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Access for People with Sight Loss

In a recent blog, Anita Lightstone encourages organisations to think more about access for people with sight loss

July 2013

Anita Lightstone (Interim head of Vision 2020 UK Strategy Group) a cross sector partnership in UK Health set up to lead the implementation of the UK Vision Strategy across the UK in reducing the unprecedented level of sight loss in the UK.

The Strategic Advisory Group meets throughout the year to review progress and plan collaborative work.

Anita blogs “I have just watched a very good TV programme about Guide Dogs, which was about the breeding, training and matching the dogs to the right person.  One of the key reasons for people wanting to have a dog seemed to be about independence – being able to go out and about, when and where they want to.  This is something that most of us take for granted, but the issue of getting around is key to everyday life.  Do health providers think about the needs of people with sight loss when designing services?  What I have heard recently leads me to think not.  Moorfields Eye Hospital has a green line painted from the underground to the hospital entrance helping people with sight loss to navigate the route.  A simple and inexpensive way to help make premises more accessible for people with sight problems.  This is just one of many simple, inexpensive adaptations that can help. One in four people over 80 have some degree of sight loss, so a lot of people would benefit.  People providing services – just ask an organisation linked to blindness and they will give lots of advice about how to make services accessible.  People with sight loss and organisations engaged in this area – get out there and raise awareness of what helps, don’t wait to be asked.  Together, we can make the world accessible to more people!”


Mylocaloptician Ed’s Comments:

Disturbing enough to know that one in four of the over eighties have some degree of sight loss. But of greater concern is the known fact that a greater percentage of these can be significantly improved by acting on the results of a free eye test.  There’s much work to do as National Eye Health Week comes nearer. In the UK we consider ourselves as a caring society so why don’t we intervene with constructive advice to elderly friends and relatives?

Visit our Better Vision for the Elderly Pages

 
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