RNIB Cymru launch Welsh elections 2016 manifesto
RNIB Cymru (Royal National Institute of Blind People) launched its 2016 elections manifesto today (Wednesday).
Candidates from six parties took part in a hustings event chaired by ITV Wales journalist Catrin Haf Jones. Ahead of the debate, candidates were also invited to take part in a blindfold walk wearing “sim specs”, which simulate different types of eye conditions, to experience what it is like to navigate with sight loss.
RNIB Cymru is campaigning for the next Welsh Government to recognise the challenges that remain for people in Wales with sight loss and wants all six parties to commit to their key manifesto asks.
Some of RNIB Cymru’s key manifesto asks are for:
· Ophthalmology targets for treatment to be intelligent targets.
· Sustainable funding for Eye Clinic Liaison Officer services in all Local Health Boards.
· All blind and partially sighted children to have timely access to a Qualified Teacher for Visual Impairment (QTVI)
· Public transport information to be accessible with audio announcements on buses, coaches and trains.
· A commitment to accessible information, communication and the built environment.
RNIB Cymru is campaigning for all parties to be ambitious and lead the way in the UK in eye health and equality policy.
RNIB Cymru Director Ceri Jackson said:
“Every day in Wales five more people begin to lose their sight. Sight is the sense we fear losing most and in the next twenty five years the number of people with sight loss will double.
“No one should lose their sight because of cancelled or delayed appointments. That's why one of our manifesto priorities is to ensure that patients have access to timely appointments and treatment. Improved outcomes in ophthalmology will lead to better health overall and make savings in other areas of the health service.
“Sight loss affects every aspect of your life, from accessing education, finding a job to catching the bus to your local supermarket.
“We want this next term in the National Assembly to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have access to support and services to remain independent in all aspects of life. We want people to receive the support they need int he eye clinic at the point of need and we want to make sure that the people of Wales look after their eyes.”