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Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

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Contents.

  1. WCB News
  2. Consultations and Lobbying
  3. Reports and Publications
  4. Access
  5. Events
  6. Technology
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  8. Other Resources
  9. Miscellaneous

Independent review of the Sensory and Communication Service (SenCom) has been published

Led on by WCB, the sight loss sector in Wales campaigned as a single voice against Newport Borough Council’s decision to withdraw from the SenCom group. [Full story...]

Latest edition of Roundup considers inequalities and challenges after lockdown

'The New Normal? Inequalities and challenges after lockdown' is the theme for the latest edition of Wales Council of the Blind's Roundup magazine, which is out now. [Full story...]

Making meetings accessible.

Wales Council for Deaf People and Wales Council of the Blind join forces to produce good practice guidance for accessible meetings. [Full story...]

Shielding in Wales

Wales Council of the Blind is one of over 30 health, care and wellbeing organisations who have written a joint letter to the First Minister of Wales, expressing concern at the clarity of information provided to people in Wales who are shielding, or being asked to take particular care when social distancing. This follows the publication of updated shielding information on 1st June. [Full story...]

WCB would like to hear your views on information and support services in Wales

At Wales Council of the Blind we want to encourage the development of high quality services and to improve our own, and we need your help to do this. [Full story...]

Latest WCB Storm Newsletter available

The latest edition of the newsletter produced by WCB's Storm project for young adults with sight loss is now available. [Full story...]

New resource - Use of Direct Payments during the pandemic

Social Care Wales has updated its information about the corona virus to include a section on the flexible use of direct payments during the pandemic. [Full story...]

15 Ways to keep busy in lockdown

There are some great ideas for how to keep occupied during lockdown on the website of Storm, WCB's project for young adults. [Full story...]

Community Support booklets to download

Patient-focused booklets of support in the community are available in Word format for each local authority/ [Full story...]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rights of disabled people in Wales

Wales Council of the Blind has joined other members of the Wales Disability Reference Group (Disability Wales, Learning Disability Wales, and Wales Council for Deaf People) to issue a joint statement on the rights of disabled people during the coronavirus crisis. [Full story...]


Families with additional needs museums reopening survey

The charity Kids in Museums is asking the families of children with additional needs to complete a short survey. The results will be used shared with venues across the UK to ensure their reopening plans meet the needs of all families. [Full story...]

The Blind Veterans UK and Circadian Therapeutics Sleep Survey

Blind Veterans UK is working with the University of Oxford and Circadian Therapeutics to explore sleep and circadian rhythm disturbances in severely vision impaired people. They are conducting a survey to gather more information. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs petition calls for accessible classrooms

As children return to school following closures due to the pandemic, the Guide Dogs charity is calling on the ministers responsible for education across the UK to work with local authorities to make sure that every child with sight loss is supported to enter the classroom with confidence. [Full story...]

RNIB's 'World Turned Upside Down' campaign

RNIB's 'World Turned Upside Down' campaign is raising awareness of the problems faced by vision impaired people as lockdown eases. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru survey: Accessible healthcare information

RNIB Cymru is conducting a survey on the accessibility of healthcare information in Wales. [Full story...]

RNIB Campaign - street design changes

RNIB is concerned that recent moves to change street layouts to encourage more walking and cycling could make it more difficult for blind and partially sighted people to get around. They are asking people to contact their local councillor and ask them to ensure that the needs of vision impaired people are taken into account when making changes. [Full story...]

Disability Wales survey on easing of lockdown

Disability Wales is conducting an an-line survey to find out how disabled people are feeling about lockdown beginning to be lifted. [Full story...]

Survey: Covid-19 and Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital are conducting a survey to assess how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected people with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), which causes hallucinations in some people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

We have produced a list of current Welsh Government consultations of potential interest to the disability sector. [Full story...]

National Assembly for Wales Consultations

The National Assembly for Wales has launched several consultations related to Covid-19, which may be of interest to people with disabilities. [Full story...]


Making lockdown measures accessible for customers with sight loss

As lockdown eases, RNIB has produced some simple guidance for businesses on how they can help their vision impaired customers. [Full story...]

Eye clinic appointments: a guide for parents from RNIB

RNIB has produced a guide for parents who may be concerned about attending their child’s hospital eye clinic appointment during coronavirus. [Full story...]

Guides for leisure centres

British Blind Sport has joined forces with RNIB, Visionary and Metro Blind Sport to provide guidance to leisure centres and sporting facilities on how to welcome people with sight loss when they re-open. [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK booklets and information

Glaucoma UK is issuing new leaflets and booklets as part of their relaunch. [Full story...]

Developing visually impaired audiences in Wales - Toolkit for theatres and arts venues

The Arts Council of Wales and Disability Arts Cymru have produced a new guide for theatres and arts venues with advice on how they can be made accessible to vision impaired people. [Full story...]

Welsh Parliament publishes first report on the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on health and social care

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee of the Welsh Parliament has published its first report on the impact of the coronavirus. [Full story...]

Uber refuses to pick up blind businessman with guide dog on more than 100 occasions

Uber is being prosecuted under the disability discrimination legislation for refusing to pick up a blind businessman and his guide dog on over 100 occasions. [Full story...]

Top tips for providing remote information, advice and guidance during a crisis

Henshaws, the organisation that provides support for people with sight loss in the north of England, has been operating a new model of frontline service delivery for visually impaired service users since the start of the pandemic. Now they have produced some 'Top Tips' on providing these services, base on their experiences. The information will be of interest to any charity or other organisation wanting to provide telephone support. [Full story...]

Macular Society gives advice for parents

The Macular Society has provided advice for parents of children who have been diagnosed with macular disease. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs have produced some top tips on social distancing.

Guide Dogs have created some top tips on how you can #BeThere for people with sight loss whilst practising social distancing where possible. [Full story...]

Travel advice from Guide Dogs and The Macular Society

The coronavirus pandemic has brought changes to the way that people travel on public transport. Guide Dogs and The Macular Society have produced some useful advice for people with sight loss as they try to adapt to the changes. [Full story...]

Welsh Government issues guidance on creating safer public spaces during the coronavirus pandemic

The Welsh Government has issued guidance to the owners and operators of public places to keep people safe when restrictions are relaxed and urban spaces become busier. [Full story...]

'Society is the Disability: Disabled Women and Work' - Report from Chwarae Teg

Chwarae Teg, the organisation that works to ensure that women in Wales can enter the workplace, develop their skills and build rewarding careers, has published a report which looks at the experiences of disabled women; the barriers they have faced in work and the opportunities for improvement. [Full story...]

Supporting your VI child during their transition to High School: LOOK publishes resource document & podcast

LOOK recently held a webinar for parents and carers of vision impaired children in year 6 who are preparing to move to high school in September. They have now published a podcast of the session and also a resource document, which contains a summary of the discussion and gives advice and support. [Full story...]

Results of 'Fight for Sight' survey show impact of pandemic on vision impaired people

The responses to Fight for Sight's recent survey on the impact of the coronavirus on vision impaired people have been analysed. Concerns were raised about access to eye treatment (and the potential deterioration of sight), access to food, and the impact of social distancing measures. [Full story...]

Lockdown advice from Deafblind UK

Deafblind UK has produced some practical advice on coping with issues arising from lockdown for people with dual sensory loss. [Full story...]

Report on Management of nystagmus in children: a review of the literature and current practice in UK specialist services.

This medical review hopes to shine a light on the current management of children with nystagmus across five specialist centres in the UK in order to present, for the first time, a consensus on investigation and clinical management. [Full story...]

