Getting about and staying safe
The type of support you need to be safely and independently mobile may depend upon the eye condition and amount of useful vision you have. Advice on new techniques and small changes in your home environment may be enough, or you may benefit from more formal mobility training.
Each KAB Rehab team has specially trained staff who can give the training and recommendations you may need to enable you to be mobile and safe both in your home and when out and about.
Use the menu on the right to find out more about getting about and staying safe.
Mobility in your home
Adapting to life when you are sight impaired is about learning new skills, making changes to your environment to accommodate your new circumstances, and making the most of any useful remaining vision you may have.
Mobility when out and about
Many blind and partially sighted people travel safely outdoors. If you decide you want to be able to travel outside of the home, a KAB Mobility Officer will be able to provide the training and recommendations you need to stay safe.
Guiding people who have low vision
There are times when a person with low vision has difficulty finding their way and would appreciate assistance. Please do offer to help.
Walking together side by side
When guiding, stand slightly in front of the person and ask them to grip your arm just above your elbow. Keep your arm close to your side as this helps you lead the way. Remember to check that the person knows where they are before saying goodbye.
Single file through a narrow space
Explain that you need to walk in single file and that you are moving your guiding arm behind your back. Ask the person to move behind you while still holding your arm. Walk forward. If the person keeps their arm out straight they will not tread on your heels.
Information about driving
There's no legal age at which you must stop driving. You can decide when to stop, but medical conditions can affect your driving and might mean you have to give up your driving licence until you can meet the medical standards of fitness to drive again.
When you decide to stop driving or are advised by your doctor to stop, you'll need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and send them your licence.
How to help blind and partially-sighted passengers
I might have a cane or a guide dog, but not all visually-impaired people do - if I say "I can't see very well" this may mean I would find your assistance useful.
Pull up to the bus stop and right up to the kerb.
This will help me avoid tripping up - when the bus stops further out into the road the step is higher, and the door can be harder to find.
Is a mobility scooter appropriate for you?
Advice for sight impaired mobility scooter users
Unlike car drivers who must pass the number plate vision test to be able to drive on Britain’s roads, there is no such requirement for the drivers of mobility scooters, although the law may change in the future. KAB would recommend that if you are prohibited from driving due to sight impairment, you should not use a mobility scooter on the roads.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I use a white cane?
It depends upon each individual's needs. How much useful vision do you have? Do you have other disability needs such as a hearing impairment? Do you live in a town or city or in a predominantly rural environment? Most importantly, what are your mobility needs? Do you want to be able to use public transport and make longer journeys, or are you more interested in shorter local trips? You should discuss these issues with your KAB Mobility Officer who will be able to advise you on whether you need a white cane and what type would suit you best.