Priority national campaigns
Working with our Sight Loss Councils and partners, our campaigns aim to tackle the big challenges that prevent blind and partially sighted people from getting on with their lives. You can find out more below.
Make Health Accessible
With our Sight Loss Councils, we have been campaigning to make vital health information more accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
The NHS Accessible Information Standard was introduced five years ago but many blind and partially sighted people still don’t get appointment letters and information about medication and treatments in a format they can independently read, such as large print, braille, digital or audio.
The Sight Loss Councils #MakeHealthAccessible campaign includes:
- New research showing as many as 90% of visually impaired people don’t get health information in a format they can read
- A Freedom of Information Act request to local NHS bodies showing how mixed the implementation of accessible health information really is
- Working to get NHS England and local NHS Trusts to take action to deliver the accessible medical information blind and partially people need.
Health and Disability Green Paper
In July 2021, the Government published its Health and Disability Green Paper. It considers the options for addressing some “short-to medium-term issues in health and disability benefits”. It also aims to “start a discussion about the opportunities for wider change to deliver on the objectives of the health and disability benefit system”.
Many visually impaired people find the benefit system hard to navigate. We’ve joined other sight loss charities to call for a better-informed and more compassionate approach to benefit assessments in response to Health & Disability Green Paper.
National Disability Strategy
The government’s new National Disability Strategy was published in July 2021. In the strategy the government set out the immediate actions they plan to take to improve the lives of disabled people alongside longer-term objectives for policy making. The strategy runs to more than 120 pages so we have produced a summary of the key pledges that most affect blind and partially sighted people.
A range of issues that TPT and our Sight Loss Councils have been campaigning on are covered in the strategy including accessible streets, transport, support for employment and access to education.
We welcome the publication of the National Disability Strategy. The case for a cross-government approach to supporting and improving the lives of disabled people has long been clear. The government must now get on and deliver action to give effect to their ambition. We will be working closely with government departments and other disabled people’s organisations to ensure the voice of blind and partially sighted people is heard throughout the implementation of the strategy.
Streets For All
With our Sight Loss Councils, we have been campaigning to make the built environment more accessible for blind and partially sighted people.
The Sight Loss Councils #StreetsForAll campaign has included:
- Calling for action to tackle pavement parking
- Highlighting the problems caused by e-scooters
- Working to get local authorities to commit to engaging blind and partially sighted people in street design workand consult before changes are made.
Our campaigns team and our Sight Loss Councils have been at the forefront of work across the country to deliver change.
Covid-19 testing and vaccinations
We have worked closely with other sight loss organisations and Department of Health and Social Care to make sure the Covid-19 testing and vaccine process is as accessible as possible for blind and partially sighted people.
As a result of our work, test kits can be delivered to your door and you can get braille, audio or large print instructions. You can also have a live video call with specially trained NHS Test and Trace staff to help you register and take a home coronavirus test. You can find out more about testing here.
Compulsory Photo ID for voters
The government has announced plans to introduce a requirement for voters to show photo ID at polling stations. The government argues this will maintain the integrity of the ballot and diminish the risk of fraud. However, evidence shows that if you’re young, from an ethnic minority, disabled or you come from a poorer background, you’re much less likely to have valid photo ID and could therefore find it more difficult to cast your vote.
We’re campaigning to get the government to think again on this new requirement which we are concerned will present yet another barrier to blind and partially sighted people.
We wrote to the Minister of State for the Constitution and Devolution, Chloe Smith MP, alongside other organisations representing disability, and attended a virtual round table event in August to discuss this.
We welcome the Minister’s engagement with us, both in this detailed response and as part of the roundtable discussion. We will continue to raise the concerns of blind and partially sighted people about the accessibility of voting and the additional barrier imposed on them by the introduction of compulsory photo ID at polling stations. We will be contributing to the work of the Accessibility of Elections Working Group to help the Government improve the experience of the democratic process for blind and partially sighted people.
The Covid-19 pandemic caused major changes in the way the world worked. Shops introduce one-way systems and new safety requirements and blind and partially sighted people were left worrying about travelling on public transport and getting the assistance they needed under social distancing measures.
We created a suite of best practice guides for local service providers and businesses to highlight what measures they could put in place to help blind and partially sighted people social distance.
Coming soon …
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