Museum teams up with charities to welcome visually impaired

This is The West Country: Museum teams up with charities to welcome visually impaired Museum teams up with charities to welcome visually impaired

TIVERTON Museum of Mid Devon Life has joined forces with two Devon charities to ensure that visitors to the museum who have sight loss can enjoy the many and varied exhibits contained within the museum.

The museum has teamed up with Devon in Sight and Guide Dogs, following an organised visit to the museum by local people with visual impairments last September.

Tiverton Museum's Director, Pippa Griffith, said: “We were very pleased to welcome so many people with sight problems into the museum and it was the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback as to how we might make the museum experience more enjoyable and worthwhile for visually impaired people.”

One of the most popular suggestions of the feedback and one that has been easy to remedy was that of training staff and volunteers to become Community Sighted Guides.

This is a nationally recognised half-day course that raises awareness of visual impairment and also teaches the basic techniques of how best to guide someone safely who has significant sight loss.

Devon in Sight is working in partnership with Rick Allbrook from Guide Dogs, who is able to offer this training locally.

This partnership has worked well over the last couple of years and many people have benefitted from the training. Along with museum staff and volunteers, a staff member from the local Indoor Bowls Centre, staff and volunteers from Involve as well as Devon in Sight volunteer visitors have all been trained in the two recent sessions that have been hosted by the museum.

Sue Snell from Devon in Sight's Volunteer Visiting Service said: “The museum has been incredibly positive and committed to improving their service to people with sight loss and has genuinely made the museum a much more accessible place for people with visual impairment to visit safely and to have an enjoyable and enriching experience.”

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