Blindness Awareness Month

Every October, Blindness Awareness Month helps to raise awareness of the the blind and visually impaired community and the reality of living without sight. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “everyone, if they live long enough, will experience at least one eye condition in their lifetime”. 

An estimated 2.2 billion people around the globe suffer from some form of visual impairment or blindness – including everyone who simply wears corrective lenses. 

It’s something to think about isn’t it?

Can you image how you would work, travel or even buy your groceries if you couldn't see?

Wouldn’t you like to know the places you visit and need to go have done all they can can to make the experience as easy as possible for you?

This is where we can help.

Our Access Audit can help you understand your obligations toward visually impaired customers and those with other disabilities under the Equality Act. It will help you to identify issues with access and sets out options you can use to remove these barriers.

You would be surprised at how easy this can be.

To help you this Blindness Awareness Month, here are five tips from us to help you look after your eyesight.

  1. Watch your sugar intake
    People with diabetes are 25 times more likely to develop blindness or visual impairment than non-diabetics.

  1. Wash your hands regularly
    We don’t realise how many times a day we touch our face and eyes, especially if we wear glasses or contacts lenses. Washing your hands can prevent the spread of bacteria, germs, infections and diseases.
  2. Wear sunglasses in Bright Light
    Protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays by wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
  3. Monitor device time
    We are all guilty of spending too much time looking at screens, phones and monitors. To avoid straining your eyes, take a break from time in front of your electronic devices.
  4. Get them checked out
    Many eye disorders can be easily treated or even prevented through early detection; make sure you visit an optician regularly, even if you don’t think you have any issues. 

Contact us to find out more about our Access Audits.

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Face Masks - Another barrier for the deaf community

Do you know someone with a hearing problem?

1 in 6 of the UK adult population is affected by some kind of hearing loss.

As wearing a face mask becomes the new norm, people who rely on facial expressions and lip-reading are finding themselves further isolated.

For others with sight problems, they are finding it difficult to hear what’s going on if they are wearing a visor style face covering. These can deflect the sound of voices and other noises from their ears.

It’s an issue that has been highlighted for many with face coverings now being compulsory as we go about our regular everyday tasks such as shopping and travelling on public transport.

Not being able to see facial expressions with masks has always been a problem for the deaf and hard of hearing. Unfortunately, it’s taken this pandemic to raise awareness of the issue and for people to realise that seeing someone’s face is so important.

Clear Masks

Clear masks and visors can make a big difference to a lot of people but there can be a cost implication.  In most shops and outlets you can purchase a disposable surgical mask for around £1 but clear masks can be four or fives times this cost.   If you are not affected by the issue, you may not know the difference a clear mask can make or want to spend the money on one.

The Government have promised to deliver 250,000 clear face masks to frontline workers to help those with disabilities but the problem will still remain for those going about their daily lives.

So if you work in retail, hospitality or any other public-facing business, make sure this is something you consider for your team.

It could help make this pandemic easier for millions.