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Contents.

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

Wales Council for Deaf People and Wales Council of the Blind: 5 Star Awards

Are you a person with sensory loss who has experienced good practice from a health service in Wales? If so, the two umbrella organisations for sensory loss in Wales want to hear from you! The five star awards will recognise the healthcare workers and departments who are delivering excellent support and care for people with hearing loss and sight loss. These positive examples will enable us to highlight good practice and, in turn, encourage other practitioners to improve their own service delivery. [Full story...]

Our Voice Our Storm website now online!

The website for WCB's project for young adults in Wales with sight loss has been launched, with information about the project, events and useful contacts. [Full story...]

Roundup 26 published

The latest Roundup has a feature on Community Voice projects and supplements on StormWCB and ECLOs. [Full story...]

Your Voice A Shared Vision south east Wales event

The next of Wales Council of the Blind's 'Your Voice, a Shared Vision' events for the south east Wales group is on Thursday 30th March. [Full story...]

WCB Perspectif launched

WCB's information portal, Perspectif, is now available. [Full story...]


Consultation event on the Wales and Border Train Franchise

RNIB Cymru is pleased to announce that the four bidders for the upcoming franchise agreement to run the train service in Wales will be visiting Jones Court on Friday 7 April to listen to your views on the new franchise. Vision impaired people ae invited to attend. [Full story...]

Have your say on the future of health and social care in Wales

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething is calling on people in Wales to have their say on the future of health and social care, as part of a major review into this important topic. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

We have produced a list of current Welsh Government consultations of potential interest to vision impaired people. [Full story...]

EHRC enquiry into housing for disabled people

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is conducting an enquiry into the extent to which the right of disabled people to independent living is supported by the provision of accessible and adaptable housing and tenancy support services in Wales, England and Scotland. It wants to hear from disabled people and organisations which represent them. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs launch 'Access All Areas' petition

Although guide dog users are entitled to enter most vehicles, services and premises with their dog, research by the Guide Dogs organisation has shown that the majority of them have experienced some access refusals, despite the Equality Act. One of the most frequent problem areas has been taxis/minicabs. Now Guide Dogs has set up a petition calling on the UK Government to make disability equality training a requirement for all taxi and minicab drivers to help them understand the rights and needs of disabled people. [Full story...]

A chance to influence treatment of AMD, cataracts & glaucoma

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the organisation that tells care services, such as hospitals, in England and Wales how they can improve health and social care. In 2017 they're intending to rewrite the guidelines for age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma, and RNIB is giving people with these conditions a chance to give their views on all aspects of their treatment. [Full story...]

Achieving long-term independence: Sense survey

Sense, the organisation for deafblind people, is running a short survey to find out people’s views on achieving long-term independence, and what they think of support options available for people with complex needs. [Full story...]

Have you used the 999 service in Wales?

The Welsh Ambulance Service wants to find out what people do in a health emergency, the reasons why they call 999 and whether they use other health services as well. [Full story...]


Disability Wales presents report on disability rights to UN committee

Disability Wales (DW) has produced a report for the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Disabled People on the implementation of the Convention on the rights of disabled people in Wales. This follows a consultation exercise via an on-line survey, three roadshows and evidence provided via email. The report highlights progress, and areas for improvement. [Full story...]

Experiences of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for people with sensory loss

A report from NatCen Social Research, commissioned by Thomas Pocklington Trust, RNIB and Sense, looks at the experiences of people with sight loss or dual sensory loss when claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP). It finds that, although most people eventually received a positive financial outcome, the process was stressful, and not accessible. [Full story...]

BBS produce guide to vision impaired equestrian sport

British Blind Sport (BBS) has launched a new education resource, 'A Guide to Delivering Equestrian Activities for Visually Impaired People'. It has been designed to educate coaches, leaders and staff at equestrian centres across the country about sight loss and the needs of people with a visual impairment in equestrianism. It also provides recommendations on how they can adapt their equestrian opportunities to make them more suitable for VI people. [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...]

Voting still inaccessible for many vision impaired people

Following last year's local and Assembly elections, and the EU Referendum, RNIB conducted a survey of people's voting experiences. Over 300 blind and partially sighted people responded, and the results have now been published in a report titled 'Turned Out 2016'. [Full story...]

