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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.




Young Blindness for Beginners

Comedian Tom Skelton, Blogger Joy Addo and BBC journalist Mani Djazmi join Peter White to offer tips and advice for young, visually impaired people on a range of subjects including looking good, eating out, and staying safe on a night out. Presenter: Peter White Producer: Cheryl Gabriel.

Duration: 00:33:44

Poker and Rugby: The Blind Way

How do you compete in a poker tournament when you can't read the cards? Visually impaired competitive player Steve Iglesias shows us how. After losing all or partial vision, many people struggle to get back in to sport. The Warriors Inclusive Rugby Club in the West Midlands has devised a game called Hugby which tries to cater for all levels of vision. And, as the name suggests, involves holding or "hugging" your opponent instead of tackling. Reporter Dave Williams went along to find out...

Duration: 00:18:54

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

Orbit update, Sailing champs

The RNIB hailed the Orbit reader as being a revolutionary development in affordable, refreshable Braille, but since coming onto In Touch in April last year with assurances of it being available within six months, the machine is still not available in the UK. Ian Macrae updates us on the situation and talks to members of the Transforming Braille Group, which is part of the consortium of blind groups supporting the Orbit. British blind sailors won gold medals in the recent World Blind...

Duration: 00:18:46

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

The Braille Legacy Musical, International Blind Tennis

Peter White talks to the author of The Braille Legacy - a musical currently staged at The Charing Cross Theatre in London, which dramatises the life and achievements of Louis Braille, who invented the tactile writing system. Ellie Southwood who has been to see the show, gives a review from a blind person's perspective. Last week in Spain the first international blind tennis tournament was held with 12 countries competing for international rankings. Chris Baily came home with a trophy for...

Duration: 00:18:53

Andrew Bastawrous, Bristol blind running club

Andrew Bastawrous CEO Peek, which is a social enterprise providing technology and support to healthcare providers, which will help them screen people for eye disease. He is currently doing this work in Africa as part of a campaign called Clearly, which aims to find global solutions to improve vision correction. Tom Walker reports from a running club in Bristol which encourages blind and visually-impaired people to run with a guide.

Duration: 00:18:13

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