The best way to learn about the barriers faced by people who are blind or have low vision is to walk in their shoes.
That's what MidCoast Council staff at Taree, Forster and Gloucester did recently in a series of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Walk My Way workshops.
Staff completed a simulated experience with white canes, goggles and assistance guide dogs to learn how people who are blind or have low vision walk around the community.
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT's Nathan Burford said the workshops, held in partnership with council, also teach staff how to render assistance.
"Council staff will know how to assist someone who comes into reception for example," Nathan said.
"It builds community awareness about how people who are blind or with low vision travel. It also celebrates the courage and skill of those who use a cane."
The staff were directed by the Guide Dogs team and paw-fect companions Lucy and Pascal through a set course. The workshops helped educate staff in adherence to council's disability inclusion action plan.
It coincided with International White Cane Day on Thursday, October 15. A community event was held at Tuncurry Rockpool to acknowledge the day.
For the record, Lucy and Pascal were the most well behaved and attentive dogs this correspondent has ever photographed. That's a credit to the training conducted by the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT team.
The organisation continues to support clients to maintain their independence and employment.