BLIND BUT CURIOUS – WORLD TOURS FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED

William Law - Jun 7, 2010
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A UK based company Traveleyes has been organizing holiday packages and tours around the world for those who have lost partially or even completely their eye-sight. Their unique approach has been a god-send for thousands of visually impaired tourists from all over the globe.

 

Many people say that they cannot imagine their life without seeing the world around. Well, there are around 314 million less fortunate of us who have limited or no eye-sight (WHO statistics). They still enjoy life to its fullest and very much long to discover new parts of the world, experience diverse cultures and meet life-long friends from other continents. Why shouldn’t they? Traveleyes, a travel company based in Leeds, UK has been working with visually impaired clients since 2005 with great success.

Traveleyes is a very admirable achievement of Amar Latif. Amar was born with an eye condition which resulted in 95% blindness by the time he turned 20. However, that did not stop him from founding a company which would directly target those who have limited or no eye sight and long to travel the world. Amar uses an ingenious approach of pairing sighted and non-sighted tourists. That way, there is always someone who provides support and is ‘the eyes’ for the visually impaired.

Traveleyes offers tailored packages to cities like Paris, Krakow, areas such as Tuscany or summer holidays in Croatia and treks of Peru. Each group comprises of an equal number of sighted and visually-impaired travelers. The sighted individuals are guides, or the eyes, of their companions, though Traveleyes points out they are not carers. The sighted travelers are also offered considerable discounts on their holiday packages.
Traveleyes also works with the Lonely Planet on a series of special travel guides suitable for the blind and visually impaired. New updates feature CDs and other software which make traveling even more accessible to everyone.

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Comments

  1. Thaf's a cool idea. I bet they must be quite popular among visually impaired tourists. There are not many companies out there that are making the life of handicapped travelers easier.

    Tony (France)
  2. This guy unfortunately is not an inspiration-it seems one has taken advantage of his position and he tried to come onto my friend whilst on holiday - how unprofessional! he also made a racist comment - i was outraged! I warn anyone about going on holiday with this company unfortunately this may disadvantage future blind/partially sighted people the opportunity to travel with support but i must be honest & warn the sighted that all is not what it seems. All the sighted people in our group felt like carers - one cleaned up sick, we were up nearly 24 hrs per day. the contract says we were not carers but that is not true - we were taken advantage of to what we thought would be a truly inspirational holiday. When we got to our first hotel we had all been up for 24hrs & the room was spinning whilst everyone went bed we were made to feel guilty by two blind people who decided to share a room (against rules) as they said they were independent to deal - they knocked on our room door 4 times throughout the night to guide them. Unfortunately it was a lesson learned that by wanting to help those less fortunate than you doesnt mean that those people are going to be nice or friendly. It was appauling treatment - never again.

    sheila (United Kingdom)
  3. me and my friend went away with traveleyes and were made to feel guilty when we got a bit of altitude sickness one night and could not continue the day. We were phoned up and treated like children to explain why we could not attend! there was no time out. I also got very annoyed when i was challenged why i let a partially sighted go out alone when she had specifically expressed she wanted to! i may have paid less than the blind/patrially sighted and I expected to be a guide, but a carer was beyond duty and it is still alot of money to go on these trips. I was spoken to like a child by the owner. we never got to get to know the sighted people and even the most patient of sighted people were losing the plot by the end of the trip. A nightmare. My friend said the leader also got tipsy took photos of us and posted them back to the uk to see if we looked fit! unbelieveable.

    eloisabella (United Kingdom)

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