LOOK presents 'The Period Podcast'

Periods are seen as a taboo subject, but a new podcast tackles the topic, with a lively chat between a panel of LOOK mentors and women from the LOOK team. The podcast, which covers preparing for and dealing with periods, will be of interest to girls and young women with sight loss, and to their parents. [Full story...]

Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru Coronavirus Information

The Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru has produced a very comprehensive set of information on all aspects of the current coronavirus situation, to ensure that people in Wales have access to authoritative and reliable sources of help and advice. [Full story...]

Temporary transport recommendations: Coronavirus Courtesy Code

From the perspective of blind and partially sighted people, accessible design means detectable kerbs and cycle lanes, inclusive pedestrian crossings and dedicated footways free from obstructions. [Full story...]

Temporary changes to PIP

DWP have introduce several key changes to PIP due to the current pandemic. [Full story...]

No reassessment of benefits for three months - Key changes and commitments from DWP

As of the 24th March, there will be no reassessments across all benefits for three months. [Full story...]

Access to Work claims can be submitted without employer or support worker signature

From 23rd April, Access to Work customers have been able to submit claim forms for reimbursement without an employer or support worker signature. [Full story...]

RNIB produce short guide for local and smaller shops

RNIB is in communication with major supermarkets about the needs of people with sight loss during the current situation. They have also produced a short guide, which can be given to the staff of smaller and local shops, to tell them how they can help vision impaired customers cope with the new conditions imposed to ensure social distancing. [Full story...]

Welsh Government issues advice on ethical values and principles for healthcare delivery framework

The Welsh Government has issued guidance for healthcare services when making decisions during the coronavirus outbreak. The advice has been informed by the set of principles drawn up by members of the Wales Disability Reference Group (including Wales Council of the Blind), and supported by 1,400 signatures. [Full story...]

New report looks at opthalmology services in England

'Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) is a programme designed to improve medical care within the NHS in England by reducing unwarranted variations. The project has just released a report on opthalmology services which makes a series of recommendations which will also be of interest to people working in the sector in Wales. [Full story...]

'Looking after my Eyes' - Book from Seeability

Seeability, the organisation for people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss, has produced a book, 'Looking after my eyes', to promote more conversations and better eye health for people with learning disabilities. [Full story...]

Blocked in: the impact of pavement parking

Guide Dogs has produced a new report on pavement parking, and is calling on the government to bring forward proposals for a new law. The report is based on responses to an online survey publicised by Guide Dogs and other organisations. [Full story...]

Researchers' discovery could improve diagnosis and lead to new treatments for AMD

Researchers have identified a new protein linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that could offer new hope for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. [Full story...]

Report on transition experiences of young people with vision impairment

The Thomas Pocklington Trust and the University of Birmingham have been following the experiences of a group of young people with vision impairment as they move from education to employment since 2010. Their latest report, 'The Transition Experiences of Young People with Vision Impairment aged 21 to 24' has just been released. Although there have been some improvements [Full story...]

Brexit and Disability - Common questions answered

Disability Wales has produced a briefing paper on the potential impact of the UK's departure from the European Union on people with disabilities. [Full story...]

How to complain about inaccessible websites - AbilityNet factsheet

Website accessibility remains a problem for people with sight loss: for every 10 disabled users encountering barriers online, on average only one will complain about issues they encounter, and the other nine will give up or take their business elsewhere. Now AbilityNet, the organisation that helps people with disabilities to use digital technology at work, at home or in education, has produced a factsheet, with advice about how to complain. [Full story...]

Report highlights problems faced by older people in accessing GP services

A new report from the Bevan Foundation looks at the problems faced by older people when trying to access GP services in Wales, and highlights issues which will be familiar to people with sight loss. [Full story...]

ECLO Framework documents updated.

The Quality Framework and Practice Guidelines for Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) have been updated. [Full story...]

Welsh Government publishes disability statistics

The Welsh Government's Statistics unit has published the Local authority registers of disabled people as at 31 March 2019. [Full story...]

Welsh theatres need to improve their services for disabled customers

Vocal Eyes, the organisation that aims to increase the access of people with sight loss to the arts and to heritage sites, has produced its annual 'State of Theatre Access Report'. The report considers the availability of access information on theatre websites, and the number of accessible performances. [Full story...]

Welsh Government launch 'Action on Disability: The Right to Independent Living’ framework

The Welsh Government has launched 'Action on Disability: The Right to Independent Living’. The framework is intended to remove barriers that disabled people experience in their everyday lives. [Full story...]

Retina UK publishes results of its Sight Loss Survey 2019

Retina UK, the organisation for people with inherited sight loss, has published the results of its survey of people with sight loss. Over 900 people responded, and gave their views on issues such as quality of life, access to services and support, and knowledge of clinical research. [Full story...]

National Assembly report raises concerns about waiting list delays

The Public Accounts Committee of the Welsh Assembly has produced a report which looks at the management of follow-up outpatient appointments in Wales. The Committee expressed serious concerns about health boards' lack of progress at reducing waiting times for outpatient follow up appointments. [Full story...]

Report reveals the impact of welfare changes on disabled people

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) has been researching the impact of 10 years of benefit cuts on disabled people. Its report, 'Has Welfare become unfair?', reveals that the changes have had a devastating effect, removing financial security and leaving disabled people living in poverty and isolation. [Full story...]

Communicating with people with cerebral visual impairments (CVIs)

The Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) Society is publishing information about potential pros and cons when considering the use of alternative communication methods with people with CVIs. [Full story...]

Retina UK reports on the challenges faced by working age people with degenerative sight loss

Retina UK (formerly RP Fighting Blindness) has published the results of a research project which was designed to identify gaps in services that working age people with inherited progressive sight loss would benefit from in their working lives. [Full story...]

Information for adults with acquired nystagmus

Nystagmus Network has updated its booklet 'Adults with Acquired Nystagmus', which describes the condition, its effects and potential treatments and contains advice for managing symptoms. [Full story...]

Advice on making natural heritage centres accessible to people with sight loss

A new guide from Sensing Nature and VocalEyes gives advice to staff and volunteers at natural heritage sites such as nature reserves, country and coastal parks, parklands and gardens on making their sites accessible to visitors with sight loss. 'Supporting multisensory visitor experiences at natural heritage settings' gives detailed guidance on how to encourage and welcome vision impaired people. [Full story...]

'Messy and Muddy' - new guide to outdoor play from RNIB

It's good for children to play outside, and now a new guide from RNIB, 'Messy and Muddy', gives advice on how vision impaired children can get the benefits in a safe and accessible way. [Full story...]

How to make your museum more accessible to vi families and young people

'Kids in Museums', an organisation that works with museums to make them more welcoming for children, young people and families, has produced a guide on how to be more welcoming those who are blind or partially sighted. [Full story...]

Tips on producing an audio descriptive guide for museums and galleries

VocalEyes, the organisation that provides opportunities for blind and partially sighted people to experience the arts, has produced a new guide for museums, galleries and heritage sights wanting to provide a recorded audio descriptive guide for visitors with sight loss. [Full story...]

New guide for employers from RNIB

RNIB has published 'Employing someone with sight loss: a guide for employers'. It is intended to address the concerns that an employer may have about taking on someone with sight loss. [Full story...]

Society has little understanding of life for people with sight loss - New report from Guide Dogs

A new research report from Guide Dogs calls for members of the public to understand more about the everyday life of people with sight loss. 'By My Side' reveals that 60% of vision impaired people say that society has little understanding of the challenges they face, while 57% of sighted people want to understand more about sight loss. [Full story...]

