We campaign for the rights of people with vision impairment to help them access public transport, our town centres and other public services. A guide dog can change the life of a person living with sight loss by enabling them to travel independently and with confidence. However, without the right laws and policies in place this partnership could be undermined. We are here to make sure all people with vision impairments can live their lives to the full - together we can campaign to make a difference.
We campaign on key issues which prevent people with vision impairment, including guide dog owners, from living their lives to the full. This includes influencing on everything from making sure local areas are safe and hazard-free for people with vision impairments as part of our Streets Ahead campaign, which includes transport issues such as Pavement Parking and making sure quiet electric and hybrid vehicles can be heard as part of our Safe and Sound campaign. We also campaign on issues related to guide dogs, such as our Access All Areas campaign, which is making sure guide dog owners’ legal rights to enter public places with their assistance dog are upheld.
We wouldn’t be able to campaign without support from the thousands of amazing campaigners who get involved in our work each week. From signing petitions and sharing posts on social media, to writing to their MP and going out to collect signatures on our behalf; our charity campaigns community help us to drive change. Sign up to receive email updates about our latest campaign work.
Guide Dogs exists to help make sure every person with sight loss has the confidence and support to live their lives to the full and help remove barriers which prevent this. We campaign to protect the rights of people living with a vision impairment. This includes actively campaigning on how our streets are designed so that they are safe and accessible to people with sight loss as well as upholding the legal rights of assistance dog owners’ ability to use shops, restaurants and other services without being turned away because of their dog.
Thanks to campaigning, assistance dog owners are legally allowed to enter shops, restaurants, taxis and minicabs without discrimination. Our successful campaigns have also secured legislation meaning all buses will need to have audio-visual announcements, helping passengers with sensory impairments navigate bus journeys. We have also successfully campaigned for new regulations, which come into force in July 2019, to help make new models of quiet cars safer.
We want our campaigns to reflect what’s most important to people with sight loss. To do this, we carry out and commission research to find out key areas of concern and use this evidence to build successful campaigns that influence positive change, which we know will make a positive difference to people with a vision impairment. We recently launched a short survey for blind and partially sighted people, their families, and anyone who directly supports them. The survey is to help us understand what matters most to people with sight loss so we can shape our work over the coming year.
Working with MPs from all parties is incredibly important to our campaigns to help us make change possible. We organise events such as blindfolded walks and exhibition stands at party conferences to help them to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that people with a vision impairment face every day. In the last few months, MPs we've met at events like this have contacted key Ministers to raise these issues, set up important debates, asked questions in parliament that require formal answers from the Government, and much more. Together, these small steps help to keep our charity campaigns understood and debated in parliament, helping us move forwards towards achieving change. The more MPs who understand our campaigns, the greater our chance of success. Change might happen slowly, but each time our campaigns get discussed in parliament, it helps build pressure for change.
There are lots of different ways you can support Guide Dogs! They all require a little of your time in different ways. Campaigning can mean everything from signing a petition to a bus company, to emailing or visiting your MP, to going out in the street to collect petition signatures that we take to the Prime Minister – however much time you can spare, you can help effect change for the rights of guide dog owners by acting on our campaigns.
With fundraising, this is all about how you can support Guide Dogs financially, and again, there are many ways you can help.
Finally, volunteering is entirely focused on the time you can give – the activity you do depends on what skills you have, what you enjoy, and how much time you can spare. It could be anything from regularly supporting people with a vision impairment as a My Guide volunteer, to helping us in our offices.
If a premises or service refuses to allow you to make use of their business because of your working guide dog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help advise you on the next steps.