Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Gwent Police conference to improve engagement with blind and visually impaired

The conference aims to increase engagement with the community and address any issues raised. Delegates attending the conference will include front line staff from Gwent Police and staff from Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent local authorities as well as members of the community who are blind or partially sighted.

Assistant Chief Constable Jeff Farrar will open the conference together with the Director of the Royal National Institute for the Blind Cymru, Sarah Rochira. RNIB Cymru and Gwent Visual Impairment Service will be providing free of charge training to all police and local authority personnel who attend. Workshops will be held during the day to include training for officers around assisting and communicating effectively with a visually impaired person, sight guiding, providing accessible information, as well as an opportunity to engage with visually impaired people from their local area and learn from them. Delegates with a visual impairment will attend a community safety workshop which will provide advice on how they can keep safe at home and in the community.

Chief Inspector Bill Fitzpatrick, Head of Community Safety, Gwent Police:
“The event has been arranged in response to a report by the Action for the Blind highlighting the vulnerability of people with a visual impairment. We hope that the day will provide practical help for front line staff and also provide members of the blind and visually impaired community with an opportunity to talk about any concerns they may have and any thoughts they may have to make their lives easier. To continue with the learning, a DVD has been produced which will be placed on intranet sites of the police and local authorities to illustrate the difficulties that visually impaired people come across in their daily lives: very simple situations that can easily be avoided if front line staff are aware and are able to provide assistance.”


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