The National Federation of the Blind of the United Kingdom welcomes the Government's announcement that they will change the regulations of the Disability Living Allowance to allow Blind people to receive the higher rate of the Mobility Component of the DLA benefit from 2011.
The Federation's ten-year campaign to have blind people included in this benefit has been helped in the last three years by the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
However, it was the Federation's long-term campaign, encouraging other organizations to join the campaign, that has led to this success.
Jill Allen-King M.B.E. who was the only blind member of the DLA Board when it was set up in 1992, and has campaigned for the regulations to be changed ever since, said:
"It was very unfair that a person who was virtually unable to walk was able to receive the higher rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, and yet blind people could only receive the lower rate. That was a difference of £30 per week."
The Federation would like to thank all its members and friends and their members of parliament who have, over the years, supported them.
The Federation would also like to thank its Patron, Professor Ian Bruce who, in his last year as Director General of the RNIB, agreed to make this a high profile campaign which led to two successful mass lobbies of parliaments. Federation members, who are all blind and partially sighted, traveled from all parts of the country to take part in these lobbies.
Blind people have to spend so much money on taxis to take them to their shops, doctors, churches, and social activities, that this higher rate of benefit will certainly go a long way to help them to be more mobile and independent.