending vehicles and bins in a bid to increase awareness on the issue.

Elaine Howley, Director of Policy and Advocacy with NCBI, said: 'We are asking people to place our specially designed stickers on any offending vehicles or bins that they come across. The hashtag for this campaign is "#Clear Our Paths".'

The NCBI is also looking to the public to post photos or video footage they have on their own social media channels.

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