Review of opthalmology services published

The Healthcare Inspectorate Wales has published a review of ophthalmology services, following concerns about the waiting times being experienced by patients. The report found that Welsh eye care services have insufficient capacity in secondary care to meet demand. [Full story...]

Report highlights the additional costs which vision impaired pensioners face

A new report from the Thomas Pocklington Trust has reviewed the additional costs faced by pensioners who are severely sight impaired - and concluded that their daily living costs are a shocking 73% higher than those of sighted people. [Full story...]

Vision 2020's Dementia factsheets updated

Vision 2020's Dementia and Sight Loss Committee has updated their factsheets. They will be useful for people with dementia, their families, carers and professionals working with them. [Full story...]

'Shaping the Future' report from the UK Vision Strategy

The UK Vision Strategy is a cross-sector initiative seeking to unite everyone in the UK who wants to take action on issues relating to vision. During 2016, the strategy was reviewed, and a consultation was conducted with a range of stakeholders. The findings have now been published in a new report 'Shaping the Future'. [Full story...]

New guides for Welsh social services professionals and housing providers

Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and RNIB Cymru have produced two new guides aimed at helping social service professionals and housing providers communicate better with people who have sensory loss. The documents were launched by the Welsh Government's Minister for Social Services and Public Health at an event in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. [Full story...]

European Blind Union produces Clear Print Guidelines

The European Blind Union (EBU) has produced a document which gives guidelines on producing printed documents which are accessible to people with reduced vision. [Full story...]

Wales Vision Strategy - Key achievements for 2015/16 published

The UK Vision Strategy aims to transform the UK's eye health, eye care and sight loss services. The Wales Vision Strategy Implementation Group has just published a document which reports on progress against the three outcomes in 2015/16. [Full story...]

Design and Low Vision Aids  – A Youth Perspective

Low vision aids can help young vision impaired people increase their independence and confidence, but are not always designed with their specific needs in mind. A new report based on research funded by the Thomas Pocklington Trust, VICTA and Vision2020 looks at the requirements of young vision impaired people aged 12 to 18 years. [Full story...]

Update on MegaFOCUS Project

Sight Cymru has produced a report on the work of the MegaFOCUS (Minority Ethnic Groups Association for Opthalmic Care Update and Service Improvement) project in 2015/16. The project was established because, although they have a higher risk of developing certain eye conditions, people from black and minority ethnic communities in Wales make less use of eyecare services than other groups. [Full story...]

Welsh Government publishes updated Diabetes Delivery Plan

The Diabetes Delivery Plan for Wales has been updated. In Wales, over seven per cent of the population aged 17 or over live with diabetes, and this number is predicted to rise. The plan aims to reduce this rate of increase, and also to reduce the chance of people with diabetes developing serious complications such as sight loss. [Full story...]

Museums must improve website access information for vi visitors

VocalEyes, the organisation which aims to ensure that vision impaired people in the UK have access to art and heritage, has carried out a survey into UK museum website access information for blind and partially sighted visitors. It finds that only 30% of UK museums provide information on their website that would be useful for a blind or partially-sighted person planning a visit. Only 5% of museum websites included a named contact or specific email address for access issues. The report argues that while these venues may have excellent facilities for vi people, they need to be publicised on their websites. [Full story...]

New research: Understanding the needs of older people with vision impairment

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has commissioned research by the Open University into the needs and aspirations of older people with various eye conditions living in community settings in England. [Full story...]

When your disabled child turns 16 - new guide from Contact a Family

Contact a Family, the organisation for families with disabled children, has produced a new guide which describes the benefits it may be possible for a young disabled person to claim once they turn 16 years of age. [Full story...]

Patients' experience of eye care in Wales - survey results published

The Board of Community Health Councils in Wales has published the findings of a national survey asking patients about their experience of eye care. The majority of people who spoke to Community Health Council members gave a positive description of the care and treatment they had received, but the report identifies areas where further work is needed to ensure that everyone accessing ophthalmology services benefits from high standards of care and treatment. [Full story...]

Sight loss, dementia and meaningful activity

Meaningful activity is vital to wellbeing, although it can be difficult to achieve this for individuals affected by both sight loss and dementia. The Thomas Pocklington Trust has published a scoping study and research discussion paper to gain more understanding of these challenges and how they can be addressed through better information, resources and training. [Full story...]

