A helping hand on Wellington’s rail network

Published: Thu 12 Sep 2019 09:35 AM
Trainee Passenger Operator Phyllis Puia helps to guide Blind Foundation’s Chris Orr onto a Metlink train
Wellington’s Metlink has been working closely with the Blind Foundation to educate their on-board rail team on the best way to offer assistance to visually impaired passengers.
Blind Foundation Rehabilitation Instructor Elaine Kelleher and Access and Awareness Advisor Chris Orr recently ran two sessions at Transdev Wellington, who operate services on behalf of Melink, on assisting visually impaired customers onto rail services.
“The most important thing is to always introduce yourself and your title. Only offer assistance – do not assume they need it,” Chris says.
The Blind Foundation believe in ‘Kahore e Mutunga ki te Ora – Life without limits’ and work with those who are blind or experiencing sight loss to provide support, and help them face their future with confidence.
Elaine and Chris covered everything from eye diseases people are affected by to the different challenges visually impaired people face when travelling on the rail network including glare, shadows and not having the ability to see signage and timetables.
On-board team members were taught techniques on how to guide someone who is visually impaired around trains, which can be narrow or crowded spaces, and guide someone to a seat.
Chris, who has been blind since the age of 21, says “The world has never been in a better position for people with impairment than it is today”.
He says by continuing to educate people in a position to offer assistance, those who are visually impaired will be better equipped to live an independent life.
“It’s not the end, it’s the beginning of a different way.”

Next in New Zealand politics

Statement From Police Commissioner Mike Bush Following Guilty Pleas In Operation Deans Prosecution
By: New Zealand Police
Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2
By: New Zealand Government
Cabinet Approves Business Continuity Package In Response To COVID-19
By: New Zealand Government
Record transport investment in Draft GPS 2021
By: New Zealand Government
On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones
By: Gordon Campbell
On The Oil Price Smackdown, And On National’s Fatuous Crusade Against Red Tape
By: Gordon Campbell
Predator Free 2050 Strategy - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Land, Air And Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade
By: New Zealand Government
Statement On Guilty Plea Of March 15 Terrorist
By: New Zealand Government
Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman pleads guilty to all charges
PM on mosque attacks anniversary: 'A year on gives us a chance as a nation to reflect'
Dunne Speaks: Nothing Much Has Changed Since March 15
By: Peter Dunne
Statement On Guilty Plea
By: Royal Commission of Inquiry into Attack on ChCh
Guilty Plea By Accused In Christchurch Mosque Attacks
By: Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand
Life In Prison Looms For Australia's Christchurch Gunman, Now NZ's First Convicted Terrorist
By: The Conversation
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media