Supporting walkers with sight impairments

Many thanks to the University of Exeter, University of Sussex and British Blind Sport for compiling this guidance in collaboration with Walking for Health. The information in this document is based on Dr Sarah Bell’s ‘Sensing Nature’ project, a two-year study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and Dr Karis Jade Petty’s research with walkers who have impaired vision at the University of Sussex.

This guidance includes:

  • Information on different types of sight impairments
  • How group walks can benefit people with sight impairments
  • How group walks can be made safe and welcoming for people with sight impairments
  • How your scheme can plan and set up a walk for people with sight impairments

If you find these guidelines useful and/or would like to feedback on the content, you can get in touch with Sarah Bell at Sarah.Bell@exeter.ac.uk or Karis Perry at k.petty@sussex.ac.uk.

Please note: While this guidance does include information about guiding, Walk leaders cannot guide visually impaired walkers while on a walk, as their responsibility is to lead a safe and enjoyable walk for all participants. The role of the walk leader, in relation to visually impaired walkers, is to recognise and address potential challenges en route, and to ensure people feel welcomed and supported.