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News, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted

News, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted


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News, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted



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Testing your vision at home with Moorfield Eye Hospital's app; More tips from writers

When attending hospital appointments became so difficult during the pandemic, Moorfields Eye Hospital developed an app that allows you to keep track of your vision at home. It links the user up with a specialist who can monitor the results for any changes and decide whether a face-to-face appointment is really necessary. We get the verdict of one listener who's been using it. And after our recent interview with visually impaired writers sharing their experiences of getting published, we hear...


The Death Of Blind Rail User Cleveland Gervais

We focus on the death of Cleveland Gervais. Cleveland was blind and, one year ago, he fell from the platform edge and was struck by a train at Eden Park Station in South East London. There was no tactile paving strip on the edge of the platform he fell from. The Rail Accident Investigation Branch has now released its report into what happened. We hear from the Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents Simon French, Cleveland's partner Sekha Hall, rail safety expert Clive Wood from Guide Dogs and...


A Legal Battle Over The Accessibility Of Covid Information; The Helen Keller Doubters

We hear from Sarah Leadbetter who's mounted a legal challenge over inaccessible Covid related information. She argues the government did not give her accessible details about shielding. She's now been granted a judicial review at the High Court. And the famous life of the American deaf-blind author and disability rights activist Helen Keller is well documented. So why have doubts emerged online, particularly among younger people, that cast doubt on all she achieved? We'll hear from visually...


Assisted Guidance On London Underground; Audio Description For On-Demand TV

Transport For London's Mark Evers talks to Peter White about why their physical assisted guidance keeps being withdrawn. Now it's reinstated again, will they be able to keep it that way? And our reporter Johnny Cassidy looks at the world of the binged TV box set. Why isn't audio description available on every episode when a box set is placed on an on-demand TV service? Channel 4 took some time to make audio description available via its All 4 service for every episode of its new hit show...


Covid Vaccination Experiences and RNIB London Move

We hear from In Touch listeners who've now had the first of their Covid vaccinations. How did they hear about where to go? What was the process like when they actually got the jab? And the RNIB has announced it's selling off its London HQ. The search is on for smaller London premises. RNIB Chief Executive Matt Stringer tells us why they need to make this move. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


Covid Testing & Vaccinations: What You Need To Know

Peter White hears some of the problems being experienced by visually impaired people when it comes to getting tested for Coronavirus. And how to make sure you know when it's your turn to get a vaccination. Among our guests is GP Dr. Anshumen Bhagat and Sarah Lambert from the RNIB. There's a link on this programme page to the RNIB website for further guidance when it comes to getting an accessible Covid test. PRODUCER: Mike Young.


It's All About The Apps

Two of our reporters, Fern Lulham and Emma Tracey, tell Peter White about the apps they use in their daily lives. And we hear from the boss of StitchFix UK about their efforts to make online clothes shopping easier if you're visually impaired. Fern Lulham has also featured on the BBC World Service Digital Planet programme to talk about "Blindness In The Digital Age". You can hear more of that programme here: IN TOUCH PRODUCER: Mike Young


The New "Passenger Assist" App For Rail Users; Royal Art Works On Show

The UK railway industry's new "Passenger Assist" app is finally being launched in March. It was supposed to be introduced in 2019. We hear from the app's designers and from a visually impaired rail user who's given the app a try. And the new descriptive Zoom sessions opening up access to royal artworks. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


A Paralympics Special

We hear from some of the people affected by the delayed Paralympic Games after Covid restrictions led to Tokyo 2020 being postponed. Can the games really go ahead in 2021? Looking ahead to the 2021 games are Paralympics GB’s Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe, judo stars Chris Skelley and Dan Powell, 2016 gold medal winning runner Libby Clegg and Tim Reddish from the International Paralympic Committee Governing Board. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


A Writers' Special

Peter White speaks to three visually impaired writers about how they got started. What tips do they have for someone hoping to get published themselves as a poet, a playwright or novelist? What part does blindness play in their creative work? Our guests are Claudine Toutoungi, Mandy Redvers-Rowe and Tanvir Bush. PRODUCER: Mike Young


The RNIB's New Chair Of Trustees Anna Tylor

Anna Tylor, the new Chair of Trustees at the RNIB, talks to Peter White. She's joined the charity after its gone through reputational and financial challenges in recent years. Anna has previously chaired the Vision Foundation and Dyslexia Action. PRODUCER: Mike Young


Accessible Town Centres; A New Guide Dog During The Pandemic

The battles to get our town and city centres more user friendly for the visually impaired. What can we learn from Australia? Brisbane based accessibility expert John MacPherson is our guest. We hear from Peter Osborne of Guide Dogs about the renewed efforts to link up animals and owners during the pandemic. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


Tactile Paving on Railway Platforms; Heading Home from University for Christmas

It's emerged more than a third of the UK's railway platforms are still without tactile paving. It was designed thirty years ago to make it very clear to a blind or visually impaired rail user exactly where the edge was. Caroline Pidgeon, a Lib Dem member of the London Assembly, asks how long will it take before this safety measure is universally installed? As university students across the UK prepare to head home for Christmas, we hear from two first years who are visually impaired. How has...


Freeview Play's New Accessible TV Guide; Calls to Save the RNIB's Giant Print Library

We hear about the newly launched Freeview Play Accessible TV Guide which you can find on channel 555. We hear from Gavin Ellis who led the development of it. And calls to save the RNIB's giant print library which is due to shut in January. Are the alternatives to a borrowed large print book, particularly for younger readers, going to be as good? PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


Covid Restrictions: Care Homes And London Underground

Peter Wilkins tells us about the loss of his wife who died in a care home he was barely allowed to visit due to Covid restrictions. He says the isolation felt by those with sight loss in care homes is unbearable. And London Underground changes its policy for blind and visually impaired users. Physically assisted guidance is resuming after it was stopped for eight months due to Covid. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


The RNIB Closes Its Giant Print Library; The Disordered Eye On The BBC iPlayer

The RNIB says its closing its giant print lending library in January next year. We hear from the RNIB's Director of Services David Clarke. The disabled artist and film-maker Richard Butchins will be telling us about his latest TV programme. It challenges the importance of good vision in making great art. The Disordered Eye is on the BBC iPlayer now and is available with audio description. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


The RNIB Closes Its Giant Print Library; The Disordered Eye On The BBC iPlayer

News, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted


Voting In Elections

Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith and RNIB Chair Eleanor Southwood discuss the technological changes being introduced to help blind and visually impaired people vote independently and in secret. We also look at the situation in the US and hear how technology is helping voters cast their votes in the race to the White House. PRESENTER: Peter White PRODUCER: Mike Young


Futsal Star Steve Daley; Blind Actors in TV Ads

Peter White chats with Steve Daley who, at the age of 43, retired as captain of England's partially sighted, 5-a-side "Futsal" team after last year's World Cup final. Futsal is FIFA's recognised version of small-sided football. In total he represented England at nine World Cups and nine European Championships, winning Silver and Bronze medals along the way. The FA has now offered him the Head Coach role which Steve has accepted. And, with a new TV advert featuring a blind actress, we'll hear...


Dry AMD; Mona Minkara On Her Global Public Transport Experiences

News of a global study into dry age-related macular degeneration. Its aiming to help experts understand the role genetics may play in the disease. Professor Paulo Stanga from the London Vision Clinic talks us though what the study involves and how you can take part. There is a number to call if you want more information about this trial. It's 01438 532 142. The link for more details is also on our website. Also in this programme, the public transport challenges we face as we travel around...