Blind veteran Bryan joins demonstration on shared space

2 May 2018 16:00

Recently one of our blind veterans, Bryan, joined sight loss and disabled rights organisations at Westminster to campaign against shared space schemes.

Bryan and his wife at the demonstration calling for a review on shared space schemes.

The day of action involved a demonstration and march to 10 Downing Street to hand in a letter calling for a review on shared space schemes. Shared space is an urban design approach that removes features such as curbs, traffic lights and crossings. It's an issue that affects many people with vision impairments, including our blind veterans.

"As a vision-impaired person using a white stick, the ability for me to identify where the curb is and to use Pelican and traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings, particularly those which are marked by tactile paving, is important to my safety. Shared spaces almost always lose these features, which are essential for the safety of vision impared pedestrians."

At the demonstration Bryan met blind and disabled activists, including representatives from the National Federation of the Blind UK (NFBUK), which organised the campaign.

A former Commander, Bryan served for 39 years in the Royal Navy and Royal Navy Reserves, first as a helicopter observer and later in operations and intelligence. Bryan has been supported by our charity since losing his sight due to age-related macular degeneration in 2015. He has received training and equipment from the charity, and enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting other blind veterans at social events and reunions.

Bryan with other campaigners outside Parliament.

Bryan says: “Blind Veterans UK has supported me in regaining some of the independence I lost when I became blind. Being able to go out and about using a long cane is a huge part of that, and it’s something that is threatened by the introduction of shared spaces to our town centres. As such, I was very proud to represent Blind Veterans UK and join with other vision-impaired people at Westminster to campaign for inclusive design.”

Thanks Bryan for representing us at the march and campaigning on such an important issue.