support for blind and vision impaired veterans in your area
Blind Veterans UK is urging local authorities to get behind its beneficiary recruitment campaign and ensure that they are signposting as many vision impaired ex-Service men and women to the charity as possible. Blind Veterans UK is the national charity for blind ex-Service men and women, providing free specialist practical and emotional support to help veterans overcome the challenges of sight loss, no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.
Through the charity’s three centres and national network of welfare officers, Blind Veterans UK can build on the work done by local authorities by providing further specialist training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support, along with social activities such as lunch clubs and reunions.
At a parliamentary reception last week, ADASS vice president Harold Bodmer, pledged his support to the campaign and highlighted the importance of Blind Veterans UK in enhancing the work already carried by local authorities across the UK, and ensuring that every blind veteran in the UK knows about the support available.
The event also saw the launch of Blind Veterans UK’s ‘Acceptance, adjustment, achievement’ report, which provides guidelines on best practice of how local authorities and Blind Veterans UK can work together to ensure all vision impaired veteran clients can access vital support.
Currently, there are over 59,000 blind and vision impaired veterans in the UK, most of whom are missing out on the support of Blind Veterans UK, either because they don’t realise they are eligible for support or because they don’t know about the charity. Local authorities are one of the best placed agencies for ensuring a quick referral, as they have a statutory responsibility to contact everyone who is registered severely sight impaired, and could potentially be identifying veterans much earlier in the sight loss journey.
Blind Veterans UK is now urging front line staff to make sure they ask all blind and vision impaired clients they work with if they have a service history, and if they do, refer them to Blind Veterans UK. By signposting veterans to its support, local authorities can also uphold their commitments to both the Armed Forces Community Covenant and the Care Act 2014.
To find out more about Blind Veterans UK, order copies of the ‘Acceptance, adjustment, achievement’ report or to request a speaker at a team meeting or event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Blind Veterans UK’s Survey of the vision impaired ex-Service population, 2015-40.