RNIB and election transcript part1 - RNIB - supporting blind and by liuhongmei


									RNIB and the Election - Transcript (part 1)
UK Parliamentary Manager Dan Scorer talks about the
main improvements for blind and partially sighted
people during the last parliament
Dan: I think probably the biggest achievement in the last parliament is the
equality act, which has just gone through and we've got some really great
changes in that legislation that will benefit blind and partially sighted people,
specifically things on access to information - so making it very clear that if a
service provider doesn’t give a blind or partially sighted person information in
their preferred format, that's unlawful. That was previously stated in the
Disability Discrimination Act but we've got the clearest reference yet to that.
Also there's some very important stuff around employment - saying that
employers can't ask question about someone's disability prior to offering
them a job. Two thirds of working age blind and partially sighted people are
out of work, one of the very strong indications we've always had for that is
that employers discriminate against people at recruitment stage filtering out
their applications. This now means that they won't be able to do that, they
won't be able to ask questions about people's disabilities and I think certainly
for blind people, or people with mental health problems, this could be a huge
change in terms of their employment prospects. So that's a major
achievement. Of course the other one is the Disability Living Allowance
campaign, and the government agreeing to give blind people access to the
higher rate mobility component of the DLA worth an extra £30 a week and
coming in April 2011.

Will a change in government impact on any of these?

Dan: It could impact on some aspects of the equality act. There are
significant parts of it that have to be brought in through regulations which
need to go through parliament and be approved. The Conservative party in
particular has concerns around some areas of it which they may look at
again were they elected so there could be some impact from that point of
view. On the Disability Living Allowance issues; I don’t think so because the

                                                                  RNIB 2010
Tories were extremely supportive all the way through so I think whatever
party's in power they'll want to make sure that blind people get access to
that extra money.

RNIB - Supporting blind and partially sighted people.

                                                                RNIB 2010

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