Media Release: Epilepsy card at your fingertips

THANKS to a new Braille calling card launched today by former Big Brother runner-up and Insight radio presenter, Mikey Hughes, thousands of people registered with sight problems in Scotland will find it easier to contact Epilepsy Scotland’s helpline.

Mikey (35), who became a household name on 2008’s ‘Big Brother’ programme, lost the sight in both of his eyes aged 23, leaving him totally blind. He hopes Braille readers will use these specially-created cards to access the free and confidential epilepsy helpline service.

He said: “This card will reach a whole new audience. Employers may want to give it to staff with a visual impairment while family, carers and friends can keep it handy for epilepsy enquiries.”

Both RNIB Scotland and Sense Scotland welcome this card, first suggested by Braille user, David Ross, who works with Fife Society for the Blind.

RNIB Scotland spokesperson, Ian Brown, commented: “Providing information in Braille sends out the right signals about being inclusive. For a small cost and minimum effort, vital helpline information about epilepsy is now accessible to more people in a format they can access themselves.”

Sense Scotland communications officer, Graeme Thomson, said: ”This card will assist our service users by making people more aware of epilepsy and all the help that’s available.“

Free epilepsy Braille cards are available from Epilepsy Scotland’s helpline: 0808 800 2200.


Notes to the editor

Photo opportunity – A photo call will be held at Sense Scotland, 43 Middlesex Street, Glasgow G41 1EE at 11.15am, Monday 12 July 2010 when RNIB’s Insight Radio presenter, Mikey Hughes, joins Epilepsy Scotland’s chief executive, Lesslie Young, and service users who will hold up the Braille block calling card – which resembles a mobile phone. 

Epilepsy Scotland works with people affected by epilepsy to ensure that their voice is heard.  We campaign for improved healthcare, better information provision and an end to stigma. This common serious neurological condition affects one in 130 people. We represent nearly 40,000 Scots with epilepsy, their families and carers. 

Our freephone Helpline (0808 800 2200) offers information and emotional support in over 170 Languages (using Language line). Typetalk is also available and people can email (enquiries@epilepsyscotland.org.uk), text 07786 209501, use our blog, Facebook, twitter, or download information from: www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk 

David Ross (33) has been blind since birth and reading Braille is essential to his work. He instigated the idea of a helpline card in Braille when Fife Society for the Blind (based in Fife Sensory Impairment Centre) assisted an Epilepsy Scotland information event in St Andrews. 

According to RNIB Scotland, 37,000 people are formally registered as blind or partially-sighted and up to 180,000 people may have sight problems. There are no official figures for the number of Braille users in Scotland. Mikey Hughes has a basic knowledge of the Braille alphabet.

Other agencies across Scotland which help people with sight problems have requested copies of the epilepsy Braille card including: Dumfries and Galloway Association for the Blind, Dundee Blind and Partially Sighted Society, Fife Society for the Blind, Visibility (Glasgow and West of Scotland Society for the Blind), Grampian Society for the Blind, Sight Action – Inverness and Perth and Kinross Society for the Blind.

For more details please contact: Allana Parker, communications manager on: 0141 419 1701 or 07884 012 147. 

MEDIA RELEASE issued by Epilepsy Scotland. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on allmediascotland.com. Email info@allmediascotland.com for more information.

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