Sir George backs RNIB Campaign
24 Apr 2007
Steve Winyard & GY
Steve Winyard & GY
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Sir George struggles with the small print

Today, Sir George joined with the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) and Royal Mail Group to find out more about the daily problems facing 3,000 people with sight loss in North West Hants, when trying to independently access written information.

At a reception in Parliament, Sir George took the "access to information challenge," by trying to read everyday information, such as hospital appointment letters, local government and financial information. But the information was distorted to simulate how someone might see it if they had a common eye condition, such as diabetic retinopathy.

" RNIB's access to information challenge provided a very useful opportunity to really think about just how much printed information we encounter every day and just how much of it cannot be read by people with sight loss. I am supporting the access to information campaign because I believe it is absolutely crucial that people with sight problems are able to get the information they need about their about finances, health and many other areas of their daily lives without having to rely on others. I will be working with local service providers to improve the amount of information that is accessible for people with sight loss in Hampshire."

Steve Winyard, RNIB Head of Public Policy and Campaigns, said:
"With at least 3,000 constituents who are unable to read standard print, Sir George has joined with RNIB to challenge local service providers to make their information available in large print, audio and braille.

Blind and partially sighted people are being sidelined when it comes to accessing information. For many of the two million people in the UK with a sight problem, obtaining information in a form they can read remains an every day challenge. Although laws are in place saying they should be able to receive information in a format they can access, all too often this doesn't happen. And yet, relatively small adjustments can mean the difference between inclusion and exclusion."

Notes to editors:

The Parliamentary Reception was sponsored by Royal Mail Group which provides a free postal service for registered blind people.

To accompany the campaign, RNIB has produced the "Information is Power" series, which looks at provision of accessible information in a number of key areas - the high street, public libraries, health services, local government, schools and television. The series sets out the difficulties people with sight loss encounter and the things that can be done to improve their access to information.

RNIB has also developed the "See it Right" guide, which provides practical tips and advice, including a how-to guide for producing accessible information for electronic and print media and easy steps for producing braille and audio formats.
For more information, contact (insert your contact details).

For further information about the Access to Information campaign please contact the Campaigns Hotline on 020 7391 2123

For further media information from RNIB contact Yashoda Sutton or Paul McDonald in the RNIB Press Office on 020 7391 2223 (out of hours mobile 07968 482 812).
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