Driving down the extra costs disabled people face - final report

An independent inquiry exploring the extra costs faced by disabled people and families with disabled children in England and Wales has produced its final report. 'Driving down the extra costs disabled people face' makes a series of recommendations for disabled people and their families; disability organisations; businesses; and regulators and government. [Full story...]

'Small Changes, Big Difference' - making sport more accessible for vi women

A new report from British Blind Sport and Women in Sport calls for change to improve activity opportunities for women with a vision impairment. 'Small Changes, Big Difference' explores how sport and physical activity affects the lives of vision impaired women, and looks at their motivations, the barriers to becoming more active, and the specific challenges vision impaired women can face when accessing sporting opportunities. [Full story...]

Deafblind people face significant barriers when looking for work

A report from Sense, the organisation for people with sight and hearing loss, has found that deafblind people who want to work are being failed by employment programmes, employers and government. ‘Realising Aspirations For All’ reveals that only 4% of 18 to 24 year-olds who are deafblind are in employment, making them one of the most marginalised groups in society. The 4% figure is ten times lower than the employment rate for non-disabled young people. The employment rate for deafblind people over the age of 24 is 20%. [Full story...]

The State of the Nation - Eye Health 2016

RNIB and Specsavers have produced a report on the state of the UK's eye health, based on the latest data and evidence. [Full story...]

How Accessible is Access to Work in Wales?

A report has been published by RNIB Cymru and Wales Council of the Blind highlighting disabled peoples' experiences of the Access to Work service. [Full story...]

RNIB publishes latest evidence-based reviews

The latest set of RNIB's annual evidence-based reviews has been published, giving a picture of the experiences of vision impaired people in different age groups: children and young people, working age and later life. The reports on later life cover the whole of the UK, but there are separate reports for Wales in the other two categories. [Full story...]

Wobbly eyes booklet

The Nystagmus Network has produced a new digital book, 'The Wobbly Eyes Booklet', which can be used to help explain the condition to a child. [Full story...]

Sense report on equal access to healthcare

Sense, the organisation for deafblind people, has produced a report on the personal experiences that people who are deafblind face when accessing healthcare, from the positives to the negatives. Although written within the context of the accessible information standards recently introduced by the NHS in England, much of the report is equally relevant to people in Wales. [Full story...]

Assistive & Inclusive Home Technology Guide from Pocklington Trust

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced 'Assistive and Inclusive Home Technology: A guide for people with sight loss'. The guide covers a broad range of high- and low-tech products used for a variety of activities around the home, from online shopping and reading to health and fitness. [Full story...]

New eye drop fact sheet produced

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and Seeability have produced an easy to read factsheet which shows how to put eye drops in correctly. Difficulty in administering eye drops is one of the main reasons for people defaulting in glaucoma treatment, so it is hoped that this guidance will help. [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...]

People with sight loss have an increased risk of depression

New research findings issued by the Thomas Pocklington Trust show that there is a 'clear association between visual impairment and increased risk of depression', and that this is linked to the extent to which the person is able to carry out daily living activities. [Full story...]

A better future for blind children in Wales?

The key to empowering and supporting children and young people (CYP) with vision impairment to achieve their maximum potential lies in the delivery of comprehensive habilitation training and support services. Blind Children UK Cymru recently carried out research on habilitation with Local Authorities in Wales. The survey was a full census of the 22 local authorities in Wales and an exceptional response rate of 100 per cent was achieved. [Full story...]

Employment skills guide from Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK has produced an employment skills guide for people with newly acquired disabilities or health conditions. 'Get back to where we do belong' includes information on what to expect from employers; advice and signposting on careers, education, training opportunities and welfare benefits; coping strategies and resilience. There are also plenty of personal stories. [Full story...]

Wales Eye Care Statistics for 2015/16 published

Welsh Government statistics ​were released on 21st June, and show broadly an increase in the take up of the NHS Eyecare services in Wales. [Full story...]

Management of glaucoma patients in care homes: new research

Research funded by the International Glaucoma Association and the Royal College of Nursing has found that nurses working in care homes need more support and education in order to effectively manage glaucoma and the effects the condition has on the health and wellbeing of older people. [Full story...]

Retinoblastoma information for children and 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...]

