Blindfold walk opens eyes

HUNDREDS of people took part in a ‘Walk With Me’ charity event to experience being blind.

The participants joined volunteers at the Fresh Fish Traders’ School (鮮魚行學校) in Tai Kok Tsui (大角咀) to walk through the streets in pairs, with one partner guiding the other, who was blindfolded.

The aim was to heighten public awareness of the needs of the blind so that they will offer help more readily. It was staged by a leadership training team with charity organisations. More than HK$200,000 was also raised for helping the blind.

The organiser pointed out that Hong Kong seems to be barrier-free and has facilities that help the visually impaired, but more needs to be done.

“While it is true that on public transport we often come across facilities such as guide paths or audible signals, and the station staff are usually willing to help, the public does not know how to help the visually impaired,” a spokesperson said.

The participants experienced how difficult it was to walk on a simple road without being able to see. One blindfolded participant said, “I was a bit nervous at first. Luckily someone was there to guide me through the trail but I had to depend on the person next to me 100 percent.” His partner said he will be more attentive to the needs of the visually impaired and will definitely lend a helping hand next time he sees one.

The event also included a session aimed at raising public awareness of the need for guide dogs, as some restaurants and shopping malls do not welcome them.

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 18 September 2017)

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The Hong Kong Society for the Blind