VIBE

VIBE is a community of experience-led network of blind and partially-sighted learners and staff. It grew out of the former Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSISdefinition) blind/partially sighted learner-led awareness raising project and is now hosted by NIACEdefinition.

Our aim

VIBE's aim is to contribute to creating a fairer and more equal society by challenging the education and training sector to deliver a truly accessible and inclusive service and outcomes for blind and partially-sighted learners and staff.

Our approach

VIBE members have a wealth of lived experience as learners and staff within the sector who have experienced sight loss.

We know that this unique perspective is valuable to education providers and can help organisations break down barriers to learning which may be invisible to providers who have not truly understood our needs or consulted with people who are blind/partially-sighted.

We believe that in every education provider's journey towards outstanding, the lived experiences of blind and partially-sighted people must not be overlooked.

Considering, understanding and changing what or how you do things to include and better meet our needs is part of how you create a fairer and more equal society, reduce discrimination and disadvantage and improve people’s life chances. 

Not only is there a human and sound business case for including us, but the Equalitydefinition Act 2010 provides a compelling legal case for consulting with and involving blind/partially sighted people as well as people with other protected characteristics. For example, governments are now legislating to ensure that everyone can access information simpler, clearer, faster. If you are in any doubt, take a look at how much attention is now paid to accessibility on the government website:

"We’re constantly working to make GOV.UK as accessible and usable as possible.The website doesn’t have a separate accessibility statement. This is because we’ve tried to design GOV.UK to be as accessible and usable as possible for every user."

What VIBE does

We:

  • Demand access and inclusion in education, training and work for blind and partially-sighted people
  • Develop and support learner-voice activities
  • Provide a voice for and of blind and partially-sighted learners and staff to raise aspirations and improve outcomes for blind and partially-sighted people 
  • Contribute our lived experience and evidence of our needs to policy discussions and respond to government consultations
  • Offer services to support the sector to continuously improve its offer to blind/partially-sighted 
  • We are proactive members of the national network of sector equalities networks through which we contribute to sector development by challenging and learning from the work of other equalities networks
  • Continuously learn and update and challenge our own thinking and approach 

How we can help you

If you want to make your provision more accessible to and inclusive of blind and partially sighted people talk to us because we can help you to make a positive difference. How do we do this? Our starting point is always a conversation about what you want to achieve and then we start from there. 

 Activities we have been commissioned to deliver include:

  • Needs assessmentdefinition
  • Advocacy
  • Awareness raising training
  • Co-production - co-design, development and delivery 
  • Bespoke guidance  and resource development - see for example the ELMAG
  • User testing
  • Mystery shopping
  • Support 

We are pleased to co-produce with you or to provide support based on our valuable lived experience as blind and partially-sighted people.

For more information contact Polly Price at bvip.voice@gmail.com

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ELMAG FINAL Accessible docs.docx200.07 KB