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In Touch


News, views and information for people who are blind or visually impaired. Presented by Peter White every Tuesday evening from 20:40.

News, views and information for people who are blind or visually impaired. Presented by Peter White every Tuesday evening from 20:40.
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London, United Kingdom




News, views and information for people who are blind or visually impaired. Presented by Peter White every Tuesday evening from 20:40.




Audio description for adverts, Employment

Peter White and guests discuss the implications of the Government's green paper on employment and disability, and its new target of finding jobs for one million more disabled people in the next ten years. Marve King, who recently featured in the BBC 2 series Employable Me, talks about his experience over six years of unemployment. Richard Kramer, Deputy CEO of the charity Sense which provides support to people with complex communication needs, gives his response to the Government's plans....

Duration: 00:18:59

Christmas Presents

Peter White is joined in the studio by author Red Szell, keen cook Chris McMillan and blogger Joy Addo, to talk about their suggestions for the best and worst Christmas present for a person with little or no sight. One of the suggestions was to buy people an experience or tickets to an event, as this would also involve the gift of the giver's time.

Duration: 00:19:31

Hallucinations, AI Apps

When they lose their sight, many people start to suffer from visual hallucinations. These can be very distressing and many people suffer in silence as they fear it is the onset of mental illness. Doctors are often unaware that hallucinations are common in sight loss and the experience is called Charles Bonnet Syndrome - named after the Swiss naturalist who first described the condition in 1760. Judith Potts has founded of a new support group for Charles Bonnet Syndrome sufferers. Esme's...

Duration: 00:18:53

Careers in Broadcasting

Lucy Edwards is a highly successful vlogger and is currently training to become a broadcast journalist for the BBC. Sean Dilley is a reporter and programme maker who has worked for a range of broadcasters, including the BBC. The two compare notes on their different media and share their experiences. Producer: Cheryl Gabriel Presenter: Peter White.

Duration: 00:19:09

Colliders - Tactile Hadron, Pedestrians and 'A' Boards

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw tells Peter White why Bradford City Council have taken the decision to implement a total ban on advertising boards on pavements. Stuart Ross lives in Ilkley and is one of those who campaigned to get the ban introduced. Tom Walker visits St Vincent's School in Liverpool where a new tactile version of the Hadron Collider is being shown to blind and partially-sighted science students. The scientist behind the project is Dr Rob Appleby who described the tactile collider to...

Duration: 00:19:05

Inaccessible white goods

News, views and information for people who are blind or partially sighted. Jackie Brown wants better access to domestic white goods, which don't require sighted help to set up. Robin Christopherson from AbilityNet, suggests smart options which use apps, speech and wifi to enable a blind person to take control of their domestic appliances. Jackie is concerned however, that not everyone is comfortable using smartphone technology and the demise of the button and tactile switches will leave...

Duration: 00:18:48

Does it matter if your partner can see or not?

A question often-asked of blind and visually impaired people, by both sighted and other blind people, is "is your partner blind or sighted?" Peter White explores the reasons behind this question, and blind and visually impaired peoples' reaction to it. Guests: Amie Slavin, Jonathan Mosen and Rob Murthwaite. Presenter: Peter White Producer: Lee Kumutat.

Duration: 00:19:10

An experienced actor and a young poet talk about the impact of their visual impairment

16-year-old Grace Marsh talks of her vision loss and her poetry aspirations. Actor Karina Jones lands an iconic role as a blind character.

Duration: 00:18:55

Hearing the Solar Eclipse?

21-year-old Allan Hennessey was born in Iraq totally blind. His parents applied to the UK for him to undergo laser surgery, which restored a minimal amount of vision in one eye. Later Allan and his family settled in the UK on a council estate in east London. While attending a mainstream school, he rejected all attempts to teach him to read braille or adapt to his visual impairment, preferring to rely on the support and safety net of the multicultural community in which he thrived. In high...

Duration: 00:18:55

Sudden sight loss

In August 2016 it became mandatory for health and social care providers to offer patients written information in whichever format they required - whether that be via text, email, braille, audio or large print. The implementation of what is called the Accessible Information Standard has recently been reviewed with mixed results. We put some listeners' experiences of getting required information in a required format from the NHS to Olivia Butterworth from NHS England. Peter White talks to...

