Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington & Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health attended a training session hosted by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in Parliament where they and over 100 other MPs learnt more about how to make their services more accessible for people with sight loss.
RNIB’s social media team was on hand to show Sharon how to make their social media more accessible, while their legal rights and eye health team shared information about issues commonly raised through RNIB’s helpline.
Staff and volunteers from the charity’s Technology for Life team, which offers support and training relating to technology and digital services, demonstrated the types of accessibility settings blind and partially sighted people use on smartphones and tablets.
MPs were taught the basics of guiding, by taking part in a blindfold walk with RNIB staff who are guide dog users. A mock surgery was set up to show how activities like form filling can be inaccessible for people with sight loss. The training concluded with a quiz based on statistics around sight loss and inclusion.
Sharon said: “It was really useful to find out more about how we can make sure our services are accessible to blind and partially sighted people. MPs are there to serve all our constituents, and I am pleased that RNIB were able to share their expertise with us.”
RNIB CEO Matt Stringer said: “We were delighted that so many MPs took time out to attend this training session to learn how to better support their constituents with sight loss. RNIB strives to break down barriers and make the world more inclusive for blind and partially sighted people so we hope that the MPs found this training session useful and will put what they learned into practice.”
We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.
RNIB. See differently. Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk