How are all you lovely people doing?
I’d like to carry on from my previous blog about the different resources I found through adapting to my blindness.
I have recently been researching into RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People). This is a UK wide charity for blind and visually impaired people of all ages. After connecting with Henshaws, my local charity, I found they didn’t have certain things I needed and, just like a beauty regime, you may need to go to one salon for your hair and another for your nails and waxing because they don’t provide what you want or need. There is no shame in keeping your options open as I believe this can provide the best possible outcome for yourself, and in the situation of coping with newly found blindness, I believe that the more help and information you can get, the better chance you have of coming to terms with it and reclaiming your independence.
The RNIB was founded in 1868 and is 150 years old so it has a mighty knowledge and support network. At first, it frustrated me that the things they offered were mainly based in the south, mainly London. Then I found a lot of their online facilities really helpful. Their online library and newspapers are fab! I was using Audible, which is great but quite expensive for a membership. The RNIB library enables me to access a wide range of books and newspapers for free and it works with a phone app called Easy Reader. They also have a network called RNIB Connect where there is a live chat to enable you to talk to others that are experiencing similar problems to you. The Connect newsletter keeps you up to date with RNIB, advertises upcoming events and they also interview extraordinary people. All of these are available in different formats so it is more accessible.
The RNIB info line provides help with independence in the home, independent travelling, help with work, help with finances, community opportunities and counselling services amongst others. They have a dedicated helpline and a recorded information line that you can call any time of the day to get information about the different eye conditions and services they provide. That number is 0203 432 1488. Their live helpline is 0303 123 9999.
I have called the helpline several times and they are very helpful and understanding. They have helped me access support and social groups in Manchester and surrounding areas, so if you are not a southern dweller like myself, then they can still help you access what you need to reclaim your independence.
I truly believe that the more education and direction people with sight loss receive, the more they can live their lives to the fullest. We are only human just like everyone else. RNIB is so well known and they promote sight loss throughout the country to sighted people in order to create awareness. This, I believe, is a huge help to people with sight loss as the more we can educate sighted people, the less we will be pigeonholed by them.
I want to say a personal thank you to RNIB for the help they have given me to date. I will definitely continue to use their services where needed.
Thanks again for reading and speak to you soon.
Sending love and light,