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Blind Local Candidate Supports UN International Day for Disabled People

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Emily Brothers, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, celebrated the International Day for Disabled People at yesterday’s World Premier ‘Sea of Change’ Film screened at Westminster.

Emily Brothers, herself visually impaired and a former President of the National Federation of the Blind, said:
“This is a grassroots film vividly showing how modern complex town centres are proving to be very dangerous places.
“It highlights the new challenges faced by blind people in crossing a road safely and without fear.
“Newly designed town centres, such as Sutton, have removed kerbs which blind people rely upon to distinguish between road and pavement.
“The lack of a demarcation makes many high streets unsafe for children, disabled and elderly people, as these schemes rely on confident eye contact between driver and pedestrian.

The ‘Sea of Change’ film tells the story of local campaigns co-ordinated by the National Federation of the Blind, established during Ms Brothers’ Presidency. More recently, Ms Brothers backed Road Safety Week promoted by Brake, as she sees this as an important community issue.
“Government figures released last month showed that cyclist casualties rose 12%, while motor cyclist casualties were up 4%.
“Five cyclists have died on London’s streets in the last month, bringing the total to 13 this year.
“A rapid review is needed to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians across the capital.
“I am alarmed that Boris Johnson is rumoured to want a 25% cut to funding of traffic calming and road schemes.”

The “Sea of Change” film trailer http://youtu.be/nkVfe0I5sbM brings to life the key issues of road safety for blind people. It marks the 21st UN International Day for Disabled People and features the work of the National Federation of the Blind (UK). Emily Brothers was President from March 2010 to 2013.
The BBC Radio 4 Programme “In Touch” recently asked: ‘how does a blind person cross the road?’ – see here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qm4pw.

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