Blind and visually impaired people say:
1: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of people with disabilities guarantees two crucial rights: the right to independence and the right to participate in the community.
2: Professionally qualified rehabilitation workers can teach people undergoing sight loss to achieve these rights and overcome the frightening experience. Workers are trained to teach skills such as independent mobility, personal care and digital literacy.
3: Delivery of vision rehabilitation services is the statutory responsibility of all local authorities. However, research shows that provision of the service is a post code lottery. Some local authorities provide no service at all; others provide something very inadequate; some make adequate provision but charge for at least some parts of it.
4: NFBUK’s campaign guide, ‘Support for Sight Loss’ shows that the post code lottery has existed for 100 years, since the passing of The Blind Persons Act in 1920. The setting up of the welfare state in 1947-48 made rehabilitation an aim of local social services, but nothing was done to abolish the post code lottery.
5: ‘Support for Sight Loss’ calls for legislation to end the post code lottery. It should establish the right to independence and the right to participate in the community and should mandate each local authority to employ a number of rehabilitation workers proportionate to the population in the area.
The NFBUK would welcome people who have been affected by this postcode lottery to get in contact please as we would like to hear your stories of how the lack of rehabilitation services has affected you.
For copies of ‘Support for Sight Loss: A Guide to Action for a National Rehabilitation Framework’ you can download it from our website https://www.nfbuk.org/campaign/support-for-sight-loss/ or apply to email@example.com for copies
Contact Mr Andrew Hodgson, President, National Federation of the Blind of the UK
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Landline: 020-8740-1109 and mobile 07765-113327.