Vincents teams up with Galloways Society for the Blind

Making legal services more accessible for blind and partially sighted people

A Lancashire law firm is making its services more accessible to blind and partially sighted people in partnership with a local sight loss charity.

Vincents Solicitors has teamed up with Galloways Society for the Blind, which is based in the North West.

Organised by Katie Shires, a private client specialist from Vincents’ Penwortham branch, six staff undertook a training course with Galloways which gave them a greater appreciation of the challenges faced by blind and partially sighted people in their everyday life.

The team discussed with Galloways staff and volunteers what improvements they could make to help blind and partially sighted people access legal services more effectively.

Following the training, Vincents has been sharing the awareness training among all staff and has put simple adjustments in place at all of its seven offices across the county.

Lisa Lodge, head of private client services, explained: “The training from Galloways was really good. It made us more aware of the challenges inherent for people who are blind or have poor sight, both practical and in terms of how they are treated by others.

“We were given advice of how we can support clients positively and respectfully, taught about the different issues people face and the specific canes they use to communicate their disability, and were shown gadgets and techniques which can be used to make things easier, all of which we are now employing across all of our branches.

“It was really empowering for our team to learn from the experts and Galloways and they feel much more confident now about providing a better service for clients and any other visitors to our offices who are blind or partially sighted.”

The simple measures include:

- Offering the option of home visits and telephone calls for all consultations
- Providing detailed information of office location and layout for necessary visits
- Advising clients to bring a trusted friend or family member to assist should they feel they need it
- Sighted guiding techniques including respectful directional guidance using a light touch to the elbow
- Ongoing description of room layout on guest entry and exit
- Provision of information in a range of accessible formats
- Provision of a Signature Guide to assist with signing documentation.
Vincents is also working with Galloways and local funeral director Emma Evans, who also attended the training, to run a free informal seminar at the charity’s premises for its members on Thursday October 13th at its premises in Howick Park Avenue. Vincents will provide information about general legal issues like Wills and Probate, and Lasting Power of Attorney, and answer any questions the members have.

“We have to make it easy for people to access our services, and in this instance we’ll do that by going to meet with them at Galloways, a place they know well and feel comfortable,” added Lisa.

“This Galloways certification complements our existing Dementia Friendly status, both of which support our aim of removing barriers to people being able to access legal services. We can do that most effectively with the help of our charity partners and we’re very grateful for Galloways’ support in this endeavour.”

Glen Sheader, community services manager for, Galloways said: “In addition to supporting people who are affected by sight loss, we work hard to increase awareness of, and support for, our work. We were delighted by the approach from Vincents and Emma Evans to undertake some training to help them support their clients better, and it’s great they took so much away which is already being implemented by their companies for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people.”

To attend the free informal seminar contact either Lisa Lodge on 01772 555 176 / or Galloways on 01772 744148 /

Pictured [L-R]:
Vincents’ director Lisa Lodge and funeral director Emma Evans try on the special sight loss glasses as part of their training with Galloways, helped on by Iain Pearson and Glen Sheader from the charity.