In this post I want to talk about a service that visually impaired people could benefit from, especially if you love music and live events. I go to lots of concerts, I have been all around the country for music concerts. I read about the RNIB and how they have their own box. Yep, a box. It was left to them in someone's will and it is now used for certain events. Visually impaired people have access to it and also get discounted tickets. I am using it for the first time, I'm going to see Paramore, best band in the world. I originally signed up in the hopes of Adele performing there as it is the type of venue she performs at. The process of requesting the box is really simple. You sign up ( I will explain the process in a bit). Then you get an email newsletter listing the events coming up for the month available and can request the box. Although I didn't do it that way, I saw Paramore were playing and emailed the man who was in charge of the box and the requests. Originally I was told that they did not have access to the box for the event so I bought disabled tickets . Then a couple of days after buying the tickets I got a phone call from the man in charge of the box asking I was still interested in having the box for Paramore because the box was now available for the show. So I've got ticket? Strange thing is though I have yet to pay for them. The department that handles the payment is different to the box people and who send out the tickets so in theory I could pay for them after the concert. Which is a weird idea and as of writing I have yet to get the invoice. It almost feels like you're stealing but you're not.
So, about the box itself. Well it turns out I was the only visually impaired person in the box and the other people using the box were staff of the RNIB, which was handy in the sense that to get to our seats there was quite a step to get down. Ironically, I tripped up it when I needed to go to the toilet in the interval. My mum said that had you tripped the other way, going down, you would have gone head first over the barrier type thing at the front of the box. Hope it makes sense when you see the pictures. I suggested that maybe it would be helpful if it was marked with bright tape. The amount of discussions I've had with people about possibly taping stages is quite a few so I knew that was an option, which the ladies said they would mention. If you lack peripheral vision like I do, you'd not notice the step, especially if on your own, until you went down it.
In terms of the view I had tickets in the disabled zone as well so I can compare the view in both areas. Obviously, I gave those tickets to my friend as he couldn't actually get any himself. He has cerebral palsy so was eligible to sit in the disabled zone. His opinion of his view is different to mine because he ended up moving closer but it was a side on view and when I went with him to look I couldn't see past the equipment on stage. As I said he did move closer and we sent each other pictures of our view. This is his view.
My view whilst further back was straighter on. I had quite a good view I'd say. I do have more pictures which were zoomed but I didn't want to use them for this post because I wanted to show the view when taking a picture with no zoom.
The lights were quite bright. It's hard to say whether it would be the same for every show but for people who perhaps get disorientated by lights or struggle with lights, the angle of the box may not be good for you. But as I said it depends on the show you're seeing. I went to see a very loud and bright show, if that makes sense. It was a concert show so you kind of expect some lights involved. Whereas if you went to see, for example, an opera the lighting probably won't be as penetrating.
I would recommend this box to you all, if you have someone in the family with a visual impairment, in this case CVI, or you yourself have a visual impairment.
The man who takes care of the box and who organizes who uses it, is really nice and helpful, his name is Stewart Curtis. If you want to sign up to the list the email address is -
and the contact number is -
020 7391 2063
The RNIB Box
I have written on my blog about the concert itself. It was a bit of an adventure so feel free to check it out. Cheeky plug. :)
I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know if you join the box list.
Until next time,
You can meet Sophie at the CVI Convention in Bristol in November!
The CVI Society is entirely run by people giving up their spare time to share information and support others.
If you can provide funds for the things we cannot get for free then you can help us to help others.