Empowering working people - Creating better communities

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National League of the Blind & Disabled

Honoured and proud to represent our Blind, Deaf and Disabled members in the NLBD.

The National League of the Blind and Disabled (NLBD) is section of Community, the trade union for life. The NLBD represents members with vision impairment or other disabilities and supports them into the workforce.

If you are a disabled person, as we all are, in the National League of the Blind and Disabled (NLBD), and you believe that disabled people are severely disadvantaged in terms of employment opportunities, access to the built environment, transport, communications and other issues, then we need you to join us to add your voice to our campaign for full civil rights and an end to discrimination against disabled people.

The NLBD is a national organisation of members formed into around 45 branches across the UK, including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Our members organise within their branches and on a regional basis in their Regional Councils, and are governed by a National Committee elected by the members.


The NLBD is the oldest organisation of disabled people in the world, and was originally founded as a trade union in 1899. We joined forces with the old ISTC trade union in 2000 to help form Community as a whole new vision of what trade unionism should be about. In addition to our expertise in representing people at the workplace, we are primarily a campaigning organisation and have had some tremendous successes throughout our long history.

The NLBD led a successful and crucial campaign in 1920, which provided disabled people with the first legislation specifically for blind people with the introduction of the 1920 Blind Persons Act. 

NLBD History

This Act made it a duty for councils to provide for the welfare of the blind and extended the old age pension to blind people at 50 years of age rather than 70. For the first time, blind children are allowed to take the same examinations as sighted people, such as City and Guilds.

More recently the NLBD campaigned for full civil rights which led to the formation of the Disability Rights Commission, and we also played a major part in the campaign for the 2005 Disability Discrimination Act.

We believe there is much more to do, specifically in terms of the cultural changes necessary to convince employers of the benefits of employing disabled people.

The more people that join Community, the stronger our voice will be in future campaigns of this type.

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