Joanann Urges Tralee People To Support NCBI’s ‘Clear Our Paths’ Campaign

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Joanann Brosnan with her guide dog Katie.

PEOPLE in Tralee are today being asked to join a movement to ensure people who are blind or vision impaired can move around freely and safely.

The National Council for the Blind of Ireland has launched a nationwide awareness campaign urging people not to place obstacles in the way of people with visual impairments.

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.

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Joanann Brosnan, who is blind from birth and who works with the Educational Training Board (ETB) in Tralee, has praised NCBI, for initiating an awareness campaign in Kerry on the access difficulties posed for people with sight loss.

“The NCBI is doing an amazing job and it has certainly raised the access difficulties faced by people with sight loss on a consistent basis. I am excited about its new ‘Clear my Path’ campaign. However I feel that the NCBI shouldn’t have to do it on its own and that the local authorities have a big part to play. Good planning needs to start with the Planners. Planners need to think ahead and identify the potential difficulties and shortcomings in their infrastructural plans “

Another area that Joanann is glad that the NCBI is also highlighting is that of overhanging branches.

“The overhanging branches are terrible too. They can cause nasty  cuts and grazes. I have had several wet branches into the face in the last few days. Clipping these is a simple job but it would make a big difference to me and others 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 says “Our aim is to raise public awareness of the impact that obstacles on our footpaths have on the everyday lives of people with any level of sight loss”.

“We are asking the public to come along with us on this campaign and join the movement to ensure that people with sight loss can move around freely and independently”.

“There are lots of things that the general public can do to make a difference to ensure safe access for people with sight loss. They can clean up after their dogs, they can respect the traffic laws and not park on footpaths, they can take in their bins after collection, they can trim overhanging branches ; Lots of little things that make a big difference to people who have impaired vision . People who are blind have an equal right to clear access. People need to feel safe and if they are liable to fall and bang their heads for instance, then clearly they are not safe”.

Get involved in the campaign #ClearOurPaths

One Comment

  1. Matty O'Laery says:

    Motor vehicles parking up on foot paths in the town centre is the worst.

    It’s worst from the evening when the traffic wardens are off duty and An Garda Síochána do nothing about it.

    God help some one in a wheel chair, suffering from sight loss or even the woman pushing a pram in Tralee having to dismount the safe public footpath for the dangerous road?

    The state of the footpaths in the town are evident of traffic mounting the footpaths as they are ruined with cracks. People walking the footpath can then fall due to this careless act – adding injury to insult in this case.

    What a joke, An Garda Síochána in Tralee keep turning a blind eye.