The School of Participation with the Deafblind community, involving a group of ten Deafblind participants, is addressing the barriers faced by Deafblind people when using public transport, particularly buses. Transport is a key concern for group members, impacting heavily on their daily lives.
The main issue identified by the group is the lack of information and communication on buses, leaving those with a dual sensory impairment reliant upon the goodwill of drivers and other passengers, most of whom are unaware of the specific issues faced by those with a dual sensory impairment. Deafblind people feel very vulnerable and insecure when travelling by bus because the visual signage is inconsistent and unsuitable for visually impaired people, and there are no spoken announcements of stops (unlike trains and trams).
The group began by identifying its difficulties and what they hoped to achieve: “…I feel imprisoned if I can’t get out. Public transport is my only means of getting around” and “I would like to go out again on my own. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. Having spoken directions would help me to get around on public transport”.
The group collectively said: “We are not asking for the earth, just some reasonable adjustments, as these adjustments will enable us to lead a safe, independent life when travelling on public service buses”.
Welcome to the Equality on the Buses campaign.