People with a visual limitation are among the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Regroupement des Blind et Amblyopes du Québec (RAAQ).
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This organization made this observation Monday after conducting a survey last fall of more than 200 people with visual disabilities.
“Whether in access to information, rehabilitation services, transport or even internal or external travel, blind and partially sighted people are living the current crisis heavily. This places them even more at risk of isolation or loss of autonomy, ”said Carole Giguère, president of the RAAQ, in a press release.
According to this research, 82% of respondents said they had felt more isolated since the start of the epidemic, and 71% were more anxious.
Almost two-thirds (68%) said that it is more difficult than before to live with a visual limitation. From a practical point of view, 71% of people surveyed believe that it is more difficult to use public transport because of sanitary measures.
The impression of having lost knowledge in the rehabilitation process and in mobility techniques is shared by 56% of people with visual disabilities who participated in this research.
“Parents of children with visual limitations are also affected by the current crisis. The study reveals in particular that three quarters of them had to make the documents provided by the school themselves accessible in the context of distance learning, ”underlined the RAAQ.
The organization therefore calls on the Quebec government to act to stem the isolation and loss of autonomy of blind and visually impaired people.
“As a society, we can and must do better to take care of people with visual disabilities. It is not a question of putting in place a single measure, but rather of ensuring that decision-makers always keep in mind the realities of people with special needs when deploying new measures, or adapting living environments ” , specified the president of the RAAQ, Carole Giguère.