April 2020 is a very special month for blind and partially sighted people in Britain.
Although many people might not be aware of its significance, it marks the centenary of a huge step forward for the rights of people living with sight loss in Wales and the rest of the UK.
On April 5th 1920, blind and partially sighted people set off from different locations across the UK and marched to London in the name of equality. Almost 40 people set off from Newport, South Wales, reaching Trafalgar Square on April 25th.
Their action led to a significant change in disability rights and created the Blind Person’s Act 1920 - a law that was the first of its kind.
Now, 100 years later, we’re marking the anniversary in a very special way. Though sadly we are not able to gather in person to celebrate together at this challenging time, we are asking people to use their one exercise a day to remember this event and take their own steps for equality.
All you need to do is film yourself on your phone explaining that you are celebrating the centenary of the Blind March and why you are taking part. You might like to talk about what you think has changed for blind and partially sighted people in the last 100 years and what still needs to change, what you think equality means and why it’s important, and any personal experiences of inequality you have faced and why this isn’t acceptable in today’s society.
Simply share your video with us on social media with the hashtag #BlindMarch and join our online movement.
Gareth Davies, from Cardiff, is celebrating the march via video and said: “Many people might not be familiar with the history of the Blind March, but it marked an important step forward for blind and partially sighted people’s rights across the UK. We might not be able to commemorate the march in person at this time, but we can all come together to remember this landmark event in a small but significant way.
“We have come so far in 100 years, but there are still barriers that need to be broken down. We all have causes that we would like to push forward. I will be marching to raise awareness of employment for people with sight loss, and Rhian is marching to highlight her campaign against dangerous pavement parking. I hope many more blind and partially sighted people across Wales share their own videos for equality throughout April.”
Join us as a volunteer campaigner to follow in the footsteps of these campaigners! To find out more about the Blind March, visit: www.rnib.org.uk/campaigning/marching-history.