North Swindon MP shows support for guide dogs charity campaign

By Jessica Durston - 28 April 2022

CharityCommunity
  • North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson (left) has shown his support for Guide Dogs UK's

    North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson (left) has shown his support for Guide Dogs UK's "All Things Equal" campaign

Justin Tomlinson MP backs Guide Dogs' "All Things Equal" vision impairment campaign.

Tomlinson has pledged his support to children and young people with a vision impairment through Guide Dogs UK’s “All Things Equal” campaign.

At a Parliamentary event hosted by the charity Guide Dogs, Justin Tomlinson met children, young people and their families to talk about the challenges they face in the education system.

Recent research conducted for Guide Dogs found that 69% of teachers lack confidence that they have the right skills to support disabled children - including those with a vision impairment - to reach their full potential.

The charity says these findings are reflected in outcomes for children with sight loss, who are significantly behind their peers in terms of academic attainment.

Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign is calling for greater recognition of vision impairment throughout the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) system. The charity says the critical role of specialist professionals needs to be prioritised, and more support should be given at an earlier stage to help prevent young people with sight loss from falling behind.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “I am delighted to support Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign. Every child deserves to have an education which enables them to fulfil their potential, and this means ensuring that young people with disabilities have the support they need at school.

"It is vital that teachers are given the skills and confidence to support young people with visual impairments and adapt to their unique needs.”

Blanche Shackleton, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns at Guide Dogs said: “Children and young people with vision impairment tell us they want to grow up enjoying the same opportunities as their classmates. But all too often, they are being let down by the education system that fails to give them the support they need.

“We know that the lack of support in childhood can have a far-reaching impact. Just one in four working age adults with a vision impairment are in employment.

“That is why we are calling on the Government to make all things equal for children and young people with vision impairment, so that they have access to the support they need.”

More information about Guide Dogs UK can be found on its website at https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/

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