Practical guide to implementing the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 for deafblind people

Following the introduction of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act this April, Sense Cymru, the organisation for people with dual sensory loss, has developed a practical guide which aims to support health and social care professionals who work with deafblind people to implement Act. [Full story...]

Lords report on Equality Act find that needs of disabled people are ignored

The House of Lords has produced a report on the way that the Equality Act 2010 is working in practice, and has found that much more needs to be done. Transport, inaccessible buildings and communications are all areas which need to improve. [Full story...]

Improving later life for people with sight loss

The prevalence of sight loss increases with age: currently there are almost 2 million people aged 65 and over living with sight loss in the UK. Now Age UK and RNIB have produced a new report which looks at how the UK can respond to the challenge that this represents. [Full story...]

Disability discrimination - key points for the workplace

ACAS, the organisation which provides information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees, has produced a new guide to help employers and managers identify, tackle and prevent disability discrimination in the workplace. [Full story...]

How can care homes support people with sight loss?

It is thought that one in two people living in the 18,000 care homes in the UK has a degree of sight loss that affects their daily life (around 200,000 people). Now the Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a discussion paper which considers how care home staff can best support these people. [Full story...]

Career guide for disabled students, by disabled students

Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) has updated 'This is your future', the career guide for disabled students, written by disabled students who took part in the organisation's 'Change 100 scheme'. The guide covers topics such as looking for work, applications, interviews and disclosing your disability. [Full story...]

Sensory Loss: Know your healthcare rights

A guide has been produced to help people with sensory loss understand, and make use of, their rights to accessible communication when using hospitals, GP services, ambulances and dentists surgeries in Wales. 'Sensory Loss: know your healthcare rights' has been produced by Sense Cymru, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and RNIB Cymru. [Full story...]


Adapted Cycling Taster Session this Sunday

There's an adapted cycling taster session on Sunday 26th March at Eirias Athletics Track Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL29 7SP from 9.30 am to 11 am. The event is suitable for disabled people with learning disabilities and physical or sensory impairments aged 12 years & above. [Full story...]

Velindre Cancer Centre want to hear from you!

Would you be willing to engage with Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff on Monday 3 April? A new building is being consulted on and they want to ensure that they make the plans as accessible as possible. [Full story...]

Audio Described Handling Session at the National Museum Cardiff on 6 April

The National Museum Cardiff provides regular guided audio described tours of their collections for visitors who are blind or vision impaired. The tours will be on a different theme each time and most will include touch elements. Tours will run every other month, on a Thursday, and last approximately 90 minutes. They are FREE, but booking is essential. [Full story...]

Disabled access facilities at football stadia criticised in new report

A report by the UK Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee has criticised the 'shocking lack of provision for supporters with disabilities of all kinds, including in some cases a failure even to train staff in basic disability awareness'. [Full story...]

New banknotes to include accessibility features

When the Bank of England introduces the new £5, £10 and £20 polymer banknotes, they will include accessibility features for vision impaired people, designed with input from RNIB. [Full story...]

Accessible communications with your MP

Royal Mail is supporting a service that enables your Member of Parliament to have their letters to vision impaired constituents transcribed by RNIB into their preferred accessible format (audio, braille or large print). [Full story...]

Access2books: children’s stories in 75 point print & braille together

Assess2books is a charity which produces and publishes high quality early years’ books in dual format - giant print (75pt) & braille - with illustrations. The design enables braille or large print readers to read without obscuring the text or illustrations, giving children and adults the opportunity to read together. [Full story...]

'A Keyboard at your Fingertips' - accessible music learning resource

'A Keyboard at Your Fingertips' is a free, online music learning resource for people with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

'Good Food Talks' makes restaurant menus accessible

A smartphone app called 'Good Food Talks' is designed to make eating out easier for people with vision impairments. Using the accessibility features on your phone or tablet, you can control the font size, change the colours, or have menus spoken out loud when dining in participating restaurants. [Full story...]

Improve your experience when eating out with RNIB Toolkit

RNIB has produced a toolkit to help people with vision impairment when eating out in cafes and restaurants. Although this should be a pleasant experience, issues faced by vi people include the accessibility of menus and discrimination against guide dogs. The document gives help on how to deal with any issues, and campaign for change. There is also a link to a 'Mystery Shopper' form, where you can tell RNIB Campaigns about your experiences. [Full story...]

