Make Rye safer for visually impaired

Through being visually impaired, so when out and about having to use a White Symbol Cane Stick, I read with interest with my special magnification glasses kast week’s front page.

As although like many other vips & blind people, (thankfully), we have the use of our legs, we too are affected by the same mobility problems mentioned in this article, plus through attending ARRCC in Rye, I am fully aware of the big problems people face if a wheel-chair user, or using a walking aid etc.

I just assumed that as I made the decision to move to Rye, so knowing of the narrowness of the High Street and its ancient historic layout, I assumed I had to put up with or move!

But I now feel very positive through reading of Barbara Ross’s and other peoples’ efforts affected by accessibility problems, as people like us are now (finally it seems) being accounted for.

With an increase in people living longer, this also includes potential other health related\disabilities too. When Rye was built\evolved people like us were 9 times out of 10 put away, put down or just forgotten about. Thankfully times have changed a bit, but, with an increasing younger but soon to be the next older generation (like me), we feel we have the same rights and needs to be able to access local areas and amenities just like everybody else.

So, when it comes to putting these fresh and positive ideas into action, can I ask whoever at Rye Town Council and Rother that they actually consult and work with local people who are personally affected by these issues, including and not forgetting us vips & blind people who still seem to get forgotten in such planning as most peoples idea of a disabled person is a wheelchair user, deafness and people who are unable to speak along with sight loss are usually forgotten.

To save Richard the Rye Town Clerk’s time in replying to some of my points. Yes I know that technically I am not a Rye Town resident as I live in Rye Foreign etc, but surely in such circumstances this technicality can be put aside for the good of other VIPs and people affected by mobility problems to help make Rye accessible to all?

It would also help if people cut back any over-hanging vegetation from their gardens or properties which adjoin local pathways and I am reliably informed they are supposed to do. If you can not see or see well, it is not nice to have to keep walking into brambles and dangerous to keep tripping over underfoot.

Any obstruction along a pathway or public area is a potential accidental, including areas where customers are supposed to park in, yet do not, so blocking the pathway and making it very dangerous for us and wheelchair\mobility users to have to navigate around, having to walk in the road.

It would also help if all the Rye pubs and elsewhere could be aware of the problems people face if using a wheelchair, as I am told most of the pubs in Rye and elsewhere are inaccessible to them, which is not fair as life as we all know can be and is very hard for people with mobility problems, but it can be a bit easier to bear if they\we are able to go out for a social drink just like anybody else!

I hope that I can be included in making Rye accessible to us all please, regardless of where I happen to live?

Christine Ward

Rye Hill