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Nicola Fisher

@nicolafisher

Imagine you're a café or restaurant owner, how would you look after your visually impaired/blind patrons?

Thanks to everyone who entered the challenge. 1. @Remikit 2. @apkussma 3. @DonnKing 4. @eyegor 5. @jjbitters 6. @DrFritzS

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The winner is: @DonnKing. I'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your Blind Woodturner pen.

Thank you for all the amazing lists and taking part in the challenge.

So many brilliant ideas and suggestions. Here are some of our favourites.

    1. Make sure there are raised areas in the floor to direct people to the counter from the door

    This matches what happens outside with raised areas on pavements to denote safe crossing places.

    2. Water Bowls For Service Dogs

    Yes! Very important, especially in warm restaurants.

    3. Braille Menus/Signs

    This is an interesting one. Many blind/visually impaired people don't read braille. It seems to be mostly people who have been blind from childhood that do. Chris doesn't. It was a 5 year course! He relies on tech.

    4. Accessibility features for the restroom

    This helps a lot. Toilets all vary so much that having some consistency helps navigate. Also, Chris often needs to take Bamber with him so appreciates the extra room.

    5. Don't assume blind people are helpless. Don't assume every visually-challenged person has the same experiences. Ask how you can help.

    Yes! Just yes!

    6. Provide an app with menu. Offer a "listening menu".

    This is a great idea. There are amazing accessibility functions on phones these days which means that it would be pretty easy to use an app in a restaurant.

    7. Without isolating them, try to provide a relatively quiet location.

    We've been put in a corner on several occasions. It makes us sad. The worst thing to say is, 'we're just thinking of our other customers!' Not too noisy is good as it makes it easier to communicate.

    8. A little training and roleplaying with the staff

    This is a great one. We often think we should offer some training.

    9. Make sure the staff is communicating about temperature.

    Chris has burned his hand on several occasions by touching a plate without having been warned.

    10. Sturdy furniture

    Good one! Chris has put a coat or his man bag on the back of a chair only for it to fall over.

    11. Provide a tactile map of the cafe/restaurant layout.

    Love this. That would help enormously. Great idea.

    12. Create a "scent menu"

    You have no idea how many times Chris sniffs things! Wood, in particular, when he's turning. Books. Magazines. The list goes on. We once went to a woodturning demo. The woodturner, who we know well now, had an old bowl that had been part turned about 20 years previously. He passed it round the audience and asked them to identify the wood. It got to Chris. He sniffed it. The guy next to him said to his neighbour, 'check out this guy sniffing the wood'! Chris told the woodturner, 'It's Elm'. The woodturner said, 'the blind guy is the only one who got it right!'.

    13. There are some hype restaurants where all guests eat in the dark.

    There is one of these in Manchester. We've not been but Chris would be in his element.

    14. A simple way to call a waiter, for example with a bell or a visual signal.

    Good one. Chris is rarely on his own in a restaurant but he could end up sitting there trying to get attention! (Although he's very gung ho so maybe not!!!).

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