With a month to go until the Local Authority elections across Wales, RNIB Cymru has set out steps that local authorities can take to support blind and partially sighted people to live independent lifestyles.
RNIB Cymru is Wales’ largest sight loss charity. We provide a wide range of services and support to blind and partially sighted people across Wales, as well as campaigning on behalf of blind and partially sighted people in Wales and raising awareness of the issues they face on a daily basis.
We campaign on behalf of blind and partially sighted people for three main outcomes:
1) that everyone should have access to timely treatment;
2) that blind and partially sighted people should be able to live independently;
3) and that people with sight loss have equal access to opportunities.
As part of our campaigning for the 4 May elections, we are asking local authorities to ensure:
• A register of blind and partially sighted people is kept up to date and benefits of registration are widely promoted;
• There is at least 1 Rehabilitation Officer for Visually Impaired (ROVI) per 70,000 population;
• Members of staff in your contact centre are informed and trained how to refer blind and partially sighted people to a rehabilitation officer;
• You engage with local blind and partially sighted people and local sight loss societies to develop a Street Charter approach that puts a clear highway at the heart of decision-making;
• You consult with your Disability Access Group on all equality issues, and conduct meaningful consultation with them and local societies to ensure you pick up safety issues;
• You provide accessible information for the people you are consulting (including tactile maps);
• All your websites and apps are designed with accessibility needs at the forefront, and your services are not “digital by default” without ensuring blind and partially sighted people are able to access them;
• Your written communication can also be provided in audio, large print and Braille and your contact centres know how to arrange these services;
• There are sufficient Qualified Teacher Visual Impairment (QTVIs) in your local authority area, and if there are teachers coming up to retirement age, that you put in place a succession plan.