Walking Sightless – an Experience

Instagram Post about Poppi the Guide Dog. Text Below:

This a repost from Instagram with permission
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Warning this post is triggering and involves the near death or injury of Poppi and myself.
I have been left feeling shaken, helpless and a like Poppi and I don’t matter. Poppi was guiding me through the main street in our home city of Parramatta. We were on the foot path (or so we thought) when suddenly I heard heavy breaking and discovered Poppi and I were in the middle of the road. Poppi tried to get me off the road and we ended up in another road. Before this, we had also crossed a busy street with NO idea.


How did this happen? Our state has introduced a new design of major cities with light rails running through them. They have created a “boulevard” look that makes everything from the tram lines, roads and surrounds look like one giant foot path.


There is no difference between the road and foot path from looks, levels, materials. NOTHING.
Why did they do this? It looks pretty and gives a sense pedestrians can walk for miles.
Poppi who is a great guide dog no longer has any clue where the footpath ends and a road begins and nor do I.


The state designers say this is ok beause they have put down dots that are meant to tell me there is a hazzard. Now I have to find the dots, then guess what they mean. To be honest I’m not very good at ths game. I also have a wide walking gait and can easily walk straight over them. I can also barely feel them and well…. Suprise but I CAN’T SEE THEM.
I feel so sad that I literally can not go into my main city independantly. Worse still, they love this design and don’t want to change so I won’t be able to go to many major cities anymore. Sydney CBD included.


I’ve never felt more disabled.


This is a picture of Poppi looking really sad and confused as industry professionals (blindness, council and project leads) try to test if Poppi and I can recognise the new dots to tell us there is a road. We failed. (Or perhaps, the designers failed.)

GuideDog #GuidedogsAustralia #Dog #Labrador #Parramatta #ParramattaLlghtRail #Disability #Death #Cruelty #TransportNSW #PawGust2022

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