Duration: 00:27:38

Specialist travel and audio-described circus

What's the best approach when it comes to holidays for blind and partially sighted people? TravelEyes is a company which takes both blind and sighted people on holiday - the visually impaired traveller pays full price, and the fully-sighted person pays up to 50% of the full cost and agrees to guide and describe the attractions for the visually impaired travellers. But what if you have an additional need like a hearing impairment? The travel company says that in some cases, customers who...

Duration: 00:18:49

Tech Advancements for Home and Away

A look at the range of specialist and non-specialist gadgets available for identifying objects and travelling around. Joining Peter to share their experiences of solutions offered by technology are guests Jackie Brown, the incoming chair of the British Computer Association of the Blind, and Dave Williams, a freelance trainer on technology. If you'd like to find out more about the products discussed in tonight's programme please call the Radio 4 Action Line on 0800 044 044 for the next 24...

Duration: 00:18:55

Baking Blind and Moving house

Two listeners to In Touch talk about some of the obstacles they faced when looking to move. Danielle Burgess is looking for a new home to rent, and is discovering how separate she feels from the process because everything needs to be described to her. Ben Rendle, his visually impaired partner and their family recently bought a flat off-plan and had to find a way of envisaging it for himself. Penny Melville-Brown has baked all her life, and didn't stop when she lost her sight seventeen...

Duration: 00:19:01

Changing jobs, Washington State's blind governor

Cyrus Habib lost his sight when he was eight, and in January this year aged 35 took up an elected position as Lieutenant governor of Washington State in America. He talks to Peter White about walking the fine line between sympathy and empathy when campaigning, and how technology is helping him do his job. Listener Nick Adamson has been working for the same company in the same role for the last 12 years. He has no immediate plans to change jobs, but says contemplating a career move when...

Duration: 00:19:03

Why Can't I Sleep?

Blind people with no light perception can suffer from a variety of sleep problems. Its now been proved that for the majority of blind people with no light perception, the lack of light makes it impossible for a gland situated in the brain to produce sufficient levels of a hormone called melatonin. This can lead to circadian sleep disorders which can occur when the body clock does not fall into a regular rhythm. Blind listeners tell In Touch about the impact poor sleep can have on their...

Duration: 00:26:56

Retirement angst, Self-defence

Listener Mike Kelly lost his sight in his thirties, shortly after he'd finished his training as an architect. He underwent intensive rehabilitation and has had a successful full time career in the civil service. Now aged 65 Mike has chosen to retire. Mixed in with the excitement of starting a new chapter in his life, he has some fears and concerns as well. David Black who has Retinitis Pigmentosa was attacked three times. Despite having studied martial arts he felt unable to defend himself...

Duration: 00:18:52

New partially sighted MP Marsha De Cordova

After a ten year career holding various roles in national blindness charities, in 2014 Marsha De Cordova entered the world of politics when she became a councillor in Lambeth, south-east London. Last Thursday evening, she unexpectedly won the seat of Battersea from the Conservative minister Jane Ellison with a 10% swing. Born with nystagmus, a condition which makes it difficult for the eyes to focus, she is planning to champion disability rights as she takes her seat in Parliament later...

Duration: 00:17:16


Rachael Andrews wanted to vote in the general election held in 2015, but when she and her blind husband arrived at her polling station, the device that was supposed to be in place to help them vote secretly and independently couldn't be found. She launched a legal challenge against her local authority to try to change the situation. She tells us why and what the outcome was. Don't worry if you haven't waded through all seven political party manifestoes, BBC political correspondent Gary...

Duration: 00:18:44

Daniel and Michael Smith

Due to a genetic eye condition, identical twins Daniel and Michael Smith both lost their sight when they were 18. Now, seven years on and following their much published story, the brothers talk to Peter White about the impact their blindness has had on their lives in the intervening years. They speak candidly about the stress they have experienced working in very visual jobs in the City of London. Michael is about the qualify as a lawyer and Dan is working as an investment banker. They...

Duration: 00:18:34

Lovers not Carers

Kirsten Hearn and Red Szell join Peter White to talk about their personal experiences of having their lovers mistaken for carers, when they are out together. The panel all offer advice on how to deal with awkward situations, including when a member of the public or shop assistant asks a 'does he take sugar?' type question. Presenter: Peter White Producer: Cheryl Gabriel.

Duration: 00:18:46

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