Top Access Tips: Managing the classroom environment (non-sighted)

Back to School [Full story...]

Top Access Tips: Managing the classroom environment (partially sighted)

Back to School Week [Full story...]

Access to hotels: guide to your rights

Guide Dogs has produced a guide, 'Access to hotels for guide dog owners and other blind and partially sighted people'. It covers the legal duties of hotel and bed & breakfast owners under the Equality Act, and also gives more general advice on making their premises accessible to blind and partially sighted people. [Full story...]

Improve access to taxis for guide dog users

The recent report by Guide Dogs, Access all areas, showed that taxi refusals were the most frequent type of refusal for guide dog users, although this is illegal. Now the organisation is asking people to contact their MP to raise their concerns about this, and has also issued a set of useful tips for taxi drivers.

[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...]

'UCAN Go' indoor navigation app is now available

A new, free App which can help vision impaired people navigate their way around theatres and museums is now available from the Apple store. It has been developed by UCAN Productions, in collaboration with app developers Calvium. At present, it can help users find their way around the Millennium Centre in Cardiff and the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven, but it is hoped that other venues will arrange for it to be tailored to their own buildings. [Full story...]

Map shows where Talking Buses operate

The Guide Dogs website now has a map showing where Talking Buses are available in the UK. They are also encouraging people to let them know if any services have been omitted. You can find the map here. [Full story...]


Speed of Sight event in South Wales

The next 'Speed of Sight' driving event for disabled people in South Wales will be held on Monday 2nd October at Llandow Circuit, Cowbridge. [Full story...]

Exhibition in Llandudno on 16th May

Wales Council of the Blind, RNIB Cymru, Vision Support and North Wales Society for the Blind are organising an exhibition to celebrate their partnership working in North Wales. It will be held at Venue Cymru in Llandudno on Tuesday 16th May from 10 am to 4 pm. [Full story...]

See and Hear Exhibition in Shrewsbury

Sight Loss Shrewsbury's annual See and Hear Exhibition will be held on Wednesday 10th May at Shrewsbury Sports Village from 10am to 4pm. [Full story...]

Events at Royal National College of the Blind

The Royal National College of the Blind is organising two events for vision impaired young people and professionals who support them in March and April. [Full story...]

Glaucoma Support Group Meetings

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has organised support group meetings at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital at Llantrisant on 4th May, and at Singleton Hospital Swansea on 2nd June. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for March

Vision Support's mobile information unit will be out and about in North Wales during March, giving people who are unable to visit their resource centre in Prestatyn the chance to find out about services and equipment which could help them. [Full story...]

'Applying to University' event on 5th/6th April

New College Worcester is running an event on 5th and 6th April for vision impaired young people who are thinking of starting at university or further education in Autumn 2018. [Full story...]

Event for people struggling with sight loss

If you are struggling with sight loss, Sight Cymru would like to invite you to a two day event in Barry on 22nd and 29th March. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru activities in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

RNIB Cymru's Swansea office has arranged a full programme of activities and workshops for vision impaired people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot between January and April 2017. [Full story...]

Confidence building sessions at CIB

During 2017, Cardiff Institute for the Blind (CIB) will be running sessions for its members and their families aimed at helping them cope with sight loss. Topics to be covered include making the most of your sight (27th January), connecting to your community (24th February) and money matters and shopping (31st March). [Full story...]


Online Today sessions from RNIB Cymru in March

RNIB Cymru is running a schedule of 'Online Today' events in Wales during March, helping people with sensory loss gain and develop skills that allow them to use technology and the internet with confidence. [Full story...]

NHS England to fund retinal implant technology

The NHS in England is to pay for 10 patients to have 'bionic eyes' to help treat the condition retinitis pigmentosa (RP). [Full story...]

Welsh Ambulance Service launches app to help patients with additional communication needs

The Welsh Ambulance Service has launched an app to help frontline staff to interact with patients who have additional communication needs. The bilingual Pre-Hospital Communication Guide App is a useful tool to assist those who are deaf, hard of hearing, don't speak English as their first language, have learning difficulties, or whose illness or injury affects their communication. [Full story...]

