Promoting the independence of blind partially sighted people at Rehab International World Congress

Post date: 
Monday, 31 October 2016

This month we presented at the Rehabilitation International World Congress in Edinburgh. The world's leading forum brought together experts covering a range of sectors from all over the world to discuss best practice, and work towards creating a more inclusive and accessible society for all.

The event was attended by a number of influential figures and ministers including Penny Mordaunt, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, also pledged her full support for the event. With over 1,000 delegates from over 60 countries, this was a great opportunity for us to represent the sight loss sector on the world stage.

Josh Feehan and Simmone Miller presented the 10 Principles of Good Practice in Vision Rehabilitation. We shared work from RNIB to a new audience - including delegates from South Korea, Denmark, America and Germany. They highlighted the need for these collaboratively produced principles to be adopted by local authorities so all blind and partially sighted people have access to rehabilitation that can help them retain or regain their independence.

Alex Saunders ran a workshop that set out the case for innovative employment support services for blind and partially sighted people. As part of a broader session on inclusion, he equipped delegates with the skills, tools and confidence they need to support working age people with sight loss seeking to find or stay in work. A number of people signed up to receive a copy of the presentation, including representatives from Apple and Thames Water.

John Slade presented findings from our My Voice 2015 UK survey regarding the experiences of accessibility and inclusion among blind and partially sighted people. The survey highlights the challenges around accessing information, employment, travel and technology that are barriers to inclusion.