Why do gyms make things so difficult for blind people?

When smartphones, TVs and even washing machines are set up for visually impaired people to use, why isn’t exercise equipment?

If, like me, you want to keep fit and healthy, your first port of call is usually your local gym or health club. However, if, like me, you are also blind, keeping active can be a minefield of inaccessible technology, awkward conversations and frustrating barriers. And mine is hardly a rare issue: more than two million people in Britain are living with sight loss, and the RNIB predicts this will double by 2050.

When I was four years old, doctors broke the news to my parents that by my mid-to-late teens, I would become incurably blind. I remember waking up one morning, aged 18, and not being able to see the poster at the end of my bed. I was walking around crashing into things. By this time, my mother had already banned me from riding my bike – though that didn’t stop me – until I rode headfirst into a skip, somersaulted and landed in the rubbish. As I was flying through the air, I realised it was probably best to call time on my cycling career.

Related: Are there any good portable MP3 players for blind and visually impaired people?

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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