Visual Impairment Awareness Training (VIAT)

by HENSHAWS SOCIETY FOR BLIND PEOPLE in Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Visual Impairment Awareness Training (VIAT)

Total raised £26,240

raised so far

+ est. £5.00 Gift Aid



To support blind and visually impaired people by creating more accessible, inclusive, and supportive environments around them


 New stretch target

extend the project further to reach more people

As you'd imagine, losing your sight can be traumatic. It impacts every aspect of your life. It changes your relationship with the people around you and with the environment around you. It can lead to people feeling isolated and cut-off from society, and dependent on others for some of the basic things the rest of us take for granted.

It therefore shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that many visually impaired people tell us, at Henshaws, that their loss of independence can be as hard to come to terms with, if not harder, than their loss of vision. At the same time, there is enough written about disabilities for us to know that it’s not the medical condition that disables people, it is the environment around them. Many visually impaired people become further withdrawn from society because they choose not to go out, and not  to socialise with friends, simply because navigating around bars, cafes and restaurants is too hard, ordering food and drinks is too hard, and finding their way to the toilet (or finding their way back) is an expedition into the unknown, unless they ask someone to accompany them.

We have a vision of a world where the hospitality sector, retailers, employers more generally, and society as a whole, has an understanding of the steps each of us can take to make our environments, and our people, more inclusive when it comes to visual impairments.

We want to provide visual impairment awareness training to local businesses. We want to be able to issue them with a quality marque to acknowledge the training they’ve undertaken, and we want to share a register of approved businesses with the visually impaired community, so that they can eat, drink, shop, and access local services with confidence. It could literally change the lives of visually impaired people by providing individuals with the extra degree of confidence it takes to step out of their comfort zone and connect with existing friends, and make new ones.

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