Online Today events for 2017

RNIB Cymru's Online Today team will be making regular visits to libraries in Fishguard, Pembroke, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli next year. [Full story...]

Genetic therapy improves sight of patients who would have gone blind

The BBC has reported on the success of a clinical trial carried out by British scientists using gene therapy. [Full story...]


BridgeVis are seeking a Social Secretary

Do you live in Bridgend and would like to volunteer your time to help your local society for vision impaired people? [Full story...]

Disability Powys information and advice clinics in Brecon

Disability Powys are holding information and advice clinics in Brecon on: [Full story...]

RNIB's Connect Project

RNIB Connect is a growing community of blind and partially sighted people and their families, friends, carers and supporters. [Full story...]

Listening Books Groups in Anglesey

Listening Books, the charity which provides audiobooks to some 50,000 people across the UK who find it difficult to read due to an illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty, runs two reading groups in Anglesey. [Full story...]

New Macular Support Group in Ystradgynlais

The Macular Society have set up a new Macular Support Group in Ystradgynlais. [Full story...]

LOOK UK E-mentoring project for vi young people

Look UK, a charity that supports families with vision-impaired children, is launching an exciting new mentoring project to support young vision impaired people. It is looking for VI mentors – who will offer their own knowledge and experience – to help young VI mentees – who will achieve their own potential and aspirations. [Full story...]

Children with vision impairment wanted for new research project

The DAiSY (Development and Assessment of Social Interaction for children with visual impairment) project is looking at the social development of children with a vision impairment. They are looking for vi children aged 4 to 7 years from Wales and England to help with their research. [Full story...]

North Wales Campaigning Groups

Join Vision Support's Campaigning Groups and improve services for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

New Social Group in Ruthin

Vision Support has started a new social group in Ruthin supported by volunteers. [Full story...]

Opportunity to influence NHS Wales Information Standards for people with sensory loss

There is a national project to deliver an Information Standard for NHS Wales. The Information Standard will set out how information about the different communication needs of patients with sensory loss will be gathered. [Full story...]

Your stories about GP services wanted

Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and RNIB Cymru are looking to speak to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, partially sighted or deafblind to tell them about their experiences when using their local GP surgery. [Full story...]

Scarborough holiday flat for families with a vision impaired child

Do you and your family love the seaside? Would you like an inexpensive break at any time of the year just two minutes from the sea? LOOK, the National Federation of Families with Visually Impaired Children, has a holiday flat in the lovely seaside town of Scarborough, a traditional Victorian town and the largest holiday resort on the North Yorkshire Coast. [Full story...]

Skype chat groups for vi young people

This summer LOOK, the organisation which supports vision impaired children, young people and their families, is launching Skype chat groups aimed at young people with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

'Exploring Music' at RWCMD

Are you interested in music? Exploring Music is a series of classes run at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD)in Cardiff for VI people of any age and ability. All kinds and aspects of music are explored. Classes are free although there is a £5 admin fee per year. [Full story...]

Swimmers with paralympic potential sought

Operation Tokyo 2020 is Swim Wales’ plan to identify every potential para-swimmer in Wales. It’s possible there are keen swimmers out there who haven’t yet been spotted. You don’t have to be an established Para-Swimmer already but you do need to be dedicated. Swim Wales will then develop your talent and help you reach new heights in Para-Swimming, with a goal of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. [Full story...]


Prestatyn Sight Loss Centre now open

Vision Support's new Sight Loss Centre in Prestatyn High Street is now open. Opening times are Monday to Thursday 10am to 3pm. [Full story...]

Eye tests at home

A recent news item on the BBC website featured an optician who carries out eye tests in people's homes, and raised awareness that anyone who is eligible for an NHS sight test, but cannot get to a high street practice unaccompanied because of a mental or physical disability, is entitled to a domiciliary sight test funded by the NHS. [Full story...]

Sense launch 'Play toolkits' for children

Sense, the organisation for deafblind children and adults, has launched brand new ‘Play Toolkits’ aimed at mainstream play settings and parents of children with sensory impairments and multiple needs. The aim is to make play opportunities accessible and inclusive for all children. [Full story...]

'How I see' - RNIB film dispels the myths

RNIB has produced a short film which aims to dispel some of the misconceptions about how sight loss affects what people can see. [Full story...]

