Have you ever had to ask a friend, neighbour, carer or your child to read your hospital test results or appointment letter?
Or asked for details of a health appointment to be sent to you in the format you need, only to receive it as a letter you can’t read?
We often hear from blind and partially sighted people who tell us that they find it difficult or impossible to read crucial health information themselves. I have even spoken to someone who had to ask a stranger to fill in a medical information form as the health service wouldn’t provide her with the format she needed or help her to fill in the form.
Accessible information isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’ or a privilege – it’s a right. Healthcare services are required to provide you the information you need in the format that best suits you.
Health providers and other public services must meet their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments for those with a disability, so that they are not placed at unnecessary risk and experience the same independence and privacy as everyone else.
And NHS providers in Wales should be adhering to the standards outlined in the 2013 All-Wales Standards for Accessible Communication and Information for People with Sensory Loss. Their communication needs must be considered, and information provided in their preferred accessible format - by right and without fight.
We want to ensure that accessible information practices are embedded into the NHS and wider public services as a matter of course.
So I would like to ask you to join in with our easy online e-action. Simply fill in a few details to send a letter to your local Members of Senedd, asking them to commit to action on ensuring that crucial information is accessible for everyone.
We are so grateful for your continued support. This really does strengthen our campaigns and none of our work would be possible without your help.