Reports and consultation responses 2020

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.

Equality & Human Rights Committee: Covid-19 inquiry

jcrop preview11 June 2020 - People living with visual impairment have been significantly and disproportionately affected by the virus and the response to it. Our submission calls for urgent action to address the difficulties blind and partially sighted people have faced accessing supermarkets and food deliveries. We also call for a public awareness campaign on the challenges for people with sight loss with physical distancing and set out the implications in areas including transport, education and care. 


Covid-19 Committee Inquiry

jcrop preview22 May 2020 - Our submission focuses on three questions the Committee set out in its call for evidence. We have outlined several impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic for blind and partially sighted people and highlighted three key priorities: visual impairment impact assessments on easing restrictions, conducted in consultation with blind and partially sighted people; the need for public health information to be available in accessible formats; and a public awareness campaign on visual impairment and social distancing.


Scotland's AI Strategy

jcrop preview8 May 2020 - The Scottish Government ran a consultation on its Articial Intelligence Strategy. Eye health is an area where AI has particular potential to deliver ground-breaking progress, and the benefits are already being realised. We welcome the focus in the consultation document on data-driven technologies. Due to technological advances in producing images of the eye and retina in the course of eye health checks and eye examinations, for the first time ophthalmic big data from the general population can be used to research markers of early disease. 


Education & Skills Committee: Vulnerable Children

24 April - Royal Blind welcomes the decision of the Education and Skills Committee to jcrop previewprioritise the wellbing of vulnerable children and young people during the Coronavirus outbreak as one immediate focus for its work. We have focused on three areas identified as being of concern for vulnerable children: access to food; the level of provision for children and young people with ciplex additional support needs; and contact and support received by children with additional support needs not attending school or childcare hubs. 


Health & Sport Committee: Social Care

 20 February 2020 - The Health & Sport Committee carried out an inquiry into social care for adults over 18 years. It is important that person-centred social care is guided by an inclusive, human rights-based approach. Our submission called for consideration to be given as to how this will be achieved for all protected groups. Currently, many people with visual impairment are facing unfair and unnecessary barriers to accessing care.


Social Security - Draft Mainstreaming Equality Outcomes

31 January 2020 - As part of the development of the first Equality Strategy, Social Security Scotland asked for views on its draft mainstreaming equality outcomes. We have called on the approach and culture set out for Social Security Scotland to tackle current flaws in the system which discriminate against disabled people. We also want to see progress effectively measured through the Equality Impact Assessment process. 


Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions) (Scotland) Bill

Royal Blind School pupil accompanied by a teacher 23 January 2020 - Royal Blind welcomes the proposal for a Transitions Bill. Managing transitions is consistently one of the biggest challenges for the children and young people we work with. We believe too many young people with visual impairment do not have the support they need in the transition to adulthood, and this can have a lasting impact on their lives. A transitions plan would put in place clear, agreed objectives and timescales. It would help to manage expectations and better prepare the young person for moving into adulthood. A National Transitions Strategy would help ensure accountability and place transition planning on a statutory footing.