Becoming a guide dog friend

Guide dogs Luciana Berger MPI’m delighted to have become a guide dog friend. Guide Dogs changes lives and is striving for a world in which people who are blind or partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

Guide Dogs has around 4,700 guide dog partnerships across the UK and also offers My Guide and buddy dogs to thousands more adults, children and young people.

I’ve supported its Talking Buses campaign and will be supporting Guide Dogs Week from October 4-12.

At previous Guide Dogs events, I’ve had I got a chance to experience for myself why people with sight loss need audio-visual announcements (AV) on buses.

AV is essential for people with sight loss to live independently, yet only one fifth of UK buses have AV. Without AV bus passengers with sight loss have to ask the driver to remember to tell them when they have reached their stop.

Seven in 10 bus passengers with sight loss have been forgotten by a bus driver. For a sighted person, missing a stop is an annoyance, but for someone with sight loss, it is potentially very dangerous.

AV doesn’t just help people with sight loss – tourists, older people and infrequent bus users all find AV useful.

If you’ve got five minutes or longer you can get involved too by clicking here.