I was going through some talking books last night that had been sent to me by RNIB and on each one I had to listen to that infuriating little jingle. Anyone who receives RNIB talking books will know the one I mean. A little cheesy phrase of piano music followed by an over sincere voice, low and feminine, saying “RNIB. Helping you live with sight loss”.
I find it verging on offensive. For a start, it assumes that sight loss is so dreadful that only RNIB can help you “live with it”. It enforces the sighted person’s stereotypical view that “sight loss” puts us on a lower level than everyone else.
Also, what about those people who were born blind. They’ve never experienced a loss. Do they still not deserve some support?
I suspect that RNIB would argue that they don’t. The whole ethos of RNIB now seems to be to prevent this terrible affliction, as after all, we can’t possibly lead full lives without sight, so lets not risk losing it.
All well and good, but there are many people who already have little or no sight and there is increasingly nowhere for them to go to just get ongoing help and advice.
The Guide Dogs Association are doing much the same thing, injecting large amounts of cash into ophthalmic research, rather than helping those people who are already blind and in need of dogs which only they currently train in the UK.