8. Public Safety.

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8.1. General Public Safety.
8.2. Evacuation.

8.1. General Public Safety.

Where a public body or private organisations do not have the capacity for one-to-one guidance of an otherwise unaccompanied visually impaired person, staff and stewards should try to pay particular attention to a visually impaired visitor.

8.1A. Keeping an Eye Out.

For example, a visually impaired person may not be able to see signs for seats, for the toilet, or for places to get a drink of water etc. In such situations, if a visually impaired person looks lost or in discomfort, assistance should be offered, with verbal identification (name, position, and identification number, where relevant).

8.1B. Crowds.

Where a crowd is relatively stationary (e.g., where it is seated), visually impaired people should always be given an option of being close to the exit and/or the toilets. In a crowd panic, visually impaired visitors are likely to be particularly vulnerable to being lost and trampled.

Those policing more fluid crowds should also keep an eye out for, and try to take note of, the presence and location of unaccompanied visually impaired people, in case they need assistance in an emergency.

8.2. Evacuation.

Institutions should have a practical and practiced plan to make sure that in cases of emergencies, that the most vulnerable members of public and staff receive the required assistance in safely exiting an area, and where relevant, in finding a pre-arranged place of congregation.

It should be remembered that visually impaired people are unlikely to be able to read emergency signage, and unless we are already being accompanied, we will very probably require direct personal assistance in evacuating a premises during an emergency, and this should be factored into any evacuation system or plan.

This may, for example, require stewards or staff to try to be aware of the location of unaccompanied visually impaired visitors throughout their visit, so that we may be quickly located and assisted during an evacuation.

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