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04
OCT

The Cost of Living Crisis; Discontinuation of Sonata

Our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss hasn't yet offered assurances to people receiving disability related benefits during the current rises in inflation and wider cost of living increases. This has concerned visually impaired grandmother and benefit receiver Kim Jaye. We invited her onto the program to explain her current situation and her added costs due to her visual impairment. The RNIB only last week handed in a petition to the Department for Work and Pensions about how the cost of living crisis is impacting visually impaired and blind people. Their Director of Insight and Customer Voice, David Aldwinckle explains the contents of the petition and their future plans to help blind and partially sighted people through the cost of living crisis.

The British Wireless for the Blind Fund have announced that they are to be discontinuing their Sonata Internet Audio service by the end of October. Kim O'Neil uses the service and explains to us why the device offers such an important and unmatched service and the Fund's Jenny Cameron tells us the reason behind the discontinuation.

Presenter: Peter White
Producer: Beth Hemmings
Production Coordinator: Liz Poole
Website image description: Peter White sits smiling in the centre of the image. He is wearing a dark green jumper with the collar of a check shirt peeking at the top. Above Peter's head is the BBC logo, Across Peter's chest reads "In Touch" and beneath that is the Radio 4 logo. The background is a series of squares that are different shades of blue.
27
SEP

Pig Skin Corneas; My Sound Cinema; The Visual Dimension Project

Dr Peter Hampson is the Clinical Director of the Association of Optometrists and we invited him onto the program after hearing about a rather unusual cornea replacement method to come out of Sweden; scientists there have developed replacement human corneas out of pig skins. We ask Dr Hampson whether this could become a viable solution to tackling the UK's cornea shortage.

A Edinburgh based accessible technology company called Screen Language are soon to release a new streaming platform, strictly for audio described movies. It will launch on September 30th called My Sound Cinema. It aims to be a one stop shop for audio described films of a variety of genre. Elena Zini is Screen Language's founder and she gives us the details about their new platform. Kim Milward is visually impaired and a major film fan, we invited her to tell us and Elena whether My Sound Cinema is something that she would consider using.

And we sent producer Beth Hemmings to Leeds to listen in on a music performance by a group of visually impaired people who had been working with percussionist Mendi Mohinder Singh. The music was performed on some rather unorthodox instruments...

Presenter: Peter White
Producer: Beth Hemmings
Production Coordinator: Paul Holloway
Website image description: Peter White sits smiling in the centre of the image. He is wearing a dark green jumper with the collar of a check shirt peeking at the top. Above Peter's head is the BBC logo, Across Peter's chest reads "In Touch" and beneath that is the Radio 4 logo. The background is a series of squares that are different shades of blue.
20
SEP

Safety: On The Streets & Early Health Screenings

Sarah Leadbetter and her friends could of had a near miss on the streets of Manchester when they veered into a road. They weren't aware they had done this as there was no kerb, tactile paving or crossing box to indicate the change between pavement and road. This was the straw that broke the camel's back and she will be taking the Department for Transport to a judicial review to mainly assess the legal safety guidance and requirements for the height of kerbs. Sarah joins us to tell us more about it. Andrew Hodgson is the President of the National Federation of the Blind of the UK and he shares his thoughts on this case and also on e-scooters, after Kent County Council have decided to discontinue their trials in and around Canterbury.

Keeping with the theme of safety for this program, we hear from GP Katie Elliott about how blind and visually impaired people can access cancer screening programs. She wants to know from you how you have navigated such programs and from your experience, how you'd improve the service. She explains more about the screenings available to you, when you should be having them and more.

Presenter: Peter White
Producer: Beth Hemmings
Production Coordinator: Paul Holloway

Website image description: Peter White sits smiling in the centre of the image. He is wearing a dark green jumper with the collar of a check shirt peeking at the top. Above Peter's head is the BBC logo, Across Peter's chest reads "In Touch" and beneath that is the Radio 4 logo. The background is a series of squares that are different shades of blue.
13
SEP

Access to Voting Consultation; Braille Book Swap Scheme

Tributes to Her Majesty the Queen and how Poppy Levison got her job within architecture.

The Electoral Commission have launched a public consultation that will gather the opinions and experiences of disabled voters, with the aim of making voting more accessible. Ailsa Irvine is their Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance and she explains why this consultation is necessary, given the recent passing of the Elections Act, how information provided will be used and when we will see the effects.

We hear your responses to our item on last week's program about how you are now experiencing The RNIB's Braille Library Service, following on from updates to the system last year. Somewhat of a makeshift response to these changes came from Tim Pennick, who set up a braille book swap mailing list. He explains how his scheme works.

To participate in the braille book swap mailing list, contact: braillebookswap+subscribe@groups.io

To participate in the Electoral Commission's consultation, use the following link: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/our-views-and-research/our-consultations/consultation-draft-guidance-returning-officers-assistance-voting-persons-disabilities. You can email EAConsultation@electoralcommission.org.uk or call 0333 103 1928.

Presenter: Peter White
Producer: Beth Hemmings
Production Coordinator: Paul Holloway

Website image description: Peter White sits smiling in the centre of the image. He is wearing a dark green jumper with the collar of a check shirt peeking at the top. Above Peter's head is the BBC logo, Across Peter's chest reads "In Touch" and beneath that is the Radio 4 logo. The background is a series of squares that are different shades of blue.

4 episodes