“I’m not doing it on purpose” 

Georgie’s story

Georgie smiling

My name’s Georgie and I live in Hertfordshire with my partner Marc. I have a very rare form of Macular Degeneration which effects both my detail vision and my field of vision. Both my partner and I are registered as blind, meaning that we have always relied heavily on public transport for our independence and prior to coronavirus, we both commuted into London.

I’ve always been quite a confident and independent person, but I do feel nervous at the prospect of returning to my daily commute. There are so many things that I didn’t used to have to consider – such as social distancing and one-way systems – and the fact that despite using a cane, most people think I’m fully sighted which makes me think that people won’t be patient with me.  

When I started my new role and began commuting, it took me a while to feel confident in knowing my route around the train station and the best way to get to my office – I remember feeling really tired every day just because navigating new surroundings is really draining when you’re visually impaired. So I think that I’m going to find it tiring all over again trying to navigate the new systems and one-way routes that are laid out. 

Also, social distancing is incredibly hard to manage when you can’t see properly, and I’ve had members of the public make negative comments to me when I’ve accidentally gotten too close. Although I’m obviously not doing it on purpose, it can really put you on edge – so the idea of being worried about that everyday isn’t a comfortable feeling. 

I hope that the public can realise all these new measures can be quite stressful if you have a disability – so a little patience, consideration, and help can go a long way. 

Thanks to RNIB for pulling together this video with useful tips for returning to public transport as restrictions lift.

Visit ‘it’s everyone’s journey’ to find out more about the campaign and the support services available.