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In Touch

BBC

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

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

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

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

Language:

English


Episodes

In Touch: The Return to University

9/21/2021
In this special, we speak to visually impaired students about the new university term.

Duration:00:20:00

The Return to University

9/21/2021
September marks the start of the new university term. We hear from some visually impaired students who are returning to their studies. They tell us about their experiences with university life so far, and what they're expecting from this new academic year. We also hear from a former disability student advisor about what support is available for visually impaired students and from Rachel Hewett from the Vision Impairment Centre For Teaching and Research at the University of Birmingham, about...

Duration:00:19:01

Ofcom on Audio Description; Audio Only Video Games

9/14/2021
Audio Description has been around for over 30 years: it is filling in the silences on TV, films and the theatre so that blind and partially sighted people can follow the action easier. The current legal requirements for audio description, for all of the major broadcasters, is set at 10% but there are currently no legal requirements for on-demand streaming, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime etc. We speak with one of the Principals in Ofcom's Content Policy team, Cathy Taylor about Ofcom's...

Duration:00:19:38

Social Media Special

9/7/2021
It is claimed that social media is so popular these days, that there are now more people using it across the globe than are not. But how easy is it to navigate and participate in when you're blind or partially sighted? We'll be speaking to two social media influencers, who are using different platforms to educate people about sight loss. We'll also be speaking to Facebook and Instagram's head of accessibility, Mike Shebanek, about what they are doing to ensure ease of use for visually...

Duration:00:18:54

Gold! At The Tokyo Paralympics; Gyms Doing Good Things

8/31/2021
Over the weekend, Team GB's visually impaired athletes won multiple medals: including gold across the cycling, swimming and judo. We check in with our reporter Mani Djazmi who brings us details of those medal wins and interviews with some of our gold medallists. And there could be many reasons why you'd be put off visiting the gym. It could be perceived attitudes or thinking that gyms may not provide the necessary adaptations for you. Well, under the Equalities Act, it is a legal requirement...

Duration:00:18:15

Paralympic Games; The Art of Blind Photography

8/25/2021
Recently, there has been some criticism about the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games going ahead, due to a rise in coronavirus cases in Tokyo. Despite this, the games have commenced and on the show, we hear about how they were justified from the President of the International Paralympic Committee, Andrew Parsons. And our reporter Mani Djazmi is in Tokyo and will be telling us who to look out for and about the atmosphere within the Tokyo site, given the pandemic restrictions. And it may seem...

Duration:00:19:04

Disability Strategy and Employment

8/17/2021
It may not come as a surprise to you that, for many years, unemployment rates amongst blind and visually impaired people have been consistently high. This is despite government efforts to combat this. Well, the recent release of two reports has put disability employment back on the agenda. We ask the Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson about this government's plans, outlined within their new disability strategy, to get more blind and visually impaired people into work. And the...

Duration:00:18:55

Audio Description; Goalball Classifications

8/10/2021
During the lockdown period, we all added an extra 40 minutes a day, on average, onto our TV watching time; whether that was watching live TV or via streaming platforms. But are there sufficient levels of audio description available able to accompany this increase? We'll be asking this of some TV consumers and looking into the minimum legal requirements for audio description, set by the UK's regulator of communication services Ofcom. Goalball is the sport designed to be played by blind and...

Duration:00:18:58

Assistive Technology For Pupils; Comedian Jamie MacDonald

8/3/2021
Home learning can be difficult for blind and visually impaired children. But the charity Guide Dogs is aiming to change that with their new Tech for All scheme. Within the pilot of the scheme, Guide Dogs are aiming to provide free iPads to around 3,500 children to help them with their school work and overall independence. We talk to the charity's Director of Operations, Peter Osborne about the background to the scheme and we hear from a family who have benefitted. If you've not heard of him...

Duration:00:18:51

A Paralympics Special

7/27/2021
There has been more than a year of uncertainty about whether the Olympic and Paralympic games will actually go ahead in Tokyo this year. The Olympics are already in full swing and the Paralympic games will start on the 24th of August. Ahead of the games, we hear from two visually impaired para athletes, Alison Peasgood of triathlon and Elliot Stewart of judo, about how the past year has been. We hear about their training and fitness levels and how they're feeling about heading to Tokyo to...