Research study confirms the benefits of Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs)

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has reported on a study into the benefits of Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) in opthalmology clinics, and concluded that their presence is valuable in streamlining processes within the clinic, particularly in relation to the CVI (Certificate of Visual Impairment) process and providing continuity of care for patients when they were discharged from medical treatment. It also showed that ECLOs optimise efficiency within clinics and improve their effectiveness. [Full story...]

Norrie Disease Information Leaflet

The Norrie Disease Foundation has published an information leaflet which will be of interest to anyone affected by this very rare condition, and professionals in the sight loss sector. [Full story...]

Can I tell you about Nystagmus?: A guide for friends, family and professionals

'Can I tell you about Nystagmus?' is a new book aimed at children, parents, carers and professionals looking after children with Nystagmus. It highlights the symptoms of the condition and practically illustrates a number of strategies to help a child with the condition. [Full story...]

Retinoblastoma Information for children & young people

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has produced a useful resource for children and young people (and their parents) affected by retinoblastoma. [Full story...]

'Easing into Nature with Sight Impairment'

The University of Exeter and Sensing Nature have produced a booklet which gives advice on how people with sight loss can spend more time with nature - and get the sense of peace, perspective and relief from everyday demands that the natural world can provide. [Full story...]

Wales Vision Strategy 2018 - 2021 launched

The Wales Vision Strategy 2018 - 2012 has been launched at the Senedd, as part of Sensory Loss Awareness Month. [Full story...]

'Making Nature Accessible' - Guide from British Blind Sport

Walking is a great form of exercise, yet lack of accessible footpaths in rural environments and traffic and noise in urban areas can make this challenging for people with sight loss. Now, British Blind Sport (BBS), in association with 'Walking for Health' and the Universities of Sussex and Exeter, has produced a guide to supporting people with vision impairments to participate in group walks. [Full story...]

'Music is a Vibration' toolkit from Sense

Sense, the organisation for people with dual sensory loss, has produced a toolkit for anyone who wants to make their music activities accessible for people with complex disabilities. [Full story...]

Your rights to accessible and adaptable housing in Wales

The Equality and Human Rights Commission in Wales has launched new guidance for disabled people and the organisations that support them which explains their rights and responsibilities regarding housing. [Full story...]

Independent, confident, connected - new report from Scope on disabled people's lives

A new report from Scope has identified the five key areas of life which can be enablers or barriers to disabled people being able to live the life they choose: Attitudes, work, care and support, public transport and digital technology. [Full story...]

'Dealing with bullying ' guide from Contact

Bullying can happen to any child, but is often aimed at children who are different in some way, for example because of a disability. Contact, the UK charity for families with a disabled child, has produced a guide with help and advice for families dealing with this difficult situation. [Full story...]

Eye care for people with learning disabilities

Children and adults with learning disabilities are more likely to have serious sight problems than the rest of the population, yet many of them are not getting the eye care they need. SeeAbility's guide, 'How to be eye care aware', has lots of useful advice for families and support workers. [Full story...]

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

'Contact', the charity for families with a disabled child, has updated its guide to holidays, play and leisure. [Full story...]

Sight Loss, Home and the Built Environment

The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), a leading ‘knowledge hub’ on specialist housing, has published a series of resources related to housing and sight loss. The information has been provided in association with the Thomas Pocklington Trust. [Full story...]

New guide for higher education professionals

'Supporting the achievement of learners with vision impairment in Higher Education' is new guide produced by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR), University of Birmingham with support from the RNIB, the Thomas Pocklington Trust and the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP). [Full story...]

Employment guides from Sense

Sense, the organisation for people with dual sensory loss, has carried out research into the barriers which face deafblind people who are looking for work, and produced three employment guides to help address some of the issues raised. [Full story...]

Guide for GP surgeries should improve accessibilty for patients with sensory loss

A new guide for GP surgeries in Wales should make their services more accessible to people with sight and/or hearing loss. 'Understanding your patients’ needs. Best-practice guide for GP surgeries - Supporting people with Sensory Loss' has been produced by RNIB Cymru and Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, and is based on feedback from people with sensory loss. [Full story...]

Commons Committee reports on disability and the built environment

The Women and Equalities Committee of the UK House of Commons has published the results of its review of accessibility of the UK’s homes, buildings and public spaces. It concludes that, although the Equality Act 2010 requires reasonable adjustments to be made so that disabled people are not excluded from workplaces, public buildings, and places that serve the public, the Act is not having the kind of impact that was expected. [Full story...]

'Working with blind & partially sighted colleagues' - RNIB Guide

RNIB has produced a guide for employers, managers and colleagues of staff members with vision impairment. 'Working with blind and partially sighted colleagues: an employer and staff guide' covers topics such as facts about sight loss, communication and practical support in the workplace. [Full story...]

Eye health awareness in the black and minority ethnic communities in Wales

The results of a project which aimed to increase awareness of eye health and primary eye health care to people from at risk in black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Wales have been published. [Full story...]

Report claims that UK is failing on disability rights

A report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in England and Wales claims that successive Governments have often failed to take account of disabled people’s rights when making policy; and have introduced some policies that actually make things much worse. The report has been produced by Disability Rights UK and Disability Wales, and is based on extensive engagement with disabled people. This included surveys and focus group meetings in venues including Cardiff, Wrexham and Llanelli. [Full story...]

RNIB Scotland updates 'Sight loss and dementia' leaflet

RNIB Scotland and the Alzheimer's Society have updated their leaflet for people with dementia. It has been produced for people with the condition, but will also be useful for carers and family members. [Full story...]

How Accessible is Access to Work in Wales? 3 years on.

A report was published by RNIB Cymru and Wales Council of the Blind highlighting disabled peoples' experiences of the Access to Work service. An update in 2019 has been published and is available here. [Full story...]

10 principles of good practice in vision rehabilitation

RNIB has produced a guide which tells people with sight loss what they should expect from rehabilitation services. '10 Principles of Good Practice in Vision Rehabilitation' covers aspects such as the right to a specialist assessment, and to provision of aids and adaptations. [Full story...]

Parents guide to vision impairment from RNIB

RNIB has produced a new edition of its resource 'Information about vision impairment: Guide for parents'. The document gives information on what vision impairments is, how it affects your child, and sources of support. [Full story...]


Identity card for deafblind people

It can be particularly difficult at the moment for people who are deafblind to communicate while they are out and about. Deafblind UK has designed a card which you can carry around with you to show that you are dual sensory impaired, and state how people can help you. [Full story...]

Transport for Wales joins the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

Transport for Wales has joined the Sunflower Lanyard scheme, which allows the wearer to discreetly indicate that they may have additional needs that are not immediately obvious. [Full story...]

RNIB Bookshare Service for learners responds to the pandemic

The RNIB Bookshare service has a vast UK education collection that provides textbooks and materials to support the UK curriculum from early years to adult education. The free service for learners with a print disability, which can be accessed by teachers, students and now parents in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has a range of accessible formats so books can be read electronically or adapted to suit personal reading needs. Books for leisure reading are also available. [Full story...]

LEGO Braille Bricks website launched

There is now a website for LEGO Braille Bricks, containing information about them and a wide range of suggested activities that children can carry out using the bricks. [Full story...]

Concerns raised about accessibility of arts venues after lockdown

Theatres and other arts venues are facing significant challenges when they try to reopen as lockdown eases. Concerns have been raised that these challenges will be magnified when trying to meet the need of people with sight loss, with features such as touch tours being impossible to provide safely. [Full story...]

