Centre plans are touching; PIONEERING: Tactile drawing for blind and partially sighted.Byline: Chris Henwood
A TACTILE drawing is giving blind and partially-sighted people an idea of plans for a pioneering new pounds 15 million lifestyle centre in the Midlands.
The drawing was commissioned from the Royal National Institute of the Blind and made up of raised lines outlining features of the Portway centre, which is set to replace Oldbury Leisure Centre, and a Braille key explaining what they are.
It was given the thumbs-up at a meeting between representatives of Sandwell Visually Impaired and Sandwell Council and will now go on display at venues across the borough.
The building is due to open in 2011 and will include a sports hall, hydrotherapy hydrotherapy, use of water in the treatment of illness or injury. Although the medicinal and hygienic value of water was recognized by the early Greeks, hydrotherapy attained its widest use in the 18th and 19th cent. pool, gym, weight area, dance studio, climbing wall and floodlit flood·light
1. Artificial light in an intensely bright and broad beam.
2. A unit that produces a beam of intense light; a flood.
tr.v. football pitches.
There will also be a purpose-built doctors surgery, Portway Family Practice, currently Tividale Family Practice.
Saeed Nasser, a member of the Portway Lifestyle Centre reference group, who hosted the meeting, said: "It was good to get together and explore the tactile drawing, which is excellent.
"The way to get people to understand more easily is to emphasise the use of the diagram key, which explains the various aspects of the tactile representations.
"We all agreed the drawing works best when utilised on a one-to-one basis, to ensure people have time to explore it and feel confident to feel their way around the plan." Ray Gormley, of SVI SVI Serveur Vocal Intéractif (French)
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SVI Schweizerischer Verband der Informatikorganisationen , reported on the meeting for Talking News, an audio newsletter for people with visual impairment Visual Impairment Definition
Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see. Visual impairment or low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and in Sandwell.
Portway Lifestyle Centre is being developed by a partnership between Sandwell Council, Sandwell Leisure Trust, Sandwell Primary Care Trust and Sandwell Local Improvement Finance Trust Company.
Sandwell Council's cabinet member for adults services and health, Coun Darren Cooper, said: "The Portway Lifestyle Centre will be open to all and a centre of excellence for people with disabilities. It is vitally important we use methods such as tactile drawings and models to ensure everyone has the chance to find out more about this exciting project."