OBSTACLES: Killarney man Morgan Pierce is encouraging people to watch the NCBI video which advises how to help the visually impaired avoid street obstacles. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

A Killarney man who has just over five percent vision is lending his voice to a new national campaign – calling on the public to clear the way for the visually impaired.

Morgan Pierce (43) from Cahernane Meadows, who was born with low vision says that although people don’t cause intentional harm to those with sight loss – he’s now joining the National Council for the Blind’s new online video campaign asking the public to keep paths clear.

The service, which helps thousands of people with vision loss nationally, has released the 40 second YouTube video ‘NCBI – Clear The Way Day’ showing the difficulties people with impaired vision face on a daily basis as they try to navigate their way through towns and cities countrywide.

Morgan says some of the biggest issues he faces daily are street furniture, bicycles attached to poles, commercial bins left out and suitcases along the streets.

“People don’t do it intentionally,” Morgan explained to the Killarney Advertiser this week.

“When people haven’t experienced it they don’t understand what we go through. If someone parks on a footpath for two minutes – it’s quick for them but for someone with sight loss or even the elderly, it has a huge effect as they have to find another longer way around,” Morgan said.

He added, Killarney town is good for cutting back hedging and trees but it’s the temporary obstacles that are causing the most distress.

“I’m calling on the public to be more mindful about obstacles they place in public. If they look at the video online it might make them more aware of the difficulties we face every day.”