Linda shares her experiences of bus travel with us through her poem.
I'd like to let sighted people know what the fuss is,
About the visually impaired having to catch buses,
First, if you can't see which bus to stop it is no fun,
As not knowing you might just stop the wrong one.
So the driver won't be happy and you may despair,
As other buses will not stop if one's already there,
And so you won't know if another bus goes on by,
Whether or not it was the one you wanted, Oh my.
Well at the stop near my house every bus does go,
Into Oxford city which makes it easy for me I know,
Because I can get on the next bus that comes along,
So with my bus pass what could possibly go wrong?
Well instead of showing it to the driver like before,
I have to put it over a sensor which is hard for sure,
So it registers but I must get it in the right proximity,
As I struggle with this some drivers will do it for me.
Now as the interior of the buses aren't all the same,
This also makes it quite confusing which is a shame,
Well some have a step up in about the middle there,
Or a step up to the back seats so I have to take care.
Oh and then the seats face different ways it is true,
And in the middle some do have another door too.
A few people on the bus is OK but if there are a lot,
I find it very hard to see if a seat's occupied or not,
And so once by mistake I did sit on someone's lap,
But he saw the funny side of it being a jovial chap.
Oh great, now I am finally seated so that's a relief,
Surely there's nothing else that can cause me grief,
But there is, it's when I'm at my stop how will I tell?
And so know it's time if I can find it to ring the bell.
Well I could ask the driver to let me know and yet,
If it's a very busy bus I worry he or she may forget.
However if I want to go right to the end of the line,
I hear everyone getting off so I'm there that's fine.
I've made it, so you ask why I'm not full of elation,
But it's only the bus that's reached its destination,
And I still have to get to wherever it is I need to go,
This too is difficult even though it's an area I know.
So I think I am going straight but with limited sight,
I usually end up veering off to the left or the right,
Oh now I'm lost and for help I will just have to ask,
But in a busy city it can sometimes be quite a task.
Not having a guide dog I always use a white cane,
So the fact I'm visually impaired ought to be plain.
I say, "Excuse me please," then I do begin to worry,
I get ignored as everyone rushes past me in a hurry.
But I must not get upset as I know from previously,
That some kind person will help me out eventually,
So I'm not there yet but I'm now on the right track,
But if I do get there I still have to find my way back.
Just a short journey can take me a long time to do,
And unfortunately is quite often very stressful too.