Thursday, 13th September 2012
UK: Quick wins... and missed opportunities: How local authorities can work with blind and partially sighted people to build a better future
Source: Royal National Institute of Blind People
From Executive Summary:
Sight loss is a growing problem. Almost two million people in the UK have a sight problem which has a serious impact on their daily lives – approximately one in 30 people. It is predicted that by 2020 the number of people with sight loss will rise to over 2,250,000, and 28,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted each year.
Becoming blind or partially sighted is a life-changing experience – it is the sense that people fear losing the most. There are an estimated 25,000 blind and partially sighted children living in Britain but most people living with a visual impairment first lose their sight in working age or later life, the vast majority of whom will be unprepared for the future.
Living with little or no sight requires access to different types of information and support from a range of services such as social services, health and voluntary sector organisations. There is a core bedrock of services which people with sight loss need to be able to access in order to live independently. This includes accessible information, rehabilitation for people who lose their sight so they can gain the skills and confidence to carry out day-to-day tasks, and support with getting around.
As such, local authorities have the potential to transform the lives of blind and partially sighted people, even in the toughest times. And there’s an added bonus - designing inclusive services for blind and partially sighted people means getting it right more widely for local residents. The decisions local authorities make are even more important in a climate of reduced support and investment from central government.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 707 KB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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