Local Action Team
Action for Blind People is a national charity with local reach. Our Middlesbrough team has deep roots in the local community, which helps us to best meet the needs of our blind and partially sighted service users. This grassroots approach is consistent across all of our offices throughout England.
Action for Blind People’s core services are available throughout England:
For blind and partially sighted people, maintaining independence is vital, but independence means different things to different people and that’s why our Independent Living services are tailored to meet the needs of the individual.
We support our service users in exploring the different choices available to them - from housing to welfare rights and managing personal budgets - ensuring that blind and partially sighted people are afforded choice and opportunity, have control over decision making and can maintain independence at all stages of sight loss and throughout their lives.
Our employment services span from helping blind and partially sighted people get job ready to supporting people whose sight loss means that they have to make a career change. Our relationships with national and local employers have enabled us to raise awareness about employing blind and partially sighted people; our experiences helping service users find the right job, become self employed or set up their own businesses ensures that we understand the range of employment choices available and can support blind and partially sighted people in making the right choices and to have happy and productive careers.
Technology is a great enabler for blind and partially sighted people, with both mainstream and assistive technologies offering plenty of choice. We help and guide our service users through the many different technology tools available to support them in work, at home and on the go.
Our knowledgable and experienced team supports blind and partially sighted people in making the technology choices that suit their needs and their budgets. From screen readers to magnifiers, from smartphones to tablets, and mobile apps to braille readers, we are here to ensure that technology facilitates greater independence for our service users.
Support for children, young people and families
Our services for blind and partially sighted children, young people and their families are designed to provide the tools for children and young people to grow up and feel part of inclusive society. We work with families to ensure that parents and guardians can make informed choices about the lives of the children and young people they are responsible for, and that they understand how blind and partially sighted people live rich and fulfilling independent lives. We support the transitions from primary to secondary school and from further or higher education into employment. The complexities of living with sight loss can seem daunting for young people and their families and we are here to ensure they feel supported.
The benefits available to blind and partially sighted people differ based on many factors - age, employment status, income, severity of sight loss amongst others, and our highly skilled welfare rights team keep up to the minute on what benefits are available, what is changing and what is being proposed. Our welfare rights officers advise and support blind and partially sighted service users to ensure they can access the benefits available to them should they choose to do so. Our teams are also here to provide information and resources about changes that affect our service users and we get involved in supporting campaigns that affect blind and partially sighted people.
Blind and partially sighted people face many challenges in their daily lives; when sight loss impacts on decisions about where they live and how or if their homes can be adapted to meet their sight loss needs, our resourceful housing team offers sensible and sensitive advice and support.
We make certain that our service users understand their rights and are equipped with the information they need to make the very important choices affecting where they live and the adaptations necessary to safeguard them. We offer support across all aspects of housing - from helping homeless blind and partially sighted people find sheltered accommodation, offering advice to those who are concerned about how they will adapt their home to their degenerating vision or want to know if there is affordable housing in their area. As housing issues for blind and partially sighted people differ from region to region, our local teams work with other local agencies, such as housing associations and local councils, to provide the best solutions possible for our service users.
Our specialist services
In addition to the core services we provide throughout England, our Middlesbrough team offer specialist services to meet the needs of our local community.
2011/12 in numbers
2445 - Number of people receiving support/service from the Middlesbrough team for the first time this year.
1943 - Number of people accessing ECLO services.
97 - Number of people receiving specific confidence building intervention.
202 - Number of people who received support to gain their appropriate benefit entitlement.
504 - Number of people that received face to face support on products/aids that support independent living.
38 - Number of visually impaired people who have retained their job.
262 - Number of clients achieving their desired reading outcome.