Activities and other useful links for Bournemouth

This page includes links and information about sites which are very useful to those with a visual impairment. Some sites are very cluttered and hard to navigate, so I will try to point you directly to the pages which are useful rather than rifalling through a load of links

If you know of a website which would be useful and do not see its link on this page, feel free to contact me on

Odeon Cinemas

The main odeon cinema in the centre of Bournemouth now has 5 audio describing screens.

The Odeon website, though very accessible, is large and can be complicated for first-time users. All JAWS users must press shift + insert + v to get to the personalise menu and turn off flash moovies otherwise pages flip around continuously. Flash is needed to play some of the trailors but you can turn it back on again just by doing the normal verbosity settings (insert + v).

Follow the links below for information bout the local Odeon cinemas and films with audio description showing at those cinemas

The Odion Bournemouth page (opens in new window) gives cinema information for the main Odeon in Bournemouth as well as film times for the next day/week/now showing, together with audio description times. You should also confirm the audio description with the cinema by calling 01202 551 086 if there is a film you really would like to see, because the internet does get things wrong occasionally. The other Odeon in Bournemouth, the ABC, does not have any audio description facilities at the moment. You can access this cinema's page by locating the box which is entitled "Change Cinema" and scroll up one till you get to "Bournemouth ABC". (Note for JAWS users: you must press alt + down arrow to open the list box so you can scroll around freely, otherwise every time you move the arrow in any direction the cinema name on whic you land on will be activated thus you could be taken to the wrong place.)

If you would like to sign up to Odeon so it remembers your cinema choice and gives you e-mails of the films coming up, please access Odeon user account sign-up page (opens in new window)

Hopefully you will have got a flavour for how the site works by now and should be able to discover more on your own. There are log in areas very clearly displayed on all pages so it should be easy to find how to log in once you've registered. If you still need help, feel free to contact me.

Bournemouth Society for the Visually Impaired (BSVI)

This society provides useful resources for daily living and also provides useful contacts if you would like to just talk to someone about improving your lifestyle so that you can rediscover activities such as cooking, counting money, and other activities if you struggle with them after sight loss. Even if you have had a visual impairment all your life like I have, I find it is really rewarding jus t talking to people about the little things that can prove frustrating and they will usually find a way to help you gain more indipendance in the home and outside.

There is now a coffee morning/art activity morning aimed at the younger members. It is held every Tuesday in the coffee bar just by the reception room in the BSVI building. The reception staff are very friendly and will point you in the right direction if you would like to pay a visit. There is even transport to bring you there and back again too. It is a really good time to catch up and discuss things, as well as taking part in a new are project of a 3D eye that we are making at the moment. Why not come along and see.

The BSVI is holding a music and dance event on Saturday 18th April. Further details will be confirmed nearer the time. If you would like to come and dance and have fun and see many members of the Tuesday coffee morning group, feel free to come along. You can buy tickets at the door.

Access the BSVI website (opens in new window) to discover more. Please note that the BSVI website is currently under development by their own webmaster.

Bournemouth adult education

The Bournemouth Adult Learning Centre (opens in new window) provides a wealth of courses to choose from if you would like to learn to do more things, such as expanding your computer knowledge - there is a special course for the visually impaired for this. To find the courses, go to the link above and click "View Course Information Online".

Russell coats gallery

The Russel Coats art gallery (opens in new window) in Bournemouth, though having no obvious features for visually impaired people, does have some exhibits which are accessible and bright and comfortable places where you can meet up with friends and collegues. The exhibitions change, but last I went there were two or three very large robust items which did not have signs forbidding you to touch them, such as a huge bell and statues. They were really interesting if someone read the accompanying information out. There was also at that time an exhibition to do with a velvety material covering clay objects, many of which were out and again, if you were careful, were touchable - I would expect that if there were school parties around the gallery would tighten up its policies, but if you ask the staff they are really helpful and, as long as you seem responsible and probably with a sighted companion, you should be allowed to touch carefully the things which are out on display. There are also computer terminals in the gallery explaining more about the exhibitions, though these are inaccessible by visually impaired people. Once a sighted person has clicked on a topic though, the commentary accompanying the presentations on the terminals is very informative, and if nothing else, the japanese exhibition I saw had the most glorious music!

bournemouth library

The Bournemouth library is a very useful resource for people with a visual impairment. The staff there are really helpful and friendly and I'm sure they'll do anything to help you find what you are looking for. As with every library in the country you have to join up to be able to take books etc. out of the library. As a visually impaired person you are entitled to be able to get out audio books on tape or cd for no charge what so ever - music and dvds are not included in this. I believe the library card also allows carers to take out books on your behalf as long as they're carrying the card, so if you wanted a particular CD of one of the Harry Potter books for example and your carer/partner/friend was passing the library, they could pick it up for you rather than you having to truggle in on your own to get it. Visit the Bournemouth Library Website (opens in new window) for more information and links to pages where you can join the library by downloading a form in Microsoft Word format. I believe the library page is self-explanitory enough but if you would like more help then feel free to e-mail me at swainbeth@googlemail.comand I would be happy to give you more guidance and show you how to fill in the form to join the library.

More activities and facilities will be explained here - watch this space!

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!

©Copyright 2008 Beth Swain All Rights Reserved