Campaigns

London Vision engages with stakeholders and decision making bodies to effect positive change for blind and partially sighted Londoners.

London Vision focusses on three key campaign areas: transport, health and access:

Campaigns

London Vision engages with stakeholders and decision making bodies to effect positive change for blind and partially sighted Londoners.

London Vision focusses on three key campaign areas: transport, health and access:

Campaigns

London Vision engages with stakeholders and decision making bodies to effect positive change for blind and partially sighted Londoners.

London Vision focusses on three key campaign areas: transport, health and access:

London Vision’s engagement work in this area is driven by contributions from blind and partially sighted people. If you are experiencing access issue in London that is not specifically related to health or transport – such as accessing venues, services, technology and information – get in touch. We can either sign post you to the relevant organisation that actively campaigns in these areas, or we may be able to assist you in advocating for a positive outcome.

3 people around a table laughing
Voting experiences of blind and partially sighted people

In 2021, London Vision worked with Democracy Volunteers to aid their research into experiences of voting for blind and partially sighted voters in London. The research assessed the suitability of current voting procedures for blind and partially sighted people who vote in London.

London Vision worked with Democracy Volunteers to shape a survey to record the experiences of blind and partially sighted voters in London. London Vision also facilitated a focus group with the London Sight Loss Council to help the report authors understand voter experiences, and the kinds of improvements that could help facilitate independent and private voting.

The research objective was to find out what kinds of voting aids would help blind and partially sighted voters to vote independently. Another objective was to make recommendations on how the voting process can be improved for blind and partially sighted voters in the future.

Find out more about Democracy Volunteers’ research and recommendations here.

 

Black and white silhouette of a hand placing a vote in a ballot box
Taxi Card

London Vision is working with London Councils and City Fleet to improve the accessibility of booking, using and applying for a Taxi Card service using both the app and the its website.

This consultation work is ongoing, though COVID has necessitated a pause in some of the work.

London Vision recently held a consultation around the proposed move online of the application process for the Freedom Pass and Taxi Card. London Vision consulted blind and partially sighted people about this move, and fed the responses back to London Councils.

Read more about London Vision’s work with TaxiCard here. 

Read about London Vision’s most recent Travel Confidence event here. 

An image of a black dog

London Vision works with others in the sector to influence positive change in the health sector in London. London Vision maintains good relationships Trusts such as Moorfields Eye Hospital, Whipps Cross and others, and is frequently consulted around changes and improvements in, especially around redevelopment of sites.

Moorfields Eye Hospital:

Bhavini Makwana represents London Vision on the Moorfields ORIEL Advisory Group panel as well as the Partners Forum, consulting on the project to move Moorfields Eye Hospital to the new site.

London Vision recently submitted support for the ORIEL project to Camden Council. You can read the letter of support below:

“London Vision supports the planning application in Camden for the new purpose-built eye care, medical and education centre for the new Moorfields Eye Hospital. London Vision, a sight loss charity based in the Camden area, supports those with a vision impairment who live, work and study in London. We work closely with blind and partially sighted people across the capital, and over 50% of our staff have lived experience of vision impairment.

London Vision knows that the first challenge for eye hospital patients is the journey to the appointment. London Vision’s support of the planning application is dependent on a commitment to provide adequate site accessibility which will ensure that the transition from transport links to the new hospital site is as smooth as possible. Provision of parking facilities is also a key factor. Strong transport links and adequate parking will allow patients to choose their most convenient form of travel for attending their appointments.

When attending by public transport, it is crucial that the moment a patient alights from a train, tube, bus, taxi, or another form of travel there is a safe route to the hospital site. Surrounding streets need to be clear of obstructions, have safe crossing points with corresponding tactile paving and there should be clear signage. Bus stop ‘bypasses’ (where passengers alighting a bus must then immediately navigate a protected cycle lane) should be avoided as they are dangerous for people with vision impairments.

Local businesses need to be made aware of the increase in blind and partially sighted pedestrians and communicated with about vision awareness. This will also help to ensure that people in the area can positively engage if they are asked for directions or sighted assistance to the hospital.

