12:45PM, Friday 14 September 2018
A visually-impaired woman has called for pedestrians to stop using their phones while they walk because she fears she will get hurt.
Seema Flower, who lives in Stoke Poges, was not born blind but now only has two per cent vision, and requires a companion when she walks outdoors.
Seema said she has been bumped into by people focused on their phones and is calling for them to change their behaviour for fear that she will get seriously hurt.
She said: “I am worried people are going to walk into me; I am worried I am going to fall and hurt myself.
“I have always been a bit of a fighter but I don’t want to fight anybody any more.
“I’ve been hit lots of times. People trip over my stick and usually rush off and say sorry.
“It’s much harder now. People are so reliant on their phones these days, they are always using social media and checking their phones, it’s a new culture.”
Seema admitted that improved mobile phone technology has helped her, but that her issue is with people using their phones while they walk, not phones as a whole.
She said: “It’s a double-edged sword. The mobile has changed my life. I use an iPhone with accessibility settings.
“It becomes an issue when they are not concentrating on what they are doing.”
Formerly the owner of a chain of hair salons in London, Seema has turned her attention fully to campaigning and raising awareness for blind, visually impaired and disabled people.
Although it has yet to be arranged, she is in talks with the Eden Shopping Centre in High Wycombe, where she hopes to stage an ‘awareness hour’. This will involve members of the public being blindfolded and guided around the centre.
The aim of the experience will be to show just how difficult it is to get around when you are visually impaired, even when you have a guide.
The date is yet to be confirmed, but Seema is hoping she can spread more awareness and help make life easier for those who are visually impaired.
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