Have you ever wondered how much more difficult life would be if you were blind?
Blind Veterans UK are aiming to shed light on that very question by giving Sheffield residents the chance to step into the shoes of a person living with sensory loss.
The military charity’s Sheffield centre of training and rehabilitation will open its doors to the public this weekend to demonstrate what life is often like for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women. Visitors, including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield will be challenged to undertake everyday activities and simple tasks while wearing blindfolds and glasses that simulate the range of eye conditions that veterans may be living with.
Terry Heaton, Blind Veterans UK Sheffield Centre Manager, said: “The activities on offer will really give people an insight into what it is like to have a vision-impairment. The important thing to remember is that visitors to the open day can take the glasses off – our veterans can’t.”
The open day will also offer visitors the opportunity to find out more about the training and support given to ex-Service men and women as well as an opportunity to view and try out specialised IT equipment and devices that help improve the lives of blind veterans every day.”
Terry added:“We hope that this open day will help the community to recognise how vital the work we do is in terms of changing veteran’s lives.£
Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in World War I. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning World War II to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.
For 100 years, the charity has provided vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision impaired veterans, no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.
The centre, on Fulwood Road, will be open to the public from 1pm on Saturday.