Here at The VIP Lounge Campaigns Office, we actively get involved in and promote campaigns that make life easier and safer for Visually Impaired people. These campaigns include:
* Access All Areas
* The NHS Accessible Information Standards
* Streets ahead – making our streets safer by removing A-boards etc.
* Talking Buses
Among the many things we do to bring the latest campaign news to everyone, we attend regular transport meetings; Swap With Me events and approach bus companies regularly to find out how they are making improvements to their fleet. Although The Bus Services Bill is undergoing readings in Parliament, we are making sure that Visually Impaired people have a voice when it comes to driver training and audio/visual announcements on buses throughout the UK.
On a local level, October saw The VIP Lounge took action against a sandwich shop in Oxford for refusing a member access with his guide dog. He was passing through the shop to access a business above but was left in the embarrassing situation of conducting his business on the street. You can read his full story here http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/14780029.Cafe_apologises_after_shopper_and_his_guide_dog_were_refused_entry/. Members of The VIP Lounge, along with their assistance/guide dogs, attended the store to raise awareness of the legal implications of refusing guide dogs on, or to pass through, their premises.
In February 2016, another member was refused access to a taxi when returning home from shopping accompanied by his guide dog. His full story can be found here http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/14265536.Taxi_driver_convicted_of_refusing_to_take_blind_man_and_guide_dog_home/. The VIP Lounge supported this member throughout this process which resulted in a successful prosecution.
These and other campaigns are featured on The Coffee Bar, a magazine-style radio show on The VIP Lounge Worldwide, part of The VIP Lounge Radio Group. Every weekday between 11 am and 1 pm, we discuss issues that affect Visually Impaired people. The link for this can be found here http://theviploungeradio.com:9000. Other topics featured include:
Assistive technology in “All About Tech”;
Accessible products and services to help you around the house
Sports and social activities to encourage wellbeing and social interaction
And much more.
If you have a campaign that you would like us to get involved with, please get in touch.