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Covid-19: How we Used our Building Differently During the Pandemic

Covid-19 and its Impact on Visual Impairment

In Glasgow City, there are an estimated 15,700 people living with sight loss (Pezzullo et al (2017). The economic impact of sight loss and blindness in the UK adult population). This includes around:

  • 13,750 people living with partial sight.
  • 2,010 people living with blindness.

Sight loss can be linked to poor health and other health conditions. Certain risk factors can also increase the chance of sight loss.

At Visibility Scotland, we predict that Covid-19 will have a profound impact on these already high statistics. Unfortunately, the pandemic has meant that many routine eye surgery and sight-saving procedures have been postponed and routine eye checks have been delayed.

Our Response

To support our NHS colleagues and service users during the pandemic, Visibility Scotland opened its doors to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and we have been hosting their Low Vision Clinic from our head office at Queen’s Crescent in Glasgow. This has helped reduce the Low Vision Clinic waiting list from 28 weeks to 0. We have learnt that our building and services can reduce the pressures on the NHS by providing a bridge from the clinic into the community. It is evident that Visibility Scotland’s services are needed now more than ever.

The Future

We recently launched our ambitious ForSight plan to regenerate and repurpose our dilapidated Glasgow West End townhouse into an accessible, innovative, grassroots community hub and a Centre of Excellence for Visual Impairment. All visitors will learn about sight loss, integration and energy saving principles through friendly, informal guided tours of our building. They will also have access to room hire in our community hub.

We’re very excited about our plan for the building but we need your help and support to make this plan a reality. Please share your thoughts and ideas by completing one of the surveys on our home page. There’s a survey for people living with sight loss, one for residents in the local area (Woodlands and Woodside) and one for professional stakeholders. 

Image of Natasha Johnston
Written by: Natasha Johnston

Posted on the: September 15, 2021
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