Blindfold challenge to Parliamentary Candidates

Post date: 
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Accessible information
Three prospective parliamentary candidates in the East Midlands taking a guided walk using SimSpecs with RNIB staff and volunteers

With the December General Election almost upon us, we have invited Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) to take a walk in their constituency wearing a blindfold or glasses that simulate sight loss.


RNIB staff and volunteers are arranging for PPCs to walk the streets of their local town centres wearing a blindfold or glasses that simulate sight loss. The walks highlight the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted people in their local areas on a daily basis, such as problems caused by street clutter, advertisement boards and shared space schemes, amongst others. When people experience these obstacles first hand, they are able to understand why we are so passionate about these issues and why we need their help to make positive change locally. 

These walks are even more important than usual as the December election draws closer and we ask candidates to commit to standing for the issues we have raised in our General Election Manifestos

Claire Lawrence, regional campaigns officer for RNIB’s East Midlands network recently led a blindfold walk with local candidates and her feedback highlighted how important these events really are: 

The walk was quite an eye-opening experience for all the candidates. I feel that they all appreciated the difficulties that blind and partially sighted people face in their potential constituency.

Terri Balon, Regional Campaigns Officer for the North West network, also led a blindfold walk with one of her prospective parliamentary candidates and described how difficult he found navigating around the local area whilst wearing sim specs.  The candidate needed to be redirected to prevent him from walking into a ladder, into someone’s shopping bags, walking into a road instead of stopping to cross as there was no kerb or tactile paving, and drifting into the road while walking along.

Getting candidates to take one of these walks is instructive and helps them to better understand why these issues matter to blind and partially sighted people. If you are interested in writing to your local candidates asking that they attend an RNIB blindfold walk, or organising one yourself, you can find more information on our website, where you will find our handy General Election Campaign Guide, or call us on 020 7391 2123.

List of blindfold walks and candidates who took part

Melton Mowbray

Alicia Kearns (Conservative)

Andrew Thomas (Labour)

Marietta Kind (UKIP)

Bolton West

Chris Green (Conservative)


Ian Sharpe (Liberal Democrat)


Stuart Brady (Labour)


Will Sweet (Conservative)


Gareth Davies (Conservative)


Max Wilkinson (Lib Dem)


Deidre Brock (SNP)

Gordon Munro (Labour)

Iain McGill (Conservative)

Heather Astbury (Renew)


Alison Thewliss (SNP)

Warwick and Leamington

Jack Rankin (Conservative)


Jane Hunt (Conservative)


Austin Reid (Liberal Democrat)

John McNally (SNP)

North Norfolk

Emma Corlett (Labour)

Norwich North

Karen Davies (Labour)

Adrian Holmes (Green)


Sarah Lewis (Lib Dem)

Norwich North

Dave Thomas (Lib Dem)