Tesco expands priority shoppers list

Supermarket Tesco has agreed to extend its list of priority shoppers, following legal action for breaching the Equality Act 2010. Over 300 disabled people complained, including some with sight loss. [Full story...]

Covid-19: Guide Dogs issue guidance to bus and train operators

The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in changes to public transport to cater for social distancing and other measures. The Guide Dogs organisation has issued guidance to bus and train operators, giving advice on how they can support customers with sight loss as they adjust to the changes. [Full story...]

'The Interval' - Accessible cultural experiences during lockdown

VocalEyes, the organisation which promotes the use of audio description in arts and culture, is producing a weekly selection of accessible cultural experiences available remotely until theatres, museums and concert halls re-open their doors. [Full story...]

Accessibility features on Welsh health websites

Both Public Health Wales and NHS Direct Wales have put accessibility features on the coronavirus sections of their website. [Full story...]

Communications needs advice to health workers

Advice on communication needs for people with sensory loss and problems accessing mainstream print media has been compiled for health workers with supplementary material from Welsh organisations. [Full story...]

Accessible communication advice for health workers

A number of organisations in England have put together this advice on communications needs. [Full story...]

RNIB launch new way to access its library service

RNIB Reading Services has announced changes to its free online library, which now includes new features such as access to eBraille books. [Full story...]

New passenger assistance meeting point at Cardiff Central

Transport for Wales has introduced dedicated passenger assistance meeting points at Cardiff Central Station, which are located at the front of the station near the customer service desk and at the rear of the station near the barriers. [Full story...]

Office of Road and Rail issues new accessible travel policy guidance to train and station operators

Following a consultation exercise last year, the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has issued new Accessible Travel Policy Guidance for train and station operators, which sets out the commitments they must include in their policies for helping older and disabled people to travel by rail. [Full story...]

Accessible washing machines - guidance from RIDC

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC) has produced a checklist for vision impaired people who are looking for a washing machine. [Full story...]

High Court says UK Government's arrangements for vision impaired voters are unlawful

The UK's High Court has ruled the Government’s current arrangements for voters with a vision impairment are unlawful as use of the Tactical Voting Devices (TVDs) that they specify do not allow them to vote without any need for assistance. The ruling follows a challenge from a registered blind voter in Norwich, whose case was supported by RNIB. [Full story...]

Concessionary Travel on trains

If you have a Concessionary Travel Pass from a Welsh Local Authority, you can travel free on many trains operated by Transport for Wales. You can also get 1/3 off tickets to travel on the Cardiff and Valley network after 0930 Monday - Friday, and any time at weekends and bank holidays. [Full story...]

Toolkit to help Guide Dog users respond to access refusals

Guide Dogs and RNIB have joined forces to produce a toolkit which will help guide dog users to respond when faced with access refusals, for example in shops and when trying to use taxis. [Full story...]

RSS news reader for people with macular degeneration launched

A news feed for people with macular disease has been developed by Royal Holloway, University of London, to enable them to keep up with the news. It is designed to support the use of reading with the ‘eccentric viewing’ technique, whereby the individual holds their gaze slightly away from the text that scrolls from right-to-left like a news ticker. [Full story...]

RNIB launch new bilingual personal transcription service

RNIB's Personal Transcription Portal can take your printed material (books, letters etc.) and convert it into your preferred accessible format in English or Welsh. [Full story...]

Hynt - single national access scheme for disabled customers and their carers in Wales

Hynt is a national scheme that works with theatres and arts centres across Wales to make things clear and consistent for people with an impairment or specific access requirements. Its also a resource for anyone who needs specific access information to plan a trip to the theatre. [Full story...]


'Minds in Sight' virtual forum for young people with vision impairment

Vision Support, Henshaws and The Royal Society for Blind Children are inviting vision impaired young people aged 14 to 30 who want the chance to make a difference both in their own lives and in their community to the 'Minds in Sight' virtual forum on 26th September. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network Forums

In advance of Nystagmus Network's virtual Open Day on 3rd October, the organisation is hosting a series of forums, giving people the chance to network and chat with others affected by the condition. [Full story...]

Pocklington Trust employment webinar on 19th August

The Pocklington Trust will be in conversation with Charles Coyle, who has been blind since birth, on Wednesday 19th August. [Full story...]

Macular Society launch monthly Virtual Clinics

The Macular Society is to host a series of virtual clinics, aimed at people with age-related macular degeneration, and their families/carers. Clinics will be held on the second Tuesday of the month, and a different topic will covered each time. [Full story...]

RSBC Summer Programme for vi children

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) is running a summer programme of virtual clubs and activities for vision impaired children and young people during August. [Full story...]

UCAN Productions Creative Fun Online Activities

UCAN Productions is organising free Creative Fun Online Activities for vision impaired children, young people and their friends over the summer. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network Virtual Open Day

This year's Nystagmus Network Open Day will be a virtual event on Saturday 3rd October. [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK webinars

Glaucoma UK (formerly IGA) have produced a series of webinars to support people with the condition. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK Social Group Telephone Calls

If you would like an opportunity to talk to new people who are also living with deafblindness, join Deafblind UK's first social group telephone call on Wednesday 22nd July. [Full story...]

Macular Society Annual Conference 2020 will be online

As a result of the pandemic, this year's Macular Society Annual Conference and AGM will be held online, on Saturday 12th September 2020. [Full story...]

New College Worcester Summer Holiday Clubs

New College Worcester (NCW) is running a series of free online clubs over the summer holiday period to keep young people with sight loss active and entertained. [Full story...]

'Have a Go' weekend at Royal National College

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) is planning a free 'Have a Go' weekend for vision impaired young people aged 13 to 17. Should this not be possible due to the pandemic, a replacement virtual event will be arranged. [Full story...]

Sense Usher Service - Zoom chat rooms in July

Sense Usher Service's Zoom chat rooms are to continue in July. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs technology webinars

The Guide Dogs organisation is running a series of webinars on technology for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

RNIB Connect Groups

RNIB Connect Groups are thriving under current conditions. Here are some updates. [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK Digital Support Groups starting in July

Glaucoma UK's face-to-face support groups have had to cease during the Covid-19 pandemic, so the organisation has launched a series of digital glaucoma support groups. Like a traditional support group, there would be an opportunity for people to talk to IGA staff and external experts, and to raise questions. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru 'Living with Sight Loss' courses

RNIB’s Face to Face Living with Sight Loss courses are currently postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. RNIB are offering telephone based courses which take place over 6 weeks. If you would like to attend a phone course whilst you wait for a face to face course, please contact the helpline on 0303 123 9999. [Full story...]

Macular Society support group meetings continue via the telephone

There are Macular Society Support Groups across Wales, offering practical and emotional support for people with macular disease. Although physical meetings have been suspended during the pandemic, groups are continuing to meet via the telephone. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Ceredigion Technology Group telephone meetings

The RNIB Cymru Ceredigion technology group now meets over the phone on the last Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is May 27th from 1pm. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Young People's Group meetings

RNIB Cymru's Young People's Groups in Barry and the Vale, and Cardiff are now holding telephone meetings. [Full story...]

Buddy Dog Discovery Day - Webinar session

A buddy dog brings a new friend into the lives of children with sight loss. By helping to develop their self-confidence, improve relationships and build a greater sense of trust, these dogs can have a very positive effect on the wellbeing of a child with vision impairment. Guide Dogs is holding a 'Buddy Dogs Discovery Day' webinar, where parents can find out more about this service. [Full story...]


