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Being blind or partially sighted should not act as a barrier to taking part in sports and leisure activities. Many blind and partially sighted people enjoy a variety of activities safely. Some of these activities may have to be modified, but such changes are usually slight.

 

Social groups

There are several groups set up locally which provide activities specifically for visually impaired people and others which cater for everyone:

 

Two’s Company

Telephone: 0117 353 4580

Website: http://www.lifecycleuk.org.uk/tandem-rides

 

Avon Sports and Leisure

Telephone: 0117 979 8639

 

British Blind Sports (BBS)

Telephone: 01926 424247

Website: www.britishblindsport.org.uk

 

Visually Impaired Association

Telephone: 0117 924 9868

 

Concessions

Having a visual impairment may also entitle you to concessions when entering attractions and accessing leisure activities.

Gyms and leisure centres often have concessionary rate for disabled members.

With a Cinema Exhibitor’s Association Card you are able to have free access for a companion at certain cinemas nationwide. Some theatres also offer concessionary rates and priority seating for disabled customers.

 

Audio description on television

Like a narrator telling a story, audio description (AD) is an additional commentary describing body language, expressions and movements. AD gives you information about the things you might not be able to see, meaning that you can keep up with the action.

 

Audio Description is available on digital television via Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and certain Freeview devices and on DVD’s.  

 

Audio description in theatres and cinemas

Many cinemas and theatres across the UK are now equipped with a system that delivers audio description through a headset. Ask your local cinema if they offer this service. You can also contact these local theatres to find out more about there AD performances:

 

Bristol Old Vic

Website: http://www.bristololdvic.org.uk/

 

Bristol Hippodrome

Website: http://www.bristolhippodrome.org.uk

 

Theatre Royal Bath

Website: http://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/

 

Reading Books

Most local libraries now stock books in large print and in various audio formats. For a much larger selection of books than these will have, however, here are two other options.  These are:

 

RNIB National Library  

The largest library in the UK for readers with sight loss. It offers a wide choice of fiction and non-fiction books in audio, braille and giant print for adults and children. Find out more at http://www.rnib.org.uk/books

 

Calibre Audio Library

An easy to use, free service with a wide choice of fiction and non-fiction on standard cassettes, MP3 disks and USB memory sticks, for both children and adults.  Joining details are on their website at http://www.calibre.org.uk

 

Local Reading Groups

There are 2 reading groups for Visually Impaired people running in Bristol Libraries.

 

Central Library – Meets every third Wednesday of the month. You can contact the organiser, Kathy McDermott, by email on kathy.mcdermott@bristol.gov.uk or by telephone on 0117 903 6198.

 

Henleaze Library – Meets on the second Wednesday of every month. Send an email henleaze.library@bristol.gov.uk or telephone  0117 903 8541 to find out more.

 

Shopping

Many stores and supermarkets offer personal assistance, for example, help with finding products and taking blind and partially sighted customer around the store. To find out more contact your local store directly. There are also schemes like Shopmobility that can offer guiding and assistance with getting around shopping centres and shops.

 

For further help or support with sight loss, please call your local Action team in the South West on 0117 953 7750 or visit www.actionforblindpeople.org.uk