Local MP Jo Swinson paid a visit to the Visual Impairment and Learning Disability (VILD) centre in Bishopbriggs last week, a pioneering facility that supports people with sight loss and a learning disability or other complex needs.
Established in 1995, the centre is run by the Royal National Institute of Blind People Scotland. It offers a range of day support, visual assessment and consultancy services. As well as supporting those with learning disabilities, VILD also supports people with dementia, stroke and autism.
Jo toured the facility in order to discuss the RNIB's Being There campaign which was launched late last year.
Commenting Jo said:
“I was delighted to see the great work being done to support those with sight loss and a learning disability.
“I was able to learn more about the ‘Being There’ campaign which ensures that vision support officers provide a bridge between health and social care, making sure that patients receive the support and information that they need to be independent and to learn the skills that they need in order to adapt to losing their sight.
"We're fortunate that Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board run a vision support service, one of the six health boards that do in Scotland. I'm joining the RNIB in calling for every health board in the country to run this service so that we ensure no one is left to face sight loss on their own."
VILD manager Linda Burnett said:
“People with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to have serious sight problems than others, and those with more severe or profound disabilities are most likely to be affected.
“Unfortunately, they are not always able to communicate it. So their family and carers might think they can see perfectly well and put any behavioural problems down to the learning disability.
“Our VILD team has pioneered approaches that can identify and treat sight problems among individuals where it might otherwise remain hidden, and help them to live full and active lives in their communities.”
Jo with Ally Shaw at the Visual Impairment and Learning Disability (VILD) centre in Bishopbriggs