The below is shared on behalf of RNIB Cymru.
Our Manifesto. Please read more in the link below.
RNIB Cymru is delighted to share our Manifesto for the upcoming local authority elections. In writing this, we have been led by the experiences and stories of our most engaged blind and partially sighted Campaigners across Wales, and we have made sure that our calls are simply echoing their words.
Local elections may not capture the headlines in the same way that their national counterparts do, but they give us something that national elections cannot – a chance to focus on what our local area means to us. We have an opportunity to think about what we want the places where we choose to live and spend our time to look like. Whether you have full, some, little or no sight, everybody should be able to lead independent and inclusive lives, without facing inequity and discrimination.
Welsh local authorities play a vital role in empowering people with sight loss to live independently in their local area. Blind and partially sighted people are more likely to rely on local council run services, such as public transport and social care. Therefore, local decision makers must understand how services are experienced by their blind and partially sighted residents, and how the decisions they make affect them in the long term. Our manifesto specifies what we are asking of Welsh local authorities and shows ways to support blind and partially sighted residents.
During Campaigner discussions, the one word that came up every time was understanding – understanding needs, understanding experiences, and understanding aspirations. That is why we are calling for local authorities to fully understand sight loss and embed that understanding in the decisions they undertake. This underpins all of our Manifesto asks, but practical steps that councils can take are to
- appoint a dedicated lead for sight loss
- review the level of specialist rehabilitation support available to blind and partially sighted people in your area
- provide fully accessible information and communications
- establish or improve engagement with blind and partially sighted people
- prioritise pedestrians on your pavements by designing safe and accessible streets
- review the accessibility of sports facilities and/or leisure centres
You can read our Manifesto for the full details, and use it when prospective councillors come knocking, to ask them if they will pledge to become a Sight Loss Champion if elected and commit to understanding sight loss.
Your Vote = Your Voice
Remember, on 5th May 2022, you will have a chance to use your vote to shape the decisions that are made in your local area. Your vote represents your voice, and it’s important to speak up! If you don’t vote, someone else gets to speak for you – and it’s crucial that blind and partially sighted people are heard.
As RNIB campaigns for better accessibility around voting, it’s still important to participate in the upcoming elections. Please get in touch with us and share your voting experiences – the good, the bad and the downright inaccessible!
Post your voting related stories on our RNIB Connect Cymru Facebook groups, tag @RNIBCymru in a tweet with the hashtag #BlindVotersCount or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can use your feedback to shape our future engagement with Welsh and UK Governments.
Please share and happy voting!