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Blind Student Struggling To Study After Fall

Media Release From The Royal New Zealand Foundation For The Blind (RNZFB)
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Blind Student Struggling To Study After A Fall Into A Two Metre Deep Trench

The Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) says it is terribly important that people managing building sites and road works consider the potential for accidents by people who are blind or sight impaired.

Just recently Andy Lyons, a blind student, fell two metres down an uncovered trench in the middle of a road and had to be helped out by several people. Hitting his back as he landed on a concrete sewage pipe he was taken to Accident and Emergency by the people who helped him out and now has a severely bruised back. The bruising was so severe he was unable to sit an exam because sitting for any length of time was extremely painful.

"The hole wasn't covered and when I crossed the road on the corner of Frederick and Cumberland Street in Dunedin, I fell into it. I literally disappeared from the face of the earth and had to wait for someone to come and help me out," says student Andy Lyons. "I was extremely grateful to those people who helped me and insisted I go to Accident and Emergency."

Paula Daye, Divisional Manager, Adaptive Living Services, RNZFB says, "Hazards abound on these sites and for people with very little or no vision the dangers are increased many times over. Holes in the road that someone may fall into must be covered at all times, blocks of wood or other materials should not be in the path of walkers."

"It is terribly important that workers doing road works or working on building sites keep anything that might trip people up, cause them to bang their heads or fall well out of the way or behind a safety barrier," says Mrs Daye. "As you can see, failure to do this can cause serious injury." For information about creating 'user friendly' public places and buildings see our website: http://www.rnzfb.org.nz/Environmental/environmental.html

Ends

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