Blackburn and District Blind Society

BDBS EYE

The Blackburn and District Blind Society Background Details.

Blackburn and District Blind Society is a registered charity number 519938. We are a local society providing services that support people in the community who are partially sighted, blind and may often have other disabilities.

We attempt to meet the needs of people of all ages, ethnicity and backgrounds. We operate a telephone befriending service that provides weekly telephone calls to people with a visual impairment and who may have other disabilities or be isolated or lonely. We also provide home visits for people who may have mobility difficulties.

We can provide information, advice and signpost people and their families or care givers to appropriate support services, we can provide information in various formats including large print, audio and Braille.

We are the official agents for the British Wireless for the Blind, providing accessible radios free of charge to people who are registered blind.

We have a range of equipment to try or purchase including talking clocks and watches, magnifying glasses, LED and Daylight lighting units, white canes, rollerball and assorted tips, liquid level indicators, bump-ons and writing aids. We will obtain specific items of equipment on request.

We loan Perkins Braille machines to registered blind or visually impaired people for a small quarterly charge. We have high magnification viewers available for our service users to use by appointment.

We have a small number of computers that are audio enabled that allow us to offer basic computer training for our service users.

We run a Vision Loss Support (VLS) service to provide advice, information and demonstrations for people with a sight loss, their family and care givers. We will provide an opportunity to meet other people with similar experiences. We provide information that will cover topics such as eye health, certification and registration, maintaining and improving independence, benefits and your rights and how to access statutory services and lots more including recreation activities, availability of large print and talking newspapers, magazines and books. The service is also available at home for people with a mobility difficulty at a small charge.

We provide classroom presentations to schools and colleges to promote awareness of living with a sight loss and to other groups on request. We can provide staff training for business and agencies that enable staff to be aware of issues associated with sight loss, these training sessions can meet the specific needs of a customer or client base.

In partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) we are hosting monthly technology help sessions that enable people with a sight loss to start to use iPads, mobile telephones, laptops, Kindles or any piece of modern equipment that may also allow them to get online.

In partnership with Blackburn Lions Club we are a collection point for the deposit of used spectacles. The spectacles are sorted by the Lions and sent to African people who have visual impairment free of postal charges.

Our teams of volunteers operate the Blackburn and District Talking Newspaper based on the Lancashire Telegraph. We also produce a monthly Talking Magazine taken from a wide variety of sources. Both are available digitally each week for a small annual subscription.

We host coffee mornings on the 4th Thursday in the month that also including specialist information talks and trade equipment demonstrations and also sales of unwanted or outdated equipment.

We host the local Macular Support Group for people with this condition, where they can meet with others who have a similar condition and to hear about ways that could improve their experiences. The group invites guest speakers from social services, BwD Council Support Services, other support agencies and trade equipment demonstrations.

We run a varied number of events and outings for our blind and visually impaired members, shopping trips, Museum visits, canal/lunch walks, fairs and street collections.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing society news, events, local and national news regarding vision related topics, including the latest developments in treatment and eye care.

The Society does not receive any regular funding support from council or government and is dependent upon donations, legacies, and collections to continue its work in supporting local blind and visually impaired people.

For further information please contact.

Blackburn and District Blind Society, Suite 4 – Unit A, NJK House

Wilkinson Way, off Haslingden Road, Blackburn, BB1 2EE,

Telephone: 01254 698683, email: bdbs.vi.support@btconnect.com

Or visit: www.bbsoc.org.uk