People with visual impairments struggling to access essentials during coronavirus restrictions

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According to the CNIB Foundation of New Brunswick, residents with visual impairments are struggling to navigate their communities amid coronavirus restrictions.

Christine Kennedy-Babineau, the program and resource development manager for CNIB New Brunswick, said some of the changes that have been made at grocery stores are presenting a challenge for people with vision loss.

“Now we have lines where you are supposed to go to line up and arrows directing traffic flow through stores and someone with sight loss who is blind or partially sighted isn’t able to see them,” Kennedy-Babineau said.

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Jens Naumann of Moncton has a visual impairment and said strangers would normally be more than happy to help him if he lost his way. But since the pandemic hit, people now tend to run in the other direction.

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“The two-metre distancing has turned this kind of into a dilemma because there are people who are afraid of me and they get out of my way instead of trying to help me,” he said.

Naumann said people are now afraid to grab his arm to help him for fear they will be fined for failing to maintain physical distancing.

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