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  • Fife Society for the Blind sees in change of name to become seescape

    Created: 26/09/2018

    Fife Society for the Blind has been dedicated to helping sight impaired people lead more independent lives for over 150 years, and as the charity continues to develop and expand its horizon, it has revealed its new name – seescape.

    Officially unveiled by the Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman MBE to staff, volunteers, patrons and its board, seescape connects with registered visually impaired people on more than 6,000 occasions each year, with an increasingly broad range of services.

    Provost of Fife Jim Leishman MBE said:

    "I'm delighted to be here today to mark this significant occasion for the charity and wish them every success for the future as 'seescape'. It's a great opportunity to highlight the valuable work they deliver across Fife."

    seescape aims to help make sight impaired people’s lives more fulfilled by empowering them to live and interact with their families, their communities and surroundings in a positive way. It does so by giving them access to support services, new technology and a new community of friends, and relies on the support of volunteer befrienders.

    Sight loss is an invisible disability that affects young and old. 

    •    Three out of four people with visual impairment are unemployed[1]. This is more than 15% above the average disability employment rate in Scotland[2]. 
    •    Almost one third of the sight impaired sometimes, frequently or always experience negative attitudes from the public in relation to their sight loss and are rarely or never being optimistic about the future[3].

    The charity operates across three key services. It has a sight assessment service, which, commissioned by the local authority, offers practical and emotional support through regular visits to those with visual impairment. This is to ensure that people are coping, readjusting, and accessing the financial support that they need. If people are seen to have difficulty coping, this service can also signpost people to mental health services.
    In addition, it empowers its clients to use life improving access technology. Lastly, it operates its own optician as a social enterprise, an important part of seescape’s  early intervention service.

    Carl Hodson, Chief Executive of seescape, said:

    “As an organisation we are moving forward, endeavouring to increase awareness of the great work we do and to establish ourselves as a champion for the sight-impaired, locally as well as nationally. It seems to us, that the time is right for a new name and seescape captures our new vision and direction of travel perfectly.”

    [1] Based on telephone interviews with over 1,200 blind or partially sighted participants from across the UK. Source: MyVoice by RNIB. (2015). Available here.
    [2] Current figures state the Scottish disability employment rate to be 40.9%.
    [3] Based on telephone interviews with over 1,200 blind or partially sighted participants from across the UK. Source: MyVoice by RNIB. (2015). Available here.

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