RNIB updates the Sight Loss Data Tool

RNIB has released a new version of its Sight Loss Data Tool, which provides information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss at a local level throughout the UK. The information will be of interest to any organisations responsible for planning services for vision impaired people. [Full story...]

SchoolScreener EZ will detect eye problems amongst children

The opticians SpecSavers has funded the development of vision screening software in order to detect eye problems in children. 'SchoolScreener EZ' was developed after research found that nearly four million children in the UK have never had their eyes tested at school. [Full story...]

The Accessible Friends Network

The Accessible Friends Network (TAFN) is a national independent UK charity providing realtime social networking, computer technical support, training and entertainment via the internet. It is run by and for vision impaired people. It is a user-led voluntary group which uses email, the internet, voice conferencing and other resources to improve the quality of life for V I people and their partners by networking. TAFN provides support, raises funds and organises activities online. [Full story...]

'Managing Better' - new partnership to help older people

'Managing Better' is a new scheme helping older people in Wales who live in poor housing, and are frail, have dementia, sensory impairment or are vulnerable in other ways. The service, which was launched on 1st April, will be delivered by a partnership of Care & Repair Cymru, RNIB Cymru and Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, and is funded by a grant from the Welsh Government. [Full story...]


Deafblind Cymru to expand its services

The Big lottery Fund in Wales has made an award of £497,519 to Deafblind Cymru. The funding will enable the organisation to expand the services which it offers to people with dual sensory loss in North and South Wales. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru wins funding award

Congratulations to Sight Cymru, which is one of the 10 winners at the 2017 GSK IMPACT Awards, which recognise excellence in charities aiding health and wellbeing in the community. The unrestricted funding will come from GSK while expert support and development will come from the King’s Fund. [Full story...]

World Glaucoma Week 2017

World Glaucoma Week 2017 is 12th -17th March, and the International Glaucoma Association has joined up with Specsavers to raise awareness of this condition, and encourage people to have regular eye tests. These allow the condition to be identified at an early stage, when it can be treated. Recent research has shown that men are at greater risk of losing their sight than women because they ignore warning signs and do not seek medical attention. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru's Online Today team win WCVA award

Congratulations to RNIB Cymru's Online Today team, who were successful in the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA)'s annual awards. The team were joint winners in the 'digital inclusion' category. [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...]

Innovative ophthalmic diagnostic treatment centre opens in Newport

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health, Wellbeing and Sport in the Welsh Government, has carried out the official opening of an innovative ophthalmic diagnostic treatment centre in Newport. [Full story...]

Optometry Today interviews RNIB's acting Chief Executive

Optometry Today has published an interview with Sally Harvey, who took on the role of acting Chief Executive at RNIB four months ago. [Full story...]

Charities merge to become Royal Society for Blind Children

The Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) and the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) have been working together since 2014. With effect from January 2017, the two charities have merged and will operate under the RSBC name. [Full story...]

Welsh vi sporting successes

Congratulations to two of Wales' vision impaired sports people. [Full story...]

Keratoconus and Down’s syndrome - the importance of early detection

The Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit at Cardiff University has been conducting a research study to determine the best way of picking up the eye condition keratoconus in young people with Downs Syndrome in the earliest stages. [Full story...]

It Makes Sense - November was Sensory Loss Awareness month

November was be Sensory Loss Awareness month in Wales, when NHS staff were reminded of the needs of people with sight and/or hearing loss, and patients were reminded of their rights to accessible information and communications. [Full story...]

30 years of guide dog training in Wales

Celebrations have been taking place to mark 30 years since Wales' first guide dog training centre opened in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Pilot project will provide wet AMD treatment closer to home

The Welsh Government has announced that four pilot projects are being set up to provide treatment for people with wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in local communities, where they will be delivered by optometrists and nurses, overseen by an ophthalmologist. The pilot areas are Gwent, Cwm Taf, West Wales and Powys. [Full story...]

Dont get bitten by loan sharks

The Wales Illegal Money Lending unit is working to rid Wales of unlicensed money lenders and they are aware that loan sharks frequently target families which include a disabled child or adult. Borrowing even a small amount from a loan shark could mean paying back thousands of pounds in interest. The unit has set up a 24-hour confidential hotline where people in Wales can report loan sharks in their area, and receive assistance and protection. [Full story...]