On Thursday night I got a call from the campaigns officer from guide dogs. He was telling me that
Were planning a consultation to look at how accessible the town centre was to blind and partially sighted people. He said that the first meeting was yesterday and asked if i would like to come along. I said yes as i think it is a great opportunity and it’s good the counscil are listening for once.
So yesterday I met with my friend P first of all, and headed down to the town hall at about 10 to 12. My friend decided to walk down with me and it is a good ob he did because we got a little lost. We ended up having to call into a selisitors to ask for directions. Luckily i eventually got to the town hall.
I was very impressed with the receptionist who guided me up to where the arkitect was. She knew exactly how to sighted guide me and even knew how to guide someone with a guide dog.
The architect was consulting with guide dogs, and
The consultation is running for 12 weeks. They want to improve Ballymena to encourage more people to come to the town. They asked if we had any issues. I said that the buttons on the crossings aren’t in the same place always. I said it would be good if they were consistent. I also said that it would be good if they beeped as well as the little cones because i wouldn’t fancy sticking my hand under the box and finding something not so nice under there.
Some of the wheelchair users mentioned shared surfaces, which is where there are no kerbs, but these aren’t good for guide dogs as they work from kerb to kerb. So they are thinking of making them like a speed bump kind of thing.
I did point out that there is a street that is really good now that it has been widened out a little as they want to hear the good and the bad.
One of the wheelchair users asked if i would use the busses and i said yes and braught up one of the bus stops is half way up the wall and it isn’t up on a pole. The architect said he would look into that too.
There also might be a crossing installed at the entrance to our local park because you can’t cross it independently. I would love if there was because i could get there independently to free run with people!
It was a good meeting. I hope some of what we discussed is used. It would be a shame for there to be no money or anything.
On the way home i ran into my dad. He showed me a much easier way to get to the town hall than the way we went so that is good.
I’ll let you know about anything further and if the consultation is posted on the website i will share it here too. I’m so glad Ballymena counscil are listening!