Moving house is among one of the most stressful times for any person.  This section aims to highlight aspects you may wish to plan as a visually impaired individual before a move, and suggests potential sources of information.  If there are any additional aspects you feel should be covered here, please contact us with your suggestions.

Click the ‘next’ button to browse the section or select the link for a specific area:

Packing and Removals

Bin Collections

Travel and Route Training

Long-cane and symbol cane mobility information

Packing and Removals 

One of the decisions people need to make is how much furniture they might require in a new home or what existing furniture would be suitable for the new home.  The British Heart Foundation provide a free furniture donation or furniture provision service.

Often, family and friends will help out with packing up belongings and the transport of these to a new home.  However, when outside assistance is required it can be a challenge to find a reliable individual or company.

It may be worthwhile contacting your local sensory centre or sensory impairment team. They might know of local volunteers who would be willing to help pack, move or unpack boxes during your home move.  Please see the list of sensory centres and sensory impairment teams in the previous section of this guide.

Bin Collections

Local authorities run assisted bin collection services.  These are provided to people assessed as unable to take their bins to a kerb side and upon collection, find and return their bin to the storage area.  The service can sometimes be referred to as the bin ‘pull out’ scheme.  Contact your local authority to start the assisted bin collection application.  For example, they will ask for details of your eye condition.

Travel and Route Training

People waiting at a bus stop

For some visually impaired people, route training is an essential part of settling into a new home and area.  Knowing in advance of a move where your local shop is located can, for instance, ensure you have access to necessities from the moment you arrive at your new home.  The main methods for navigation are sighted guide, long cane, symbol cane and guide dog.  There may be family members or friends who will provide support to learn a new route.  External mobility services can also be provided by rehabilitation officers, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor or the My Guide scheme operated by Guide Dogs.


The RNIB have provided mobility and travel information:

Some people with sight loss find iPhone apps useful for travel and general navigation.

Blind Square is a Navigational app that helps to provide locational information in terms of facilities or public transport links.  It can be used in walk/travel mode to get an approximate idea of direction and streets ahead

Loadstone GPS was developed and designed by blind people to help with navigation

To direct you to the appropriate information about route training, please select the link that best describes your mobility needs:

  • I use a long-cane of symbol cane;
  • I am a Guide Dog Owner.

Long-cane and symbol cane mobility information

Link here to Podcast 4: In this podcast, two visually impaired people tell us about their experiences of learning new routes, first using a long cane and secondly using a navigation app.

The main provider for long-cane and symbol cane mobility training is the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB).  For enquiries related to mobility training or related issues, you can contact their helpline on 0303 123 9999 and ask to speak to the Advice Service, or email

The RNIB mobility teams receive funding from your local authority social services to cover specific route training.  The funding can vary according to where you live and therefore it is important to know which local authority you live/will be living under.  The following links will direct you to either a list of local authorities or a local authority finder tool using your postcode or address.




Northern Ireland:


Mobility Training Information for Guide Dog Owners

Link here to Podcast 2: In this podcast, guide dog owners talk about moving in to a new home and learning routes with their dogs.

To find your local Guide Dogs mobility team, please follow the link below:

Guide Dogs in partnership with other community organisations also run a national My Guide scheme.  If you are interested as a potential My Guide user, contact the scheme for further details and to find out whether you would be eligible. Guide Dogs match a Guide Dog Owner with a specially trained sighted-guide volunteer.  A My Guide partnership will work together for as long as it takes to achieve each step towards a person’s overall goal.  More information can be found at the link below: