Blindness or visual impairments do not have a direct effect on sexual development, or an individual’s wish to pursue their sexual experiences. What may be necessary is additional support to access relevant and appropriate information, education and services.
Good quality, appropriate sexual health and relationships and education should be available to all children, young people and adults. Nearly all forms of information around sexual health are visually based. Much information is gleaned by watching other people’s behaviour, looking at pictures, reading magazines or watching television. Formal and informal education should provide opportunities to think about and discuss the enormous amount and complex nature of information by putting it into context and perspective. Ideally, work of this nature also needs to explore the skills necessary to help people filter the messages.
It can sometimes be difficult for blind or visually impaired people to access up to date and comprehensive information. However, it is possible to convert most written information into Braille or to have it recorded into audio format. This is something that, ideally, should be built into any resource development.
The Royal National Institute for the Blind
The Royal National Institute for the Blind provides a transcription service that can carry out the translation of written material into Braille or audio format. The service is free for individuals and also available to organisations.There are currently a number of general resources available around sexual health and, in particular, education for young people. The customer services department, based in Peterborough, can deal with enquiries to carry out translation work for specific issues and can provide this facility for almost any written material.
For more information go to : www.rnib.org.uk or telephone the helpline on : 0303 123 9999