Museum treat for sight loss veterans

Sight loss visitors during their tour of Grampian Transport Museum at Alford
Sight loss visitors during their tour of Grampian Transport Museum at Alford

North-east veterans with sight loss enjoyed a variety of vehicle displays on a recent trip to Grampian Transport Museum in Alford.

The 10-strong group, who all live with a vision impairment and are supported by charity Scottish War Blinded, were delighted to engage with the museum’s accessible exhibitions with its ‘tablet tours’ – exploring everything from wartime aero engines to the modern electronic traction age.

Ingrid Penny, Scottish War Blinded outreach worker for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, who provides one-on-one support to the veterans and organised the outing, congratulated the museum on its hospitality.

She praised the efforts staff made in catering for the group – many of whom also live alone.

Ingrid said: “Taking the time to engage in conversation is something many of our veterans appreciate, especially those living on their own. The museum staff’s descriptions about the exhibitions really brought the stories to life and rekindled memories for the group.

“The layout of the museum is also ideal for those living with sight loss. The walkways are wide and spacious with bright yellow arrows clearly marking the route.”

Some of the group also made use of the museum’s ‘tablet tours’, with the audio enhancing their experience of the exhibitions.

Museum curator Mike Ward said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Scottish War Blinded veterans to our museum.

“We first introduced our ‘tablet tours’ in 2016 following a move to increase levels of interpretation and better access for those with sight loss.”

The museum visit was one of a number of trips and social opportunities that are organised by Ingrid and Margaret Forrest, another Scottish War Blinded outreach worker, for veterans with sight loss in the region.