Six steps to help tackle sight loss

A SIX-STEP guide to support people with sight loss has been adopted by Northumberland County Council.

The move follows a project involving authorities across the region to improve library and information services for blind and visually impaired people.

It involved working with organisations such as RNIB, Calibre and groups of visually impaired people to find out what they want from libraries.

Each participating council has now agreed to follow the best practice guide.

It includes using a questionnaire to assess the reading needs of blind and partially sighted people, making use of a free website for library staff supporting them, providing local collections of large print and audio books, having a strategy for the provision of access technology throughout the library service, designating a champion for the reading needs of blind and partially sighted people and participating in the Make a Noise in Libraries Fortnight, run by the RNIB.

Council Executive Member for Customer Relations and Culture Neil Bradbury said: “It is estimated that there are in the region of 4,000 blind and partially sighted people in the county and they require access to library and information services just like everyone else.

“By taking these six simple, low-cost steps, libraries in Northumberland will be making real improvements to their services for readers with sight loss.”