RNIB Scotland assures people with sight loss to know they are not alone and that help is available.

Post date: 
Friday, 27 March 2020
Category: 
Scotland

Blind and partially sighted, the majority of whom are older and may have other health conditions, will still have access to services from RNIB Scotland.

"In the current period of uncertainty and confusion it is more important than ever that those who are among the most vulnerable in society still have confidence that they have help and support," said the charity's director James Adams.

Currently, around 170,000 people are living in Scotland with significant sight loss. Although most are over the age of 60, around 3,500 children and young people also have a visual impairment.

"First, and most importantly, our helpline is still open on 0303 123 9999," said Mr Adams. "This can give advice and information and refer people on to other services.

"Information on issues of concern to people with sight loss will also continue to be broadcast, as well as entertainment programmes, by our Connect Radio station, available on Freeview 730 or online. RNIB's Talking Book library can still post or download the thousands of titles we have available in audio and other formats."

The charity's Eye Clinic Liaison Officer service, which offers practical advice and reassurance to people coming to terms with sight loss, will remain in place, although this will be done by phone or email.

Social and leisure interest groups set up under RNIB's Connect initiative, will communicate where possible by social media. The charity's resource centre, selling aids and equipment, remains open for orders online, while support in using new technology will also be available over the phone, as will help and information on welfare benefits.

"We know this is an especially trying time for everyone, especially those who are most disadvantaged," said Mr Adams. "But RNIB Scotland will be here for blind and partially sighted people and their families and carers. We are pressing to ensure that all official information is available in accessible formats, and that the particular needs of those with sight loss are taken fully into account.

"We want people with sight loss to know they are not alone and that help is available."

* The RNIB Helpline can be contacted on 0303 123 9999 from 8am to 8pm weekdays and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. To find out more on what services RNIB can offer visit https://www.rnib.org.uk/sight-loss-advice/covid-19-five-ways-rnib-services-can-help