Blind And Partially-Sighted People Make Sure Their Voice Is Heard On World Sight Day

Every year on the second Thursday in October, many organisations across the globe come together to promote the messages of World Sight Day. These include the Sight Loss Councils across the country. Sight Loss Councils are groups of volunteers, all of them living with sight loss in some form that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. They advocate and campaign on issues faced by blind and partially sighted people in their local community in order to influence positive change.

Sight Loss Councils are working to make improvements in services for blind and partially sighted people in areas such as Education, Employment, Health and Social Care, Technology, Transport and Sport and Leisure. Currently, there are Sight Loss Councils in Birmingham, the Black Country, Bristol and Merseyside. More are planned for Gloucester, Manchester and Tees Valley.

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness, the aim of which is to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is organised by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, who believe that universal eye health is an important health goal and it can be achieved with collective support.

Some of the projects the Sight Loss Councils are involved with on a local level include:

  • Working with employers to promote the benefits of hiring blind and partially sighted people and holding engagement events for Disability Confident employers
  • working with bus companies ensuring all audio announcements on buses are working properly and that drivers are trained to assist passengers safely
  • Working with hospitals and GP practises to make sure blind and partially-sighted patients have their needs properly met when they are in hospital of visiting their surgery

Emma Hughes, Director of Services for Thomas Pocklington Trust, the charity that supports the Sight Loss Councils said:

“Thomas Pocklington Trust believe that blind and partially sighted people should be able to access services on the same level as everyone else. We are passionate about empowering people with sight loss in the community to stand up for the issues that matter to them and continue to work with them to create positive change across the country.

We’ve had some great success and that is down to our volunteer members – the passion and lived experience they bring is what makes Sight Loss Councils unique.”

For further information or to find out if there is a Sight Loss Council near you, please contact [email protected]