Ceredigion Association of the Blind meets with Ben Lake MP to discuss digital accessibility concerns

The group met with the MP for Ceredigion to discuss issues and concerns around digital accessibility, particularly in rural areas such as Ceredigion and how advancements in technology can sometimes lead to increased isolation for some people, especially blind and visually impaired individuals.

In today’s interconnected world, the internet is vital for accessing information, connecting with others, and engaging in various activities. However, members of the Ceredigion Association of the Blind argued that for blind people and those with other visual impairments, navigating the digital landscape can be extremely challenging. 

Everything from housing and healthcare resources to banking and benefit systems is shifting online at an unprecedented rate, and navigating these online services can be extremely challenging for visually impaired individuals. 

Though digital accessibility is pertinent on all kinds of websites, the members emphasised that the need for online banking platforms to be universally accessible is perhaps even more important. The members stated that financial and personal independence is a priority for them, and If individuals cannot effectively manage their finances, it dramatically limits their independence.

The members explained that assistive technologies like screen readers go a long way toward closing the gap between people who are blind or have low vision and their sighted peers. But the technologies often hit roadblocks because the information they are designed to work with—documents, websites and software programs—don’t work with them, leaving the information inaccessible.  

Increased use of touch screen technology on the high street, in public sector settings and GP surgeries are also making it more difficult for visually impaired people to engage independently with services.


Ben Lake MP said:

“I am grateful to members of the Ceredigion Association of the Blind for meeting with me, as it was invaluable to hear first-hand of the daily challenges that blind and visually impaired individuals in Ceredigion must overcome when accessing a range of services - from public transport to online banking.

“I was particularly concerned to learn of the difficulties that they encounter when accessing financial services online, and the impact that further bank branch closures will have on their financial independence. I will be raising this in Parliament in the next few weeks as part of the Welsh Affairs Committee’s inquiry into the closures of high street banks, and press for more stringent standards to be introduced.”

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