“End 100 years of post code lottery’, blind people say
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of people with disabilities guarantees two crucial rights: the right to independence and the right to participate in the community.
- Professionally qualified rehabilitation workers can teach people undergoing sight loss to achieve these rights and overcome the frightening experience. Workers are trained to teach skills such as independent mobility, personal care and digital literacy.
- Delivery of vision rehabilitation services is the statutory responsibility of all local authorities. However, research shows that provision of the service is a post code lottery. Some local authorities provide no service at all; others provide something very inadequate; some make adequate provision but charge for at least some parts of it.
- NFBUK’s campaign guide, ‘Support for Sight Loss’ shows that the post code lottery has existed for 100 years, since the passing of The Blind Persons Act in 1920. The setting up of the welfare state in 1947-48 made rehabilitation an aim of local social services, but nothing was done to abolish the post code lottery.
- ‘Support for Sight Loss’ calls for legislation to end the post code lottery. It should establish the right to independence and the right to participate in the community and should mandate each local authority to employ a number of rehabilitation workers proportionate to the population in the area
For copies of ‘Support for Sight loss: a Guide to Action for a National Rehabilitation Framework’ email NFBUK.
At its Annual General Meeting on 10 September, NFBUK will devote a special afternoon session to this issue. The lead speaker will be Mr. Simon Labbett, Chair person, Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network. The AGM will be held virtually and participants have been invited from other voluntary organisations concerned with sight loss, such as the Royal National Institute for Blind People and the Guide Dogs Association for the Blind.
For further information, contact Mr Andrew Hodgson, President, National Federation of the Blind:
Sir John Wilson House