Victory after cross-party support for RNIB campaign

Govt announces extra £29 a week for visually impaired people

Many members of Kingston’s visually impaired community could receive an extra £29 a week following the success of a Royal National Institute of Blind People campaign that received cross-party support in the borough.

The RNIB has been campaigning since 2006 for people with visual impairments to receive the higher rate mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance, recognising the difficulties they can face moving around safely.

The Leader of the Council had written to Jonathan Shaw, MP, Minister for Disabled People, to support the campaign, and Conservative councillors voiced their support in the council chamber. On 18 March the minister announced that the people with severe visual impairment will be able to claim the higher rate mobility component from April 2011.

This is fantastic news for local people who have visual impairments. This extra money will help them to lead safer and more independent lives, whether it is attending job interviews or being involved in the community.

Unfortunately, no-one will receive this extra help automatically, and people will have to undergo a new assessment before they qualify. We will be encouraging people to apply for this additional support in the run up to April 2011

This campaign shows politics at its best. Councillors from different parties came together to support a national campaign that will now make a very real difference to the lives of thousands of people with visual impairments.

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