This post is by Ollie Barton of Guide Dogs. Barton has 26 years of experience in helping people with sight loss to become independently mobile. Today he is responsible for overseeing an ever growing range of vital mobility services that enable blind and partially sighted people to get out and about on their own terms.

Guide Dogs has been supporting people who are blind or partially sighted to achieve independent mobility for over 80 years. We provide a range of services to children and adults including the guide dog service, My Guide and our dedicated Children’s Service.

There are an estimated 360,000 people in the UK registered with sight loss and we are constantly seeking innovative ways to provide them with the ability to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

We believe that technology has huge potential to transform the ways in which blind and partially sighted people get out and about. That is why we've worked with Microsoft to develop a concept of how things might look soon, if we all pull together to make our vision a reality.

'A Family Day Out' shows how future technologies could enable people with a range of sight loss to easily make safe, informative and enjoyable journeys. It also shows the massive impact that devices and technology services could have on everyone's lives - not just blind and partially sighted people:

Microsoft engaged with Guide Dogs to develop a deep understanding of the challenges blind and partially-sighted people face in their everyday lives. Here is an image of the output from one of our workshops which shows the level of in-depth consultation that took place to really understand how innovative technology could provide many more people with sight loss with the potential to enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else:

Guide Dogs along with Microsoft and Future Cities Catapult have now established The Family Day Out Programme and are working with technology companies, transport providers, retailers, entertainment venues and policy makers to deliver a pilot to demonstrate the concepts shown in the film. By working together, we aspire to deliver a society-wide solution which addresses mobility and independence for all.

To find out more and get involved directly in helping us to achieve our aim to help people who are blind and partially sighted can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else please contact Guide Dogs at letsmakeithappen@guidedogs.org.uk.

Ollie Barton Job Role: Regional Director of Mobility Services Ollie has 26 years’ of experience in helping people with sight loss to become independently mobile. Today he is responsible for overseeing an ever growing range of vital mobility services that enable blind and partially sighted people to get out and about on their own terms.