Royal Blind partnering accessible rugby spectating for people with sight loss

Posted: 30/10/2019 | Education, Adult Services, ,

We are very excited at Royal Blind to be partnering with both Edinburgh Rugby and BAT’s – a socially inclusive rugby club in Edinburgh. We have joined together to test out ways of making spectating at rugby matches accessible for people who are vision impaired. 

At the weekend ex Royal Blind pupil Bilal tried out the new system which involved two amazing volunteers from BAT’s, one who provided the commentary whilst the other used a tactile braille diagram to explain in real time the position of the ball and the players.

David Palencia, PE teacher at the Royal Blind School said: “We are so excited about working with BAT’s and Edinburgh Rugby on this project. It makes a huge difference to a person with sight loss. They can experience the whole atmosphere of the game. It also means they know where the players are on the pitch with the help of the tactile image using braille. The next phase of testing will involve using the radio commentary alongside a volunteer with the diagram. This way in the future we hope all people with a vision impairment will be able to enjoy live rugby.

Royal Blind are planning on testing out the tactile map and live commentary provided by volunteers at more matches in the upcoming weeks. We are hoping this will make rugby matches enjoyable for everyone who has a vision impairment in the future.