For many patients, attending an appointment at Moorfields Eye Hospital can be an occasion for upsetting news. A stressful or inaccessible journey to the appointment can worsen a negative experience. Taking time to remove barriers in the built environment and making the streets around the new site accessible will help patients attend their appointments.

London Vision supports the plan to move to Camden, but this move must take into account the accessibility of the surrounding built environment”.

Submitted June 9 2021

Consultations

London Vision has a hosted a number of consultations on the ORIEL project, ensuring that the needs and views of blind and partially sighted patients are represented. Moorfields is currently running a survey about the ORIEL project and wants to understand how patients might use the building in the future and what respondents value most when considering its design.

Complete the survey here: https://bit.ly/3g1VIX9

Bhavini also sits on Moorfields Eye Hospital’s Sight Loss Awareness group. As part of this group she champions patient experiences and accessible communication. In collaboration with this group, Bhavini produced the EYES strategy, to encourage patient-first communication.

Find the EYES mnemonic below.

AIRA app

London Vision’s funder Thomas Pocklington Trust is funding an AIRA app pilot at Moorfields Eye Hospital until the end of September. The Aira app links visually impaired patients attending appointments at the hospital’s City Road site to a network of trained, professional agents. It can help people navigate to and around the hospital and aids social distancing by letting them know when someone is approaching, if that person is wearing a mask and if there is directional signage such as spacing guides.

Find out more about the trial here.

Whipps Cross Hospital:

London Vision has consulted with blind and partially sighted patients on behalf of Whipps Cross Hospital, to ensure that their needs and views are taken into account as part of the redevelopment of the site.

London Vision has hosted a number of consultations about the redevelopment, ensuring that the needs and views of blind and partially sighted patients are represented.

London Vision works with others in the sector to influence positive change in the capital to move closer to an accessible and inclusive capital. London Vision maintains good relationships with the Department for Transport, Transport for London and local authorities, and is frequently consulted around changes and improvements in transport provision.

E Scooters:

Much of London Vision’s campaigning and engagement work in 2020 focussed on e scooters. Over the past year, London Vision has engaged with and responded to government consultations on the subject to produce key asks for e-scooter rental companies and for the local authorities planning on introducing them. Our work on e-scooters is ongoing.

You can read a number of these responses below:

Read London Vision’s response to TfL’s announcement about introducing e-scooter trials in spring 2021 (18 November 2020)

Advice for e-scooter operators participating in rental e-scooter trials (24 July 2020)

Advice for local authorities considering hosting e-scooter trials (24 July 2020)

Read London Vision’s response to the Department for Transport’s consultation on e-scooters (3 July 2020)

Read London Vision’s response to the announcement of London trials beginning on 7 June (18 May 2021)

Cashless journeys

In 2020, Transport for London began exploring becoming totally cashless across London’s transport network. In December 2020, London Vision consulted with blind and partially sighted Londoners that use the network, as well Eye Clinic Liaison Officers, Rehab Officers, representatives of sight loss organisations in the capital and members of local sensory teams to gather feedback and opinion on the proposed changes.

The consultation made plain that many blind and partially sighted Londoners had grave concerns about the move, and the impact it would have on disabled and elderly traveller, as well as Londoners who do not have a bank account.

As of 20 January 2021, the move was paused, and you can read our response below:

Cashless journeys on the TfL network: London Vision’s response (22 January 2021) 

Following the London Vision consultation, TfL commissioned the independent research agency, 2CV, to explore how cash is used in wider society and on the transport network. The research focussed specifically on groups of customers with protected characteristics and people on low incomes. The results of this research can be read here.

Following this research and as a result of the work of campaigners and advocates like London Vision’s Bhavini Makwana, in June 2021, TfL announced that it would reinstate cash in nearly all the stations that had become cashless at the start of the pandemic.

You can read London Vision’s response to this move below:

Cash acceptance reinstated across Transport for London network (6 July 2021)

If you have been impacted by TfL stations going cashless, please get in touch with Bhavini Makwana on info@londonvision.org