Blind? Here, have a gun!

Manx Blind Welfare Society shooting coordinator Dave Wilson guides Society member Samantha Ash as she tries out acoustic shooting

Manx Blind Welfare Society shooting coordinator Dave Wilson guides Society member Samantha Ash as she tries out acoustic shooting

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The Manx Blind Welfare Society is inviting teams to join its acoustic shooting day, being held as part of Vision Awareness Week 2015.

Teams will have a chance to learn about the sport, and have a go, during the event at Corrin Court in Onchan on September 19.

Designed for the visually impaired, but open to all, acoustic shooting involves the use of adapted rifles fitted with special sights, which measure the level of light reflected from the target and convert it into sound.

Participants wear headphones to hear the sound, which becomes more frequent the closer they are to the target.

The society was registered as a rifle club last year, when acoustic shooting was introduced to the Isle of Man.

Manx Blind Welfare Society shooting coordinator Dave Wilson said: ‘Acoustic shooting is a popular pursuit for our members. We often hold shooting events and welcome teams from all over the island.

‘On September 19 we are inviting teams to come along and have a go. We already have several teams signed up, but we’d welcome more. Entry is absolutely free and we provide all the equipment.

‘Last year we had a competition among the teams and our visually impaired shooters took victory after beating the police’s firearms team. It was great fun.’

The acoustic shooting day is just one of the events being held as part of Vision Awareness Week 2015, which runs from September 14 to 20.

Launched last year, the week’s aim is to promote the services and support available to blind and visually impaired people in the island, and highlight what we can do as a society to ensure everyone has the opportunity and independence to live their life as they choose.

Vision Awareness Week will see the return of Walk My Way, the island’s biggest guided walking event, on September 20, and the society will also host an open day at Corrin Court on September 14. This will be a chance to learn about the services and support available for visually impaired people in the Isle of Man, as well as ways to get involved with the Society’s work.

During the week staff and volunteers will also be delivering a series of talks to schools, businesses and local organisations, as well as training on how to assist visually impaired people.

Dave added: ‘The society provides free training to any organisation which would like its staff or members to be better prepared to interact with visually impaired people. During Vision Awareness Week we will be trying to deliver talks and training an almost every day.

‘The society tries to deliver training relevant to your organisation’s needs and develop skills which can help give an improved service for customers and clients, as well as an enhanced working environment for blind and visually impaired colleagues.

‘We already have several businesses and other groups signed up, but if you think you could benefit, please get in touch. We’d be delighted to visit during Vision Awareness Week, or at any other time which is convenient.

For more details about acoustic shooting, training opportunities and other Vision Awareness Week events, call 674727 or email enquiries@mbws.org.im.

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