Useful 'Alexa' commands and other technology advice from Henshaws

Henshaws has produced a useful list of simple commands that can be used with Amazon's Alexa app to make life easier for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Social distancing app

A social distancing app for Android and Chrome called Sodar is now available to help people with sight loss keep distance from other people. [Full story...]

Results of stem cell treatment for wet AMD 'surpass expectations'

Patients who were the first to receive a new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) derived from stem cells in 2015 have maintained improvements in their vision five years on. [Full story...]

A new service from British Wireless for the Blind Fund

British Wireless for the Blind Fund has announced a new service. [Full story...]

Tech Talkers

Macular Society Connect by Tech is a brand new service to help people make the most of things like tablets, smartphones and smart speakers to stay connected. [Full story...]

'Be My Eyes' users can now connect with RNIB

'Be My Eyes', the app that allows vision impaired people to call on sighted volunteers, has announced that the app can now be used to connect with RNIB for specialised advice. [Full story...]

Free Orbit Reader 20 from RNIB

The refreshable braille display Orbit Reader 20 is now available for FREE via the RNIB Helpline for people of all ages. [Full story...]

20 things the Amazon Echo can make easier for vi people

There's a useful article on the 'Life of a Blind Girl' blog about how the Amazon Echo can make a real difference to the lives of people with sight loss. [Full story...]

New wet AMD drug could be available in 2020

The Macular Society has reported that, Novartis could launch its new drug for wet age-related macular degeneration in Europe early 2020 after getting approval from the European Medicines Agency. [Full story...]

'Fight for Sight' to fund glaucoma bio bank

The organisation 'Fight for Sight' has announced that it will fund a project to create the UK’s first large-scale glaucoma biobank, a new tool that will help personalise glaucoma treatment and identify patients most at risk of sight loss. [Full story...]

RNIB technology grant scheme

RNIB offers grants to vision impaired people for useful technology that can help them to live independently. This includes accessibility software, accessible smartphones or tablets, and talking kitchen equipment. [Full story...]

Research project seeks an alternative to eye injections

A research project is considering a way to deliver drugs to the back of the eye through eye drops. [Full story...]

Report claims that laser treatment is best for glaucoma

Research by Moorfields Eye Hospital, published in The Lancet, suggests that using a laser-based treatment on newly diagnosed cases of glaucoma is more successful and more cost-effective than the current method of using eye drops. It could also result in significant savings for the NHS. [Full story...]

Gene therapy first to 'halt' most common cause of blindness

A woman from Oxford has become the first person in the world to have gene therapy to try to halt the most common form of blindness in the Western world, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It is too early to tell the results from this trial, but if it is successful, the aim would be to treat patients before they have lost any sight, in a bid to halt AMD in its tracks. [Full story...]

UCAN Go Indoor navigation app for Cardiff Central Library Hub

UCAN Go indoor navigation app for Cardiff Central Library Hub. [Full story...]

Accessibility features of Windows and MS Office

Microsoft has a section of its website which describes the most popular accessibility features of Windows and Microsoft Office. It also covers assistive technology products for Windows and Microsoft Office that are designed for people who are blind or have low vision. [Full story...]

Artificial Intelligence as good as experts in diagnosing eye disease

A study by Moorfields Eye Hospital and DeepMind (a Google company) has found that artificial intelligence (AI) can diagnose eye disease as accurately as some leading experts. Although further trials are needed, it is hoped that this development could eventually lead to quicker diagnosis and reduce delays. [Full story...]

'Soundscape' app to open up towns & cities to people with sight loss

Microsoft have launched Soundscape, an app that makes it easier for people with sight loss to explore our towns and cities. The App is a result of a collaboration between Guide Dogs and Microsoft. People with sight loss were at the heart of the development of the technology, influencing its design and testing the product. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs 'Access and Technology' Grants

Guide Dogs' Children and Young People's Services offer grants towards the purchase of assistive or adaptive technology and sensory toys for those aged 18 years and under with vision impairment. [Full story...]


London casting agency seeking vision impaired woman for a major food brand commercial

Lesley Beastall Casting is looking for a vision impaired woman between the ages of 55-70 to appear in a major food brand commercial. [Full story...]

VICTA Summer Festival 5th to 6th September

VICTA is inviting children and young people with sight loss to get creative over the summer, and share the results at the Summer Festival on the weekend of 5th/6th September. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Disability Wales

Disability Wales is looking for a disabled person to fulfill the role of Information Officer. [Full story...]

Job opportunities at Optometry Wales

Optometry Wales have two positions available. They are seeking an Administrative Support Officer for minute taking and an Office Manager. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru's Connect Voices Network seeks new members

RNIB Cymru is looking for people with sight loss to help shape what they do. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru is looking for an External Affairs Manager to work from their office in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Scope - Working on Wellbeing project

Disability charity Scope's 'Working on Wellbeing' project is an employment training and support programme for disabled people in Wales. Advisors will work with individuals to develop a programme around their career goals and how they can be achieved. [Full story...]

People with macular disease wanted to take part in research project

The Department of Psychology at City, University of London is looking for volunteers for a study on the effects of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) on communication, social interaction and interpersonal relationships. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport launches 'First Steps' project for children

British Blind Sport has launched 'First Steps', a project designed to empower and encourage children between the ages of 3 – 11 years old with a visual impairment to develop their early developmental movement skills and to become physically active. [Full story...]

The University of Bristol would like to hear your views on 'smart' research.

The University of Bristol is researching people's views on 'smart' research on public-access campuses and what this means for the future of research ethics. [Full story...]

Tell your story of Covid-19 for the National Museum of Wales

The National Museum of Wales is collecting information about how people in Wales have lived their lives during the Covid-19 pandemic - and it is a good opportunity for people with sight loss to record the impact of this extraordinary period of time on them. [Full story...]

The Welsh Ambluance Service wants to hear your experiences of accessing their service.

If you have accessed any of the services provided by the Welsh Ambulance Service over the past few months, they would like to hear your views. [Full story...]

Sight Life are running a number of special interest groups

In addition to their regular tele-befriending calls, Sight Life are running a number of special interest groups. [Full story...]

ITV Wales wants to speak to anyone with a disability who is self isolating or is feeling lonely

ITV wish to interview disabled people who are self isolating or feeling lonely during this time. [Full story...]

VICTA Activities Schedule

Despite the current difficulties, VICTA is hoping to run some activities for children, young people and young adults with sight loss later in the year. [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK Research Grant Awards 2020

Glaucoma UK has launched a £100,000 PHD Studentship Award. [Full story...]

JobSense continue to take new referrals

The JobSense team are fully operating their pre-employment support. [Full story...]

Visually Impaired Genealogists Group

Are you blind, partially sighted, or deafblind and interested in your ancestry? Would you like to trace your family history? A new, free to join group can give you all the help you need, including help with your assistive technology. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK Holidays

Deafblind UK has three self catering caravans which provide a home from home break for people with dual sensory loss at heavily discounted rates. [Full story...]

Technology volunteering opportunities with RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru is looking for volunteers from across Wales to help blind and partially sighted people access life-changing technology. [Full story...]

Volunteering opportunities with RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru is looking for Welsh and English speaking volunteers to help out with their transcription services in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Macular Society peer support group for parents

The Macular Society now has a peer support group for parents with children with juvenile macular dystrophies. [Full story...]

LOOK Mentoring Scheme

LOOK UK, the organisation which provides help, support and services for vision impaired children, young adults and their families, has a peer mentoring service for vision impaired children and young adults aged 11-29 who are at school, university/college or looking for work. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Telephone and Skype Groups

RNIB Cymru are setting up some telephone and Skype groups to support blind and partially sighted people in Wales who would like to talk to others with similar experiences. This includes a dedicated Welsh language service. [Full story...]

JobSense employability project for people with sensory loss

JobSense is an employability project funded by the Welsh Government and EU. It will work with unemployed people with sight or hearing loss aged over 25 years, giving them personalised support to build confidence and skills, and provide information about technology and schemes such as Access to Work that can help them in the workplace. [Full story...]

Changing Futures - Employment programme for disabled people in Swansea and Bridgend

Changing Futures is an employment programme aimed at individuals with a disability living in the Swansea/Bridgend areas who are struggling to access training, volunteering or employment. The programme, which is run by Leonard Cheshire Disability, provides one-to-one and group training regarding job brokerage, and on the job and work related accredited training tailored to individual needs. It also provides up to 26 weeks of full time paid employment with local employers. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Cymru 'Pathway to Participation' project

The Guide Dogs Cymru 'Pathway to Participation' project opens up access to sporting, social/leisure activities and clubs for children and young people with a visual impairment aged between 10-18 years in Wales, supporting them to expand existing interests, explore new opportunities and develop new social networks. The project is supported by Children in Need Cymru. [Full story...]


Job seeking and employment videos

The Macular Society and Support4Sight have joined forces to create a series of videos, exploring the challenges of employment and looking for work as a visually impaired person. [Full story...]

Advice on tolerating face masks for vi children

CVI Scotland has produced some advice on how children with sight loss can be supported to wear face masks. [Full story...]

Social Distancing tools

Since COVID-19 there has been a new focus on the need to maintain social distancing. While the public has made great efforts at this, as with all things that require ongoing conscious efforts, people get tired. This coupled with increased anxiety of many who feel vulnerable, the virus still being present in our communities and the shielding period coming to an end, has made a number of groups explore the concept of polite prompting of others by a means of self-identifying with a badge or similar. Both RNIB and the Bevan Foundation have designed items that individuals can wear or carry to request that social distancing is observed. [Full story...]

Macmillan Cancer Support launches Telephone Buddy Service

Going through cancer can be an isolating experience at any time, and especially when social distancing. Macmillan Cancer Support has launched a free Telephone Buddy service to provide support at this difficult time. [Full story...]

UCAN Productions launch 'The Pod Squad'

The Pod Squad is a new podcast from UCAN Productions, created by, and for, vision impaired young people. [Full story...]

Tips for attending your eye clinic appointment during coronavirus from RNIB

RNIB has produced a short film which contains practical advice for people attending an eye clinic appointment during the coronavirus pandemic. [Full story...]

IGA relaunches as Glaucoma UK in Glaucoma Awareness Week 2020

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has changed its name to Glaucoma UK in Glaucoma Awareness Week 2020 (29th June to 5th July). [Full story...]

VICTA Parent Portal - resources for home schooling

VICTA Parent Portal, the information hub for parents and carers raising a child who is blind or partially sighted, has put together a list of education resources for home schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic. [Full story...]

The Amber Trust launches new online resource for teaching music to blind children

The Amber Trust has launched 'Amber Sound Touch', the first comprehensive online teaching resource for music that specifically caters for teachers working with blind and partially sighted children. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport Audio Exercise Programmes

British Blind Sport is encouraging people with sight loss to keep exercising despite the current restrictions with their campaign #StayInWorkOut. [Full story...]

Welsh Government advice for unpaid carers.

Welsh Government has issued advice for unpaid carers about regulations and best practise during Covid-19 measures. [Full story...]

Problems with lockdown measures for people with sight loss

Lockdown measures such as social distancing are creating problems for people with sight loss due to the ocular-centricity of the guidance. [Full story...]

Care & Repair continuing to support older people during the pandemic

Care and Repair has experienced a 67% drop in calls to its helpline, and is reminding older and disabled people that the organisation is still working to keep people safe. [Full story...]

New tool from Welsh Government to help people struggling due to Coronavirus

The Welsh Government has launched a new triage tool for Welsh citizens, setting out where they can get help and advice for their individual circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Full story...]

Advice for taxi and minicab drivers

Guide Dogs have prepared advice on how drivers can safely work with customers who are blind and partially-sighted. [Full story...]

Mental health and wellbeing advice from Henshaws and The Macular Society

For Mental Health Awareness Week, The Macular Society and Henshaws produced some useful advice for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Social distancing tips from Henshaws

Social distancing can be a challenge when you have sight loss. Now a senior rehabilitation officer from Henshaws (who is vision impaired himself) has produced a list of 11 top tips to help you to get around during the current restrictions. [Full story...]

RNIB are offering free subscriptions to Newsagent during the coronavirus pandemic

Subscription to RNIB's Newsagent is now free during the coronavirus pandemic. [Full story...]

Services from Vision Support during Covid-19 pandemic

During Covid-19, Vision Support have been continuing with many services by telephone, including digital support. Staff are available on the phone to talk to you and ensure that you remain connected to your local community and to the charity. [Full story...]

Live Fear Free: domestic abuse helpline.

The Live Fear Free Helpline offers support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Welsh Women's Aid offers National Helpline for Wales and supports women, men and children. [Full story...]

New website to support the education of vision impaired children

Sarah Hughes, Head of the Vision Impairment Service for South East Wales and Chair of Welsh Association of Vision Impairment Educators (WAVIE), has set up a website containing information to support the education of children with sight loss. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK launches new Wellbeing and Emotional Support service

Deafblind UK has launched a new, free, support service to provide in-depth assistance to people with dual sensory loss. [Full story...]

How to get your prescriptions if you're unable to leave the house.

Here is some advice from Community Pharmacy Wales on getting prescriptions delivered or redirected. [Full story...]

Macular Society launches 'Connect by Tech' service

The Macular Society has launched a new service which provides telephone support to people with sight loss who need help to use technology during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Borrow a Touch to See book from Living Paintings

Living Paintings is the only charity in the UK who design and create 'Touch to See' books. [Full story...]

Useful advice and resources for families from LOOK and Guide Dogs

The websites of LOOK UK and Guide Dogs have lots of helpful information for families with vision impaired children during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Age Cymru West Glamorgan have extended their meal delivery service

Age Cymru West Glamorgan have extended their meal delivery service. [Full story...]

Advice for people helping a vision impaired person with shopping

Blind Veterans UK and Henshaws have published useful advice for anyone who is helping a vision impaired person with shopping. Both organisations stress the importance of talking to the person you are helping, to understand their preferences and the systems they have in place. [Full story...]

RNIB Helpline hours extended

The RNIB Helpline hours have been extended to cope with enquiries during the corona virus pandemic. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Covid-19 Sight Loss Information Line

Guide Dogs has launched a telephone advice line providing answers and information for adults and the families of children with sight loss. [Full story...]

Welsh Government issuing letters to most vulnerable.

Letters to individuals identified as in need of shielding are being sent out this week. Accessible formats are being produced. [Full story...]

Sensory learning advice from Henshaws

Henshaws has produced some useful information on how children with sight loss can learn to complete tasks by using other senses such as touch and hearing. [Full story...]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and diabetes

Diabetes UK has issued advice about the corona virus situation for people with this condition. [Full story...]

Sources of support in Torfaen

Torfaen Social Services has provided information about community resources which are available to support people in the area during the corona virus pandemic. [Full story...]

Disabled People’s Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus COVID-19

Disability Wales has updated its website with information for disabled people during the corona virus outbreak. [Full story...]