Duration:00:17:41

Photo ID At Polling Stations; Network Rail On Tactile Paving

7/20/2021
Plans to require voters to show photo ID at polling stations were recently introduced in Parliament under the Elections Bill. But The RNIB are concerned that this will make the electoral process even less accessible for blind and partially sighted voters, who are seemingly disproportionately less likely to hold a passport or driving licence. We talk to the RNIB's Director of Development Keith Valentine about the charity's concerns surrounding this. And we get some answers from Network Rail's...

Duration:00:19:55

Tactile paving at train stations; Braille and assistive technology

7/13/2021
There have been some promising signs emerging from Network Rail over the last 12 months around the installation of tactile paving on the edge of their train station platforms. But tonight, we're questioning whether action is being taken quickly enough to make train stations a safer place for blind and visually impaired rail users. Last year, a Freedom of Information report showed that 35% of the UK’s train platforms did not have tactile paving. But what is the situation a year on? We revisit...

Duration:00:19:01

Wheelie bins; Becoming a new parent

7/6/2021
Fern Lulham sits in for Peter White. Wheelie bins pose yet another potential obstacle for blind and visually impaired people when navigating pavements. North West Leicester City Council will potentially be able to impose fines to people who leave their wheelie bin on the pavement after bin day. Residents could be liable if there is an accident due to the obstruction. They have recently launched a consultation exercise, that will ask local residents about their thoughts on how to pave their...

Duration:00:19:02

Further Education Support; Braille versus Assistive Technology

6/29/2021
A longitudinal study by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research at the University of Birmingham and the Thomas Pocklington Trust, identified key challenges experienced by blind and visually impaired people when they moved on to Further Education. It also found that many did not gain quality employment despite earning qualifications in line with the general population. And is assistive technology making the learning and usage of braille more scarce? We want to hear your views...

Duration:00:18:53

Isolation; Echolocation

6/22/2021
The disability charity Sense are calling on the Government and local communities to prioritise disabled people as the country plans its way out of the Coronavirus restrictions. It's been laid out in their ‘Left out of Life’ report, which reveals the extent to which people feel worried about going out and anxious about measures like social distancing. We speak to the charity’s CEO, Richard Kramer. Echolocation has long been endorsed as a way of helping people who are blind or partially...

Duration:00:18:50

Accessible Covid Testing; Working from Home

6/15/2021
Rapid lateral flow tests for Covid-19 were criticised earlier in the year for not being accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. The government promised to do better, but did it happen? Spectators are making a welcome return to some of the big sporting events of the summer, including Test matches and the European Football Championship, but they are only allowed into stadiums if they can show proof of a negative lateral flow test or double vaccination. Are you itching to get...

Duration:00:18:53

Lighting in the Home; E-scooters Pt 2

6/9/2021
Getting the right lighting in the home can be life-changing for people who are blind or visually impaired. Tonight we get a preview of a new guide due to be published by the sight loss charity Thomas Pocklington Trust which gives solutions to some common lighting problems. We invited one of our listeners, who emailed in about the subject, to put the questions to the author. And, after a big response from you on our item about e-scooters, we speak to one of the three operators of the trials...

Duration:00:19:35

A Genetics Special

6/2/2021
In this special programme, we examine the role genetics plays in both the inheritance of sight loss and its future treatment. We hear about the latest breakthrough reported in the journal 'Nature Medicine' in which the vision of a completely blind man was partially restored using light-sensing proteins first found in algae. He was treated with a type of therapy called optogenetics, which uses the proteins to control cells at the back of his eye. And we discuss the merits of gene testing with...

Duration:00:19:51

Electric Scooters; Fans Return to Stadia

5/25/2021
New figures show there have been over 200 injuries and 1,100 complaints to local authorities since the trial of electric scooters began in 50 towns and cities across the UK. Sight loss charities are calling for stricter enforcement of existing regulations to keep people who are blind or visually impaired safe. And we speak to blind or visually impaired football fans as they make a welcome return to stadia.

Duration:00:18:49

A Technology Special

5/18/2021
The pandemic has accelerated our use of the digital world, meaning accessible websites and apps have never been more important. So who's doing it well and who could do better? We've been collating your examples of website accessibility and put them to Robin Christopherson from AbilityNet, who offer advice for companies and public bodies on making their online platforms suitable for people who are blind or visually impaired. Also - we review the latest software to be included on the Amazon...

Duration:00:18:45