Visually impaired people call for more restaurants to have accessible menus

Steve Springthorpe told ITV News Central he is calling for larger print and braille menus to be available in restaurants

People with visual impairments are calling for more restaurants to have menus available in braille, saying accessible menus helps people feel more independent, included, and able to try new foods.

Steve Springthorpe from Shepshed, who began to lose his sight in 2014, says dining out with family and friends is something he loves to do - but it's not easy.

He's calling for large print menus to be available in more restaurants.

"The first issue I have is often the menu itself," he told ITV News Central. "The print is often very small or its printed in very fancy lettering, which is very difficult to actually read."

"It takes away some of my independence, and it also takes away quite a lot of my ability to choose for myself.

"It means that what I tend to do... is that I'll go to restaurants and places to eat that I know, that know me, and I then tend to choose the same thing each time."

Tracey Anson began losing her sight in her 30s, and said eating out could be 'frustrating'

The calls come as figures from the Royal National Institute of Blind People show that 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK everyday.

According to research conducted by the institute, sight is the sense 78% of us fear losing the most.

In Coventry, Tracey Anson started losing her sight in her 30s. She said eating out could be a "frustrating" experience.

"The print is so small, you can't read it," she said.

"Sometimes you don't have somebody with you who can read the menu - it's a bit awkward because the staff don't have time to read the menu for you and you have to stick to the menu that you know in your head."

A spokesperson from Hospitality UK told ITV News: "We are doing as much as we can to make sure that small independents can provide the same level of service." But, she added, this comes at "significant cost".