Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow has recorded audio versions of crucial information around the coronavirus pandemic to ensure it is readily available for blind and partially sighted people.
Since the outbreak, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has found that not all Government information has been made available in alternative formats, leaving many people with sight loss unable to read it. In addition to this, findings from RNIB suggest that 26 per cent of people aged 75 and over who are blind or partially sighted do not have access to the internet, where much of the information about coronavirus is found.
As part of RNIB’s campaign for accessible information, the charity has been working with the Cabinet Office Disability Unit to create audio recordings of the latest information, and they are now available on RNIB’s Helpline.
Jamie Dormandy, Head of Advice and Customer Service at RNIB, said: “At a time when public health information is more important than ever, it’s essential that all of the two million people living with sight loss have access to these guidelines.
“We’re pleased to have worked with the Cabinet Office Disability Unit and Jon Snow on providing audio versions of this information and for their help in supporting blind and partially sighted people during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”
A list of frequently asked questions about the coronavirus pandemic, as well as information on staying healthy, exercise, accessing food and medicine, financial support and statutory sick pay are amongst the recordings that are available.
Jon Snow said: “The coronavirus pandemic has changed life for all of us. With guidelines on how people can keep themselves and their communities safe, it’s of the utmost importance that everyone has access to this information.”
Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, said: “We are supporting disabled people throughout this pandemic and these recordings will offer reassurance and guidance to many, in voices that we all know and trust. Our priority is to ensure our public information remains accessible to all, including blind and partially sighted people, and I commend RNIB and everyone involved for working with us on this important initiative.”
To access the recordings on RNIB’s Helpline, call 0303 123 9999 and press 5. As well as the recordings, callers can speak to RNIB’s advisers about anything related to sight loss, including advice and support related to coronavirus, access to information and shopping, and how to stay connected during this time.
RNIB is able to offer this essential service for blind and partially sighted people thanks to generous donations from the public. To donate and help us continue to deliver this vital service, please visit the RNIB website, or call 0303 123 9999 and press 4.
All media enquiries to RNIB Press Office on 020 7391 2223 or [email protected]
Or, for urgent enquiries out-of-hours, please call 07968 482812.
We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.
RNIB. See differently.
Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk