Our Vision and Values

Key Life Chances

We want to improve “Key Life Chances” so that blind and partially sighted people have the same life chances as everyone else. Namely, a good education with choices in transitioning to secondary school, college or university; positive employment with equal opportunity to progress; to keep fit and healthy and to feel fully included in the fabric of society.

Our Strategy

At the core of our mission lies our vision of creating an inclusive and equitable society for blind and partially sighted (BPS) people. We dedicate ourselves to supporting BPS people in achieving equity and inclusion in both society and their own lives.  Our activities span fundamental life touch points of BPS people, like education, employment and health, mirroring those of the general population. Our strategy offers comprehensive support across education, employment, volunteering and leadership. We actively work with BPS people to advocate for systemic changes through campaigns, research, grants, partnerships, and initiatives addressing local, regional and national barriers. Our work is deeply rooted in the BPS community, prioritising their voices and lived experiences, fostering authenticity, and positioning us as leaders of positive change.

  • Our four key long-term aims

    1.   To attain better education and transition outcomes for young BPS people and students

    BPS people face consistent challenges, including an educational gap impacting employment and social inclusion, persisting from early education through GCSEs. Additionally, BPS children struggle with lower wellbeing and mental health issues into young adulthood.

    2.   To reduce unemployment amongst BPS people of working age and to increase the number of employers making their workplace accessible

    BPS people face ongoing employment challenges, with a 27% employment rate compared to the general population’s 81%. This disparity, unchanged for a generation, lags behind other impairment groups. Recent research emphasises its significance, as BPS people rank employment as their second most significant life barrier.

    3.  To have full access to all health services for BPS people and remove barriers limiting the overall health, fitness and wellbeing of BPS people

    In the UK, two million people experience sight loss, projected to double by 2050, with half being preventable. However, only 64% receive NHS care within the 18-week limit. This inequity affects BPS people, making them twice as likely to experience unhappiness or depression than the UK average. Urgent healthcare and support improvements are needed.

    4.  To advocate and campaign for more inclusive, accessible and equitable communities and society at large

    A third of BPS people find public transport challenging, with over half facing navigation difficulties. Another third prioritise reducing street clutter reduction for improved mobility, while nearly half experience public prejudice and discrimination.

  • Addressing these challenges demands strong leadership, a positive organisational culture, effective relationships, resource management, and focused strategic objectives

    1.    Influence, raise awareness and change attitudes

    We aim to raise awareness and change attitudes to create a fairer, more inclusive society for BPS people, through the direct advocacy and campaigning work of our staff and volunteers from our 20 Sight Loss Councils (SLCs). Our lived visual impairment experiences bring authenticity to shaping future change. We will:

    • Support SLCs in local, regional and national campaigns.
    • Deliver priority campaigns, focusing on transport, the built environment and health.
    • Advocate and respond to consultations (local and national) on behalf of BPS people.
    • Conduct periodic consultations to shape services, campaigns and grants.
    • Test political engagement at various levels.
    • Provide secretariat support for the Eye Health and Sight Loss All-Party Parliamentary Group.
    • Support Eye Health Strategy proposals and contribute to the Private Member’s Bill.
    • Evaluate SLC approaches in devolved nations and refine strategies for Wales and Northern Ireland.
    • Develop Student Voices and Young Voices.
    • Use our influence and connections as staff, volunteers and trustees. 

    2.   Deliver specialist services that meet our priority areas of need

    We will provide high-quality services to support BPS people in pursuing and maintaining employment and education, offering quality information, advice, and guidance to them and their supporters. We will:

    • Secure external accreditation for key advice services.
    • Establish referral routes with partners and explore joint working opportunities.
    • Support the sector-wide establishment of the Children and Young People Pathway and Curriculum Framework.
    • Contribute to sector-wide employment strategies and Access to Work improvements.
    • Expand and enhance our internship programme Get Set Progress.
    • Improve our technology support linked to services.

    3.    Work in partnership with others who share our aims

    We will maintain our effective partnerships, supporting grants and research to enhance BPS lives and collaborate to amplify our impact and achieve our goals. We will:

    • Expand partnerships to enhance equity of access and quality for BPS people.
    • Focus on targeted partnership development with organisations sharing our vision or adding value.
    • Increase influence through cross-sector collaboration for a more inclusive model.
    • Enhance representation across communities through sector-wide efforts.
    • Align grants more closely with our strategy.
    • Define the role of partnerships with external entities, including corporate businesses.
    • Lead and assist key Visual Impairment (VI) Charity Sector Partnership projects.
    • Help close partners to become sufficiently independent
    • Leverage the Insight Hub and Bravo Victor relationship and commission data and insights for our core activities and broader sector benefits sector benefits data and insights.
    • Support sector innovation, quality and new approaches.

    4.   Lead by example and utilise our resources to bring about the change we want to see.

    We will lead by example, upholding the highest standards for credibility, integrity and quality, inspiring the change we seek. We will:

    • Maintain our commitment to lived experience leadership and talent development in our staff, trustees and volunteers, emphasising talent-based recruitment.
    • Enhance our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy to ensure comprehensive representation.
    • Keep our processes and systems accessible and usable.
    • Review Culture and Values as part of our strategy assessment.
    • Implement our investment strategy for effective asset management.
    • Continuously and robustly evaluate our impact to enhance performance and meet needs.
    • Strengthen internal communication integration.
    • Assess the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • Our values define everything we do

    Making a difference: The lives of blind and partially sighted people are better because of what we do.

    Working in partnership: We work collaboratively together and with all our partners and stakeholders.

    Respect: We treat people the way we would like to be treated.

    Quality: We set clear goals and high standards and work efficiently and effectively to achieve them.

    Participation: We place the participation of blind and partially sighted people at the heart of everything we do.

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