Home schooling resources during the corona virus crisis

VIEW, a registered charity, which helps to support the education, development and opportunities of children with vision impairment (VI), has produced a list of resources which will be useful to parents of children during the current corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Resources for parents from Positive Eye

Positive Eye is a provider of educational consultancy and training for professionals working with children and young people with vision impairment. They have responded to the current crisis by producing fun ideas, activities and inspiration for parents and families during the periods of time spent at home during the months of the COVID19 Epidemic. [Full story...]

Cwm Taf Care and Repair offers extra support during corona virus outbreak

Cwm Taf Care and Repair is launching two new services to help older people in the area during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Visual Impairment Breconshire telephone befriending service will continue to operate

Following the Government's latest advice regarding the Corona Virus, Visual Impairment Breconshire has postponed all face-to-face activities. However, they will continue to operate their telephone befriending service. [Full story...]

VICTA launches Student Helpline

VICTA has launched a new Helpline for university students with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

RNIB Grant Scheme

RNIB offers grants to registered blind or partially sighted people for useful technology that can help them live independently. [Full story...]

Sight Advice FAQ

A group of sight loss charities, including Fight for Sight, RNIB and Guide Dogs, has launched a new website, Sight Advice FAQ, to answer questions about all aspects of sight loss. [Full story...]

Sighted guiding resources from Guide Dogs

The Guide Dogs organisation has produced a set of videos giving advice on guiding someone with sight loss. They will be of interest to friends, families, and anyone who has contact with vision impaired people. [Full story...]

'Little Amber' scheme helps babies and young children engage with music

The Amber Trust is a UK charity which was set up to help vision impaired children with a talent, or love for, music. Their 'Little Amber' service provides parents and professionals of vision impaired babies and children aged 0 - 5 years with free online resources to help them use music to engage with them. Families on the scheme receive two-hour music sessions four times a year from a trained music practitioner, plus a deck of specially designed activity cards and a set of starter percussion instruments. [Full story...]

'The emotional impact of a diagnosis of AMD' - new training resource from the Macular Society

The Macular Society has added a second module to its series of free on-line training resources for professionals. 'The emotional impact of a diagnosis of AMD' is intended to give professionals information on how they can support newly-diagnosed patients, understand the risks to mental health, and provide appropriate information and advice. [Full story...]

Vital Tech - Guide to assistive technology

Vital Tech is a website which seeks to be an impartial, straightforward guide through the world of assistive technology in the UK. The site, supported by Thomas Pocklington Trust, provides an overview of products and resources which blind and partially sighted people may find useful in daily life. [Full story...]

What are reasonable adjustments? Guidance from EHRC

The UK's equality law requires employers to make 'reasonable adjustments' to ensure that, as far as possible, disabled people have the same access to getting and doing a job as someone without a disability. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has produced a range of resources for employees giving more information about what is 'reasonable'. [Full story...]

Database of optometrists providing services for people with learning disabilities

SeeAbility, the organisation that supports people with learning disabilities and sight loss, has produced a map showing UK optometrists and dispensing opticians who have shared information on their services for people with learning disabilities. [Full story...]

Macular Support Groups in North Wales

As several new Macular Support Groups have started in North Wales, we have produced a summary of venues and dates. [Full story...]

Direct Payments - online resource

Social Care Wales has launched an on-line resource for recipients of Direct Payments, and professionals working with them. A Direct Payment is money provided to an individual from a local authority as an alternative to directly arranged community care services. [Full story...]

'The Right to Participate' resource aims to increase awareness of the Equality Act

Disability Rights UK has launched an online resource titled 'The Right to Participate'. It aims to increase awareness of the Equality Act, especially the ways it can protect disabled people from discrimination in everyday situations. [Full story...]

Films from Deafblind UK

Deafblind UK has produced a series of short films to raise awareness of the work that they do, and the people that they support. [Full story...]

Disability discrimination at school - advice from Contact

Contact, the organisation that supports the families of disabled children, has produced information about a disabled child's rights at school, and how to respond if these are not met. This follows a high level of calls to the Contact helpline from parents whose disabled children have been unlawfully excluded from school activities. [Full story...]

Understanding Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI)

The website of CVI Scotland has some useful resources which explain Cerebral Vision Impairment. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network launches Education Resource Hub

Nystagmus Network (NN) has launched a new resource for parents and carers of children with nystagmus, comprising practical information, signposting to resources and answers to frequently asked questions. [Full story...]

New animation launched to raise awareness of Alström Syndrome

Alström Syndrome is an ultra rare, recessively inherited genetic disorder, which means that both parents will carry the gene although probably be unaffected themselves. It can affect many aspects of health including vision and hearing. Now Alström Syndrome UK, the organisation which supports families affected by the condition, has produced a short animation to raise awareness. [Full story...]


Fight for Sight funding new studies into Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Fight for Sight is to fund two new research projects into Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), which causes visual hallucinations in people with sight loss. [Full story...]

TV Licence - blind concession

From 1st August 2020, people aged over 75 years will no longer be eligible for a free TV licence, unless they are in receipt of Pension Credit. However, if you are blind (severely sight impaired) and can provide the appropriate evidence, you are eligible to apply for a 50% concession. [Full story...]

Pause to shielding in Wales - Foodbox leaflet

Following the announcement that shielding will be paused in Wales on 16th August, leaflets will be put in food boxes from 3rd August onwards to notify recipients of when they will be finishing and alternative ways to get food. [Full story...]

Concerns raised about introduction of e-scooters

RNIB Cymru has raised concerns about the impact of the use of e-scooters on people with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

Call for more 'Esme's Friends' telephone groups

Judith Potts, founder of Esme's Umbrella, the organisation for people affected by Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), is calling on local, regional and national sight loss charities to create their own version of Esme’s Friends – a telephone chat service for people living with the condition, which causes visual hallucinations. [Full story...]

Pause to shielding in Wales from 16th August

The Welsh Government has announced that shielding advice will be ‘paused’ from 16th August. This means that, if Coronavirus levels keep going down, many vulnerable and older people will have more freedom to leave their homes. [Full story...]

Face masks are now compulsory on public transport in Wales

From Monday 27th July, it is compulsory for people in Wales to wear face coverings on public transport and in taxis. [Full story...]

Phone First - for A&E care in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

People will be asked to phone first before going to A&E as emergency services are remodeled to respond to coronavirus. This new approach is been trialled in Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board from 5th August. The 999 emergency service is not affected. [Full story...]

Amar Latif is a Celebrity Masterchef semi-finalist

Congratulations to Amar Latif, the first vision impaired contestant on the BBC show 'Celebrity Masterchef', who has reached the semi-finals. [Full story...]

Welsh Government to extend video consultations to optometry

Following the introduction of video consultations by General Practitioners as a result of the pandemic, the Welsh Government has announced that video consultation services will be extended to opticians, dental practices, and community pharmacies. [Full story...]

Interview with Sight Life's Chairman

You can listen to an interview with John Sanders, Chairman of Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) online. [Full story...]

Research news from The Macular Society

The Macular Society has news on various research projects of interest to people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs 'Buddy Dogs' service featured on BBC

A recent story on BBC's Newsround, the television news programme for children, showed how having a Buddy Dog has helped an 11-year old boy from Anglesey who has nystagmus and albinism. [Full story...]

Taxi company in Swansea contracted by the health board for patients attending hospital appointments

Swansea Bay Health Board have contracted a taxi firm for patients to attend hospital appointments. [Full story...]

Vision UK to close at the end of July

Vision UK, the umbrella organisation for eye health across the UK, is to close on 31st July, due to budgetary issues and the impact of Covid-19. This follows the furloughing of Vision UK Staff in April. [Full story...]

