Tom Brake tries his hand without sight

June 11, 2010 3:20 PM

Tom Brake with the RNIBTom Brake met with RNIB at a parliamentary reception in Westminster designed to give MPs a first hand experience of the everyday challenges faced by blind and partially sighted people.

Wearing a blindfold, Tom tried his hand at the simple everyday task of making a cup of tea within the kitchen area temporarily erected in the House of Commons.

Tom said "I made a real hash of it. Water went everywhere. But it was obvious afterwards that a few simple adjustments can help people remain independent in their own local area and home."

There are nearly 2 million people living in the UK with sight loss, and every day another 100 people start to lose their sight. A shocking 23 per cent of people losing their sight leave the eye clinic without even being certain of the name of the condition that caused their sight loss. The majority are getting no support when they lose their sight - most receive no counselling and are left to cope with their diagnosis alone.

Steve Winyard, Head of Campaigns at RNIB, said "Every week in the UK hundreds of people begin to lose their sight. You might think that support services would be waiting to step in and help, but that's not the reality many people experience. For example, we know that in the weeks after being registered as blind or partially sighted many people will not be visited by social services. A year after losing their sight only about a quarter of people will be offered mobility training to get out and about independently. RNIB is campaigning to ensure that everyone diagnosed with sight loss gets the practical and emotional support that they need to rebuild their lives."

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