In these unprecedented times, many of us in London are largely confined to our homes for the foreseeable future. It’s more important than ever that communities pull together and support their most vulnerable during this time. Rules around social distancing in the capital mean that blind and partially sighted people are facing particularly acute challenges, and we want to do everything we can to help connect people, keep spirits high and alleviate boredom!
We have put together this and the connected pages as a resource for blind and partially sighted people in London. We will be adding to these pages regularly and welcome contributions and ideas – please get in touch on: email@example.com.
Follow this link for information about local sight loss charities, relevant organisations and other responses to the challenges around COVID-19 by clicking here (document will automatically download). Follow this link for NHS guidance on how to prevent the virus spreading.
Here you can check the most up to date UK Government advice (5 November 2020)
Applies to: England
COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:
- Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Close certain businesses and venues.
These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:
- prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
- ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
- ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work
On Thursday 5 November these national restrictions replaced the Local Covid Alert Level measures.
The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to and including Wednesday 2 December. At the end of that period, we will return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.
These measures will be underpinned by law. Police and other authorities will have powers to give fines and break up gatherings.
You can help to protect your friends and family by downloading the NHS COVID-19 App to keep updated on the latest guidance from Thursday 5 November
The best iPhone apps for scanning and reading text
Assistive technology expert Graham Page offers his verdict on the Voice Dream Scanner and the Voice OCR apps - how useful and private are they for blind and partially sighted users? Read on to find out!
Have there been times when you have wanted to offer help to a blind or partially sighted person but weren’t sure how to guide? Read this article for practical tips on guiding, and guiding during a pandemic.
Sector advice on sighted guiding
RNIB, Guide Dogs and Thomas Pocklington Trust have published guidance on how to safely provide sighted guiding assistance for blind and partially sighted people
Travel confidence webinar
On 13 August London Vision hosted a travel confidence seminar - online for the first time! We were joined by a speakers from Transport for London to Transport for All, and covered all travel-related topics.
Advice for local authorities considering hosting e-scooter trials
Along with RNIB, Guide Dogs, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Visionary, we have signed this advice document for Local Authorities, outlining our advice around the introduction of e-scooter trials in the UK
E-scooters: London Vision's response
London Vision's response to the rushed legalisation of rented e-scooters in the capital.
Advice for travelling on public transport
With the type of support available and guidance and information being updated regularly, we have put together a few points on what you need to bear in mind when travelling on public transport.
Good video conferencing etiquette - Zoom
Many of us conduct much of our working day over video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, but, do you know the best etiquette when on a video call? Check out this guide to good video conferencing etiquette - for work and socialising!
Me and my mask - a hook up
Jacqui Thomas, Development Manager, joins us on the London Vision blog to write about her dalliance with the world of face masks in the post-COVID19 world.
Early lessons in social distancing
Right at the beginning of lockdown, Development Manager Andy Law wrote about a less than pleasant experience trying to shop. Now, he's back, and talking about the unique experience of shopping while trying to observe social distancing.
Launching a new business in lockdown
In this blog Dr Beverley Duguid talks about launching her brand new wellness and meditation business during a worldwide pandemic.
Mental Health Awareness Week
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week all week and we've put together a few tips on how to try and lift your mood in a time when we're all feeling a bit lonely and isolated.
Setting yourself up on Zoom
Liam O'Carroll has taken the plunge and joined the world of video conferencing. He's finally set himself up on Zoom, and made all the mistakes so you don't have to. Check out his blog to find out more:
Birthday in lockdown
At the start of 2020, our Engagement Manager, Bhavini Makwana, had been planning for a milestone April birthday, only or those plans to be thrown into disarray. Undaunted, her lockdown birthday turned out to be truly special.
Leading an organisation through a pandemic
London Vision's CEO, Cathy Low, talks about her experience of leading an organisation during the pandemic, and how the lockdown is changing ways of working.
Partially sighted, isolated and running
Our Development Manager Jonathan Ward has given himself the unenviable task of training for a 100km run during lock down. Sure, the training is hard at the best of times, but when you've got a visual impairment, social distancing on a run can be tricky...
Pregnant in a pandemic
Living through a pandemic is a new and unusual situation for all of us. But what about if you’re waiting to welcome a brand-new member of your family? Here Alex Pepper talks about what it’s like to live in a pandemic while you and your wife are expecting a baby.
Taxicard scheme - update
London Councils' Taxicard scheme has made some operational changes in light of the pandemic - broadening the scope of its scheme in order to better serve passengers during this time.
Games for lockdown
Now it's half term, and without schoolwork to distract them, children need more ideas for in-home entertainment. Here, Liam O'Carroll recommends some of the best board games for staving off boredom.
Got to keep moving
Need some ideas about how to keep fit during lockdown? Andy Law has been exploring all the different options - from HIIT workouts to gentle stretching exercises.
Coping on my own as a blind person during lockdown
Graham Page is TPT's Access Technology Adviser and he's got some tips on how he's been coping with lock down - including some for shopping when you can't get delivery.
Online shopping: VI people need priority access
Blind and partially sighted people are currently left out of the Government's classification system for priority access to online delivery. This needs to change.
Mindful Visual Awareness
Dr Beverley Duguid has developed an inclusive mindfulness course that combines the practice with visual awareness. Want to try?
Employment advice for the self-employed
Are you self employed? Check out this employment advice, with links to helpful sites.