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Monday, 21 September 2020

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Macular Society creates audio versions of Government coronavirus communications

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LEADING sight loss charity the Macular Society has produced audio versions of the Prime Minister’s recent communications to households in the UK, so they are accessible to those living with visual impairments.

The Government has recently sent letters and information leaflets to 30 million households across all four UK nations updating them on the current pandemic.

However, it came to the Society’s attention that while there is the opportunity to request an accessible version of the letter, there is no accessible version of the leaflet available, leaving those living alone unable to read the information.

The Macular Society’s chief executive Cathy Yelf has recorded an audio version of both the leaflet and the letter to allow everyone the same access to the information.

Cathy said:

“This is an anxious time for everyone, and having access to all the information available is more important than ever before. While it is possible to request an accessible version of the letter in your required format, we do not know how long this will take to process. In the meantime, it could leave a lot of vulnerable people feeling more isolated and anxious than is necessary.”

Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. Nearly 1.5 million people are currently affected, and many more are at risk. The disease can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces. Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement. There is still no cure, and most types of the disease are not treatable. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

The Macular Society’s audio versions of the Government’s recent coronavirus letter and leaflet can be heard on the charity’s website: www.macularsociety.org.

The full letter in English and a number other of languages, as well as a large print version, can be downloaded as PDFs from the GOV.UK website.

The leaflet is also available GOV.UK as an accessible webpage, and can also be downloaded as PDFs in English, other languages and large print.

For more information on macular disease, please call the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111 or email help@macularsociety.org

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