What World Upside Down is calling for and how we are working to achieve it

Post date: 
Monday, 13 July 2020
Other campaigning
Image shows the Piccadilly Lights billboard with various adverts, including the RNIB logo, turned upside down.

Our World Upside Down campaign has been reaching out to sighted people to explain the challenges many blind and partially sighted people are experiencing when trying to social distance.

We’ve also been doing much, much more to tackle the challenges of social distancing.

In May, we launched research into the impact that social distancing is having on blind and partially sighted people and made recommendations to MPs and the Government, based on these insights.

We are asking the Government to:

  • Issue guidance to service providers, businesses and employers to explain how to make social distancing measures accessible;
  • Communicate to the public why people with hidden disabilities, such as sight loss, find it more difficult to social distance, and reduce the stigma on people unable to do so;
  • Create tailored guidance for blind and partially sighted people on social distancing, including clear rules around guiding;
  • Ensure all updates about coronavirus are easily available in formats blind and partially sighted people can read. Ensure apps and testing are accessible.

To help with public awareness, MPs began sharing our social distancing films on social media and several questions have been raised in Parliament on these issues.Kenny MacAskill MP posed the following:

  • To ask the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, what steps he is taking to reduce the stigma faced by people with hidden disabilities, including sight loss, who find it difficult to follow social distancing rules.

Shadow Minister for Disabled People, Vicky Foxcroft MP, who we met earlier in the year to discuss access issues around supermarkets, raised the following question:

  • To ask the Minister for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care, what steps she has taken to ensure blind and partially sighted people can be guided safely during lockdown.

Kate Osamor MP recently quoted a statement from our Director of Services, David Clarke, to explain the challenges of social distancing in Transport oral questions in Parliament. She shared her video of her asking the question on her twitter feed.

Additionally, two weeks ago, we had a positive meeting with Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, to talk about how we can work together to help achieve our recommendations.

Every day this week (13 to 17 July), we’ll be running through the progress we’ve made on each of these policy recommendations, and letting you know how you can help take these issues forward and raise public awareness of the World Upside Down campaign.

Visit our campaign homepage for more information.