Sarah LeadbetterNational Campaigns Officer, National Federation of the Blind of the UK
My name is Sarah Leadbetter, I live in Narborough, Leicestershire. I have a rare genetic syndrome called Bardet Biedl syndrome. I ran my own holistic therapies business for 18 years until I had to retire at the age of 42. I trained with a long white cane in 2010 while being on the waiting list for Kiki my first Guide dog. I started to volunteer for Vista my local blind society, getting involved in fundraising, speaking to groups for Leicestershire and Rutland branch of Guide dogs and for the RNIB in the East Midlands. I also got involved in local and national campaigns like share spaces, talking buses, parking on pavements and street clutter.
I have been a member of the NFBUK and I have taken an active role in national campaigns for the Federation on many issues, including shared space, saving the BBC Red Button teletext service, the Governments disability survey, accessible urban environments and e-scooters.
I have successfully taken legal action against the Government on accessible information during the pandemic and was very humbled to be awarded campaigner of the year by RNIB in 2022 for this action. I also took legal action with other disability campaigners to force the Department for Transport to undertake the national consultation on pavement parking. I have spoken on national and regional tv many times, including being on Rip Off Britain for parking on pavements, on BBC Breakfast, BBC East Midlands, ITV Regional News and Channel 5 News as well as being on the radio and in the written press on many campaign issues. I campaign and speak up as many people do not have a voice and their access needs go unheard, leaving them isolated and disconnected from their local communities.
I am 3 years in remission for cancer and I am now a campaigns champion for Macmillan, and volunteer for cancer voices. With Kiki and now with Nellie my new Guide dog, I like to travel, go to the theatre, take part in lots of social activities and be part of my local community groups, meeting with friends and colleagues.
My Speaker Sessions
Thursday 08 June 2023
Active Travel – what this means for blind and visually impaired bus passengers
Active travel schemes are being rolled out across the UK bringing about changes to the design of bus stops which are not safe and not accessible for blind and visually impaired bus passengers. The presentation will use film followed by Q & A to show why the use of floating bus stops and shared use bus boarders are hard wiring discrimination into active travel schemes.