Following concerns he expressed in the House of Commons, Michael Fabricant
has now been assured by Ministers that when the Government privatises the
Royal Mail – or Consignia, as it is now called – free postage for the
blind will continue. "This is imperative for those who receive Talking
Books and Newspapers" says Michael Fabricant. "This valuable service could
not continue if charities had to pay for the postage".
And now Michael Fabricant and Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead,
are calling on the House of Commons to support plans for large print and
Braille versions of The Book of Common Prayer (1662) to be produced. A
Motion has been tabled reading: "That this House supports the campaign of
the Church and Blindness Action Group to ensure that churches (Anglican,
Catholic, and Free) across the country are suitably equipped places for
blind and visually impaired people to worship through inexpensive measures
such as stating the first line of each hymn, clearly marking steps,
providing Braille and large-print versions of texts; notes that the current
large-print Book of Common Prayer is illegible for most visually impaired
people; and supports the Church and Blindness Action Group in their efforts
to provide both Braille and legible large-print copies in every church."
"The visually impaired should have access to worship in the same way as
those who are sighted. I hope that churches, and our Cathedral, in the
Lichfield Diocese are doing all they can to help the blind and partially
sighted to participate fully in their services", adds Michael Fabricant.