Deafblind Awareness Week 2020

Deafblind Awareness Week is 22nd to 28th June. Deafblind UK is highlighting how life can be made easier for people with dual sensory loss, both in the home and when out and about. Sense UK is also marking its 65th anniversary in this week, and is asking supporters, staff, families and service users to share what Sense means to you on social media. [Full story...]

Macular Week 2020 highlights the impact of macular disease and importance of research

This year's Macular Week was Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th June. The Macular Society highlighted the impact of the condition, and also the urgent need for more funding for research to find a cure. Nearly 1.5million people in the UK have macular disease, and it can affect people of all ages. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Awareness Day 2020

Saturday 20th June 2020 was Nystagmus Awareness Day. Nystagmus Network, the charity which supports people and families with the condition, and raises funds for research, believes that the more people who know about it the better. It means that adults and children who have nystagmus will get the help, support and services they need in education, employment, health, mobility and leisure and will enjoy a better quality of life. [Full story...]

Vision Support has identified their top 5 mindfulness apps

The team at Vision Support has identified their top 5 mindfulness apps [Full story...]

People 'afraid to seek treatment' for eye problems

Concerns have been raised recently that, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, people are reluctant to seek treatment for serious conditions. Now a report on BBC Wales has highlighted the problem that people with serious eye problems are risking their sight because of a reluctance to leave their homes. [Full story...]

IGA advice on DVLA visual field tests during pandemic

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has issued advice to people with the condition who are concerned about the availability of DVLA visual field tests during the current restrictions. [Full story...]

Update on eyecare appointments in Wales from RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru has an update on the situation regarding eye care appointments in Wales, with particular reference to the measures that are being put in place to ensure that, if a hospital visit is essential, patients can be kept safe. [Full story...]

Mental Health Awareness Week - 18th to 24th May 2020

For Mental Health Awareness Week, we have some information on sources of support. [Full story...]

Uber to be prosecuted for refusing to take guide dogs

Cardiff-based social entrepreneur Dan Williams, with support from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, is bringing a case against the multinational ride-hailing company Uber as a result of over 100 refusals to pick him and his guide dog up. [Full story...]

Guide dog training impacted by lockdown

A feature on the BBC website looks at how the current lockdown, with the lack of traffic and closure of venues such as shops and cafes, has made it difficult to train new guide dogs. This may result in vision impaired people having to wait longer for a dog - there are currently 59 people on the waiting list in Wales. [Full story...]

Welsh Government provides assurances to The Macular Society

The Macular Society has asked each of the UK administrations for assurances that sight-saving injections continue to be a priority during the coronavirus crisis. The Welsh and Scottish Governments have now responded. [Full story...]

New telephone number for Retina UK

The telephone number of the Retina UK helpline has changed - the new number is 0300 111 4000. The helpline provides support and information for people with inherited sight loss, their relatives and anyone who wants to know more about these conditions. [Full story...]

Optometry Practices open in each Welsh health board during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Eye Care Wales has produced a list of optometry practices which are open for urgent eye care during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Covid-19 and Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Judith Potts, founder of the support group for Charles Bonnet Syndrome, has warned that, for some people with the condition, the added stress of the current corona virus situation and the extra isolation have caused an upsurge in the number and frequency of hallucinations with which they live. [Full story...]

New interim director for Sight Life

Sight Life, formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind, has announced the appointment of Michelle Jones as its interim Director, with effect from 1st May. [Full story...]

Macular Society says urgent eye treatments must continue

The Macular Society is concerned that urgent, sight saving injections may be delayed as a result of the corona virus pandemic and has written to health ministers and NHS chiefs in all parts of the UK to ensure that they continue to be a priority during the crisis. [Full story...]

Alström Patient Registry goes live

Alström Syndrome UK (ASUK) has announced that the Patient Registry is now live, and is asking people affected by the condition to provide information. This will be used to build a worldwide picture of Alström Syndrome, improving global knowledge and understanding and leading to an increase in interest from researchers. It is an opportunity to make a real difference to everyone living with Alström now and in the future. [Full story...]

Corona virus - Macular Society advice on eye clinic appointments

The Macular Society has issued advice to people who are concerned about attending appointments at the eye clinic while the corona virus is spreading. [Full story...]

Pilot project to provide eye care closer to home in Wales

A pilot project funded by the Welsh Government will enable patients with certain eye conditions to be treated at one of five high street optometry practices. The pilot will last for 12 months, and is being launched by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. [Full story...]

EU Settlement Scheme - Support for people with disabilities

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status. In Wales, the organisation MIND is providing support to disabled people (and those with other special needs) who wish to make an application under the scheme. [Full story...]

Welsh Government funding to support disabled people after Brexit

The Welsh Government is providing funding to Disability Wales for a project which will support disabled people during the transition period following UK's departure from the European Union on 31st January. [Full story...]

Experiences of sight loss from young adults in Wales

Two people with sight loss from Wales have written about their personal experiences of vision impairment. [Full story...]

New Glaucoma Ophthalmic Diagnostic Teaching and Treatment Centre opens in Cardiff

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh government, has opened a new Glaucoma Ophthalmic Diagnostic Teaching and Treatment Centre (ODTTC) at Cardiff University's School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. [Full story...]

Job Centre staff to receive RNIB training

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that Job Centre Plus (JCP) staff are to be given access to online training, developed in partnership with RNIB, which is intended to provide better support to people with sight loss who are looking for work. [Full story...]

RNIB forces change to tax decision by HMRC

RNIB has successfully challenged a decision by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) related to the Blind Person’s Tax Allowance. [Full story...]

UK Government announces package of measures to tackle disability discrimination

The Prime minister has announced a range of new measures aimed at ensuring that disabled people can participate fully in society. [Full story...]

New statistics reveal extent of delays to eye care in Wales

The Welsh Government recently introduced new measures for eye care waiting times, and as a result, has identified that almost 35% of all patients in the highest risk category waited longer than the target time. [Full story...]

New support group for people with Acquired Nystagmus

Nystagmus Network has launched a new, free support group for people with Acquired Nystagmus. [Full story...]

Fight for Sight partnering with Welsh Government to fund research

Fight for Sight, the eye research charity, is inviting applications for project grants for research that aims to address sight loss caused by any eye condition. The charity has partnered with Health and Care Research Wales and the Chief Optometric Adviser for Wales to offer a joint Project Grant Award to an eligible Host Institution based within Wales. Applications are particularly encouraged in the fields of myopia and corneal disease. [Full story...]

New measures for eye care services across Wales

Following the recent announcement by Vaughan Gething, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Care, new measures for eye care services are being introduced in Wales from this month (April 2019). The new measures ensure that both new and existing patients are seen or treated within an agreed timeframe, based on their clinical condition. Measures will be based on priority and urgency of care required by each patient. [Full story...]

Introduction of a new eye care digital system and transformational funding for eye care services

Welsh Heath and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething has announced £7.087m additional funding for the introduction of a new digital system for eye care across both primary and secondary care. Digitisation will help to reduce demand in secondary care and provide a better experience and improved outcomes for people across Wales. [Full story...]

WARNING - Scam targeting vision impaired people

A colleague at Deafblind Cymru has warned us about a scam targeting people who receive bank statements by audio CD. [Full story...]

Giant cell arteritis - know the signs

A report on BBC2's programme 'Trust me, I'm a doctor' raised awareness of the condition giant cell arteritis (GCA) which can develop very quickly, and lead to sight loss. [Full story...]