10 things to know if you're blind and living in London
There are lots of cool things that make London a great city for blind young people. Here are our top 10 things that are useful to know if you are blind or partially sighted and either come to visit, or live here in London:
1. TfL assistance to use the tube.
Travelling round London has never been so easy, thanks to the staff that man TFL stations. You can turn up, request assistance and go. Staff will guide you to your train or tube, and they’ll radio ahead to get someone to meet you at the other end. Simple.
(Also, a little extra top tip – you can also get assistance on National Rail by booking 24 hours in advance.)
2. TfL Travel Mentors
TfL also offer a free Travel Mentoring Service who advise you on planning an accessible route and accompany you on the first few journeys to get you confident in travelling on public transport.
3. Audio described theatre
You can enjoy the glitz and glam of West End shows in style, with audio described performances taking place throughout the year at London’s top theatres, there are also touch tours available at some shows where you are able to get on stage and feel your way round the sets, props and costumes.
4. Talking buses
Ever wondered how London buses know when they're approaching the next stop? It's a clever piece of tech called iBus that delivers handy announcements for your bus journey. Thanks to the iBus system, all London bus stops are spoken, so you’ll know exactly where you are and where to get off.
5. Ride with Uber, Gett, or Addison Lee
We're sure you already know the perks of the new cab apps like Uber, but it's a really simple service, especially once public transport begins to wind down in the evening (although hurray for night tube!)
You can easily set-up an account, set your pick up destination, request a car, and be travelling round town in minutes. Voice over even reads out how long you’ve got till you reach your destination and you get emailed a receipt for the cost of the trip when you arrive.
6. Westfield Concierge Service
Head to Westfield shopping centre, and shop in style with dedicated assistance from the 40-strong Concierge team. From guiding you to your favourite shops and carrying your bags to booking a restaurant, the Westfield Concierge Service has it covered.
7. Good Food Talks
We all love a good meal out, but inaccessible menus can often make things tricky or awkward. Step in Good Food Talks, a web app which has fully accessible menus that you can peruse with a screen reader. No more worrying about having to ask the waiter to read out choices when you can't decide what you want to eat!
8. Two for one discounts on top London attractions
Whether it’s enjoying a concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall, or taking a historical trip to the Tower of London, many iconic attractions offer a companion to attend free of charge when they're with a disabled person.
9. Accessible events from Why Not People
Get a free membership to Why Not People, an events company exclusively for disabled people, providing enhanced assistance and the best seats in the house to an impressive line-up of dance, comedy and music from world class performers.
10. RSBC Social Groups
Travelling, shopping, eating out is way more fun when you’ve got mates to go with. So why not join RSBC’s Social and Peer Groups, where you can meet new friends to share our other nine tips with! Just fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.