Northern Ireland news

People living with sight loss in NI still face barriers in areas including transport

A new report from RNIB NI has found that people living with sight loss in Northern Ireland continue to face barriers in areas including transport, access to employment and receiving timely healthcare. Andrea Begley, RNIB’s Northern Ireland Chairwoman, said the report had the "potential to kick-start a better era for blind and partially sighted people here where our voices are heard and concerns addressed". Picture: Hugh Russell
Marie Louise McConville

PEOPLE living with sight loss in Northern Ireland continue to face barriers in areas including transport, access to employment and receiving timely healthcare, a new report has revealed.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People in Northern Ireland (RNIB NI) will today call on politicians, policy makers and partner organisations to join them in ending the inequalities faced by blind and partially sighted people in the north at the launch of its Northern Ireland Engagement Report at Parliament Buildings.

The report highlights a number of issues raised by some of the 53,500 people in Northern Ireland who are blind and partially sighted.

Issues include access to technology, emotional support and life skills training and social care and support for children, young people, families and carers.

It was also found that while some people living with sight loss are living relatively independently, many others still face barriers in key areas such as transport, accessible health information, receiving timely healthcare, community connection, employment, and general equality of access to services.

RNIB NI now plans to take its priorities for change out to a series of regional meetings, bringing together blind and partially sighted people, partners and key decision makers to examine how it can collectively create a society where there are no barriers to people with sight loss.

Andrea Begley, RNIB’s Northern Ireland Chairwoman, said the launch of the report had the "potential to kick-start a better era for blind and partially sighted people here where our voices are heard and concerns addressed".

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