Audio guide for young people
Audio Guide for Young People Who are Blind and Partially Sighted
Planning Aid for London has produced an audio guide that is designed to help young people who are blind or partially sighted, to get more involved in the design, planning and management of their communities.
It is a sad fact that very few young people with disabilities, let alone those who are blind or partially sighted take part in decision making that shapes how neighbourhoods, towns and cities are planned, developed, designed and managed.
However, research has shown that blind and partially sighted young people have many specific concerns and needs that are not being addressed by a range of decision makers, including town planners. Many young people who are blind or partially sighted remain isolated, unable to access the same facilities and services that sighted young people can, and are rarely engaged in what is happening in the area around them. Among many young people there is a lack of awareness of the ways that they can improve their physical environment and access to services and facilities.
This is why we developed this guide. And we did it with the help of young people who are visually impaired themselves, young students from Linden Lodge Special School in Wimbledon. The audio guide is suitable for young people and their carers, and provides useful information on how to get involved in the planning of your area.
There are six tracks in the guide. Track 1 gives a general introduction to what the guide is for, what it covers and who was involved in putting it together; track 2 will give you some basic background on what town planning is, what it involves and how it affects you; track 3 is about travel and transport, which also covers roadwork's, road crossings and car parking; track 4 is all about leisure and recreation and all those things which keep us active and healthy; track 5 looks at how you can get involved in making improvements to your local area, and the last track 6 is all about how you can get involved in the planning of your area.
Some of the issues brought up by the young people we spoke to when making this guide, and those who spoke on this guide, include: young people using taxis to get around, having to navigate their way along streets where dog mess and rubbish bags provide constant obstacles, poorly located tactile paving and problems with using road crossings, access into and around train and underground stations, and the distances people have to travel to get to leisure and recreation facilities. All of these and other issues can be shaped by Planning, and the guide provides some useful pointers for young people who are visually impaired as to how they can resolve many of these matters by talking to the planners.
The audio guide was produced in partnership with National Talking express. NTE was the first audio magazine in the UK (launched in 1979) to be produced in stereo. It is a magazine that covers general topics relating to Visual Impairment, and is accessible via a website in MP3 format, and in cassette and CD formats. NTE wants to broaden its appeal to young people who are blind or partially sighted as they currently make up a very small proportion of their audience.