Queen Alexandra College has announced the dates for Sight Village events during 2012. I attended Sight Village 2011 at Kensington Town Hall in London and recommend this exhibition as useful for the visually impaired. The exhibition is geared for the visually impaired market and it is important that the visually impaired themselves express their opinions directly to providers of services, whether through charitable organisations, businesses or government agencies. There is always a danger that views expressed through third parties may miss out a vital link in communication.
I have made some comments regarding some lack of blindness awareness by some of the exhibitors at the exhibition and trust that these ideas were at least taken on board and acted upon. The more visually impaired people attend these forums themselves independently, the more relevant these will become.
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I had included
This is a comment that I made in response to a Guardian article on disability issues, which as it says in the title, is more than just building wheelchair ramps:
I agree with much of the sentiment of Matthew Harper. As a blind person, I frequently have to use my hands to eat, am messy at a table and of course cannot read a menu. I don't consider being given a menu at a restaurant as being made to feel inclusive, when it ought to be clear that some alternative should be offered, or the menu read to me. The use of the word 'apartheid' is one which I have hesitated to use in disability circles, but I think the time may be right to use this word in terms of the 'disability korner' mentality, where 'we' tend to be grouped.
Recently, I was at an exhibition geared towards the visually impaired 'market'. At several stands I stood and had to ask: "Is there anyone there?" It wasn't a seance. These are so-called disability professionals. If a blind person has to ask at a reception desk, at a till or at a help point if there is anyone there, then someone has just failed their disability awareness qualification.
Being visually impaired means I can't judge the non-verbal communication of others who witness my appearance or even behaviour. The old maxim of "Does he take sugar?" still applies; it's something we get used to, but it always grates and it often hurts and seldom makes one smile.