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MSP Aileen Campbell has taken part in a Guide Dog Week ‘Walk My Way’ event to experience some of the challenges that visually impaired people have to face.

Guide Dog Week highlights the crucial role guide dogs play in providing independence to the nearly 500 users in Scotland and some of the practical issues that blind and visually impaired citizens have to encounter and manage.

With the assistance of Terry Thorpe, from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, and putting her trust in guide dog Bracken, a blindfolded Aileen took to the busy streets of Carluke town centre.

After the walk Aileen commented:

"I was delighted to discuss with Terry some of the real challenges visually impaired people encounter every day when making their way through our streets. Things like irresponsible parking, quiet vehicles, road design and even street litter and clutter.

"Though I only spent a relatively short time in the blindfold, that experience of being led through the streets by the wonderful Bracken really brought home to me some of difficulties our visually impaired citizens face walking through our towns and villages.

"It was experience I will not forget. Guide Dogs for the Blind provide a really wonderful service to people with sight loss, helping them to engage with their community and maintain their independence".

Terry Thorpe, from the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said:

"By taking part in Guide Dogs "Walk My Way" challenge, Aileen was able to experience for herself what it might be like to travel without sight.

"By donning a blindfold and putting her trust in chocolate Labrador, Bracken, whilst walking along the streets of Carluke, I hope that Aileen will now be able to consider some of the aspects we discussed from a very "real" perspective".

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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