Reports & consultation responses 2019

Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded engage in policy development and research to take forward our aim to secure positive change for people with vision impairment. 

We believe it is vital that decision makers at every level of government are aware of the needs and experiences of people who are affected by vision impairment when they make key decisions on issues like reform of public services or the future of healthcare.This works is part of securing our vision to see a Scotland in which blind and partially sighted people, including those who have other disabilities, are fully included and live fulfilling lives. On this page you will find details of Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded responses to government and parliamentary consultations, as well as information about policy campaigns the charities are taking forward.

National Transport Strategy

23 October 2019 -  The Scottish Government launched a consultation on its vision for the future of transport for the next 20 years. We took the opportunity to highlight a number of issues of concern for people with visual impairment. While the strategy’s focus on improving accessibility is welcome, it is crucial that a lack of provision, particularly in rural areas, is also addressed. Our response also highlights the inconsistency between local authority concessionary companion schemes for rail travel and calls for national standards for visual impairment awareness training for bus and train staff.  

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What should primary care look like for the next generation?

28 August 2019 - The Health & Sport Committee sought views on its inquiry into primary care. Royal Blind endorses the Scottish Government’s ambition for a greater role for primary care and more health and care services to be delivered in the community. This can be achieved through co-production and collaboration at all levels of government and statutory services. We believe more services and support should be delivered in collaboration with third sector organisations, drawing on the expertise and added value the sector can bring.

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Disclosure (Scotland) Bill

20 August 2019 - Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded welcome  the opportunity to respond to the call for evidence fromthe Education & Skills Committee to inform Stage 1 consideration of the Discolsure (Scotland) Bill. It is hoped the Bill will ensure a robust and efficient legislative framework for safeguarding young people and protected adults in Scotland. We believe the proposals will be beneficial in making the system accessible, simpler and proportionate. There are a number of specific issues we have drawn to the attention of the Committee which are of particular interest to the needs of people living with vision impairment.   

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Falls and Fracture Prevention Strategy for Scotland, 2019-2024

12 August 2019 - We welcome the Scottish Government's Falls and Fracture Prevention Strategy and the comprehensive twelve outcomes. The strategy’s focus on rehabilitation is encouraging but it is crucial this is backed with investment. We have highlighted a number of priorities for further action in areas ranging from shared spaces, family understand and the lack of an integrated approach to care provision.  

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Incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

12 August 2019 - Incorporation offers an opportunity to place children's rights on the strongest possible footing. Our submission calls for the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to specifically strengthen the rights of vision impaired and other disabled children. We support the justification for direct incorporation set out by the Children and Young People's Commissioner and Together (Scottish Alliance for Children's Rights). While UNCRC rights can be interpreted and applied according to the domestic context, the rights themselves must be kept universal.   

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Public Health Scotland - new national body

8 July 2019 - Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded welcome the proposal to establish Public Health Scotland. We believe a renewed focus on integration, promoting self-management and innovative use of data can benefit the growing population of people with sight loss in Scotland. The new body has the potential to play an important role in reducing prevalence of eye conditions improving support for self-management and, through effective use of data, enabling better diagnosis and speedier treatment.    

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Scottish Government consultation on Disability Assistance

27 May 2019 -  Royal Blind is broadly supportive of the proposed approach to the delivery of disability assistance. However, we agree with a number of other organisations who have supported the case for life-long benefit awards and the removal of reviews where the individual’s condition will not change. We welcome the inclusion of 16 to 18 year olds in eligibility for Disability Assistance for Children & Young People but believe this should be extended to age 21.

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UK Government's Strategy for Our Veterans

7 February 2019 - In November 2018, the UK Government published Strategy for Our Veterans, setting out aims and principles to meet the needs of older veterans as well as the wider veteran community over the next ten years. Scottish War Blinded's submission called for the UK and Scottish Governments to work collaboratively to ensure the strategy achieves positive change for veterans in Scotland. It highlighted gaps in provision, particularly for disabled veterans and those living with vision imapirment, and emphasised the importance of signposting veterans to relevant support as soon as they require it.

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Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Scotland) Bill

25 Person on pavement with white caneJanuary 2019 - Royal Blind and Scottish War Blinded responded to the consultation by the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee on the Bill. The legislation would reduce the speed limit on most residential and urban streets from 30 mph to 20 mph.We support the aims of the Bill, which would have a positive impact on vision impaired people. A national restriction on traffic speed to 20 mph on restricted roads would improve safety and accessibility for people with vision impairment on more streets and roads in Scotland.    

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Draft NHS Education for Scotland Strategy 2019-2024

15 January 2019 - NHS Education for Scotland consulted stakeholders on its Strategy for 2019-2024. Royal Blind's response expressed support for the vision and mission statements. We also reiterated our concerns over the need to recruit more staff into social care and improve retention in the sector given the ageing demographic of Scotland. We called for Scotland’s health and social care staff to be equipped with the skills to ensure tailored care can be provided to an increasing number of people with vision impairment, with this number set to more than double to almost 400,000 over the next two decades.

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Equality & Human Rights Commission draft strategic plan

7 January 2019 - The Equality & Human Rights Commission ran a consultation on the aims outlined in its strategic plan 2019-2022.  Despite the progress made in recent years in changing perceptions around disability, Royal Blind believes there is a great deal more to do to challenge successfully the stigma which remains around vision impairment in every area of life. Our submission called for the lack of provision in additional support for learning to be given further consideration by the Commission, as this is impacting on children's human right to education. 

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