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Blind ‘Not Vulnerable Enough’ For Food Deliveries

April 2, 2020

A blind couple struggling to get online food deliveries because they are not considered vulnerable enough are calling on the government to ensure they have access to priority shopping.

Glen and Rowan Graham, from Devon, said they are scared because they cannot drive themselves to the supermarket.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is campaigning to class blind people as vulnerable.

The government said it was “working to identify others who may need support”.

The RNIB said the government’s category of vulnerable people currently only includes those at risk of developing coronavirus.

After receiving an “enormous amount” of inquiries by struggling people, the RNIB launched a petition, which the Grahams, both 49, are supporting.

The petition calls on the government to give the blind priority.

‘Frightening’

Ms Graham, who is self-isolating due to underlying health conditions, said the situation was “quite frightening” as blind people were being “blocked” from accessing essential goods.

“The trouble is a blind person can’t navigate a supermarket, they can’t go and find the items they want,” she said.

“Long term it’s quite frightening because how will people such as ourselves get shopping, how are you going to feed yourself, how are you going to feed your dogs, your cats? How are you going to do that?”

Mr Graham said isolation “tipped blind people into a vulnerable position or an extremely vulnerable position that they didn’t have before”.

The government said: “Up to 1.5 million people in England have been identified as being the most clinically vulnerable and at higher risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus.”

It said in a statement it was working with retailers and volunteer groups “to identify others who may still need support in getting essential food supplies”.

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