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Contents.

  1. WCB News
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Latest edition of Roundup features 'The NHS at 70'.

The latest edition of our Roundup magazine is available. The theme for this issue is 'The NHS at 70', including a brief history of opthalmology, patient stories and reports from the Wales Eyecare Conference. [Full story...]

'Your Voice - A Shared Vision' - WCB's South East Wales Regional Forum Meeting

The next meeting of our South East Regional Forum will be on Tuesday 11th December from 11 am to 2 pm at the office of Gwent Association for Voluntary Organisations, Ty Derwen, Church Road, Newport, Gwent NP19 7EJ. [Full story...]

Presentations from the Annual Wales Eyecare Conference 2018

The presentation files and the first batch of audio recordings of the talks from this year's Eyecare Conference have been uploaded to the site. [Full story...]


Chance to influence Guide Dogs' campaigns

The Guide Dogs organisation is asking supporters to fill in a short questionnaire about what issues matter to you. The results will be used to inform Guide Dogs campaigns in the future. [Full story...]

Consultation on improving assisted rail travel

The Office of Road and Rail (ORR) which protects the interest of road and rail users, has published proposals significantly revising guidance for train and station operators to make the railway more accessible for disabled people. It is now carrying out a consultation on the proposals, which include reducing the notice period for booking assistance, and making journey planning information more accessible. [Full story...]

Macular Society patient experience survey

The Macular Society is asking people affected by the condition to complete a short survey on their initial experience after diagnosis, and how it could be improved. [Full story...]

Cardiff Institute for the Blind consults on change of name

Cardiff Institute for the Blind (CIB) is considering changing its name and is asking service users and partners for their views in a short survey. [Full story...]

Request for patient and carer views for the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group

The All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) is considering whether the drug Ciclosporin (Verkazia®) should be recommended for the treatment of severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis in children from 4 years of age and adolescents (until the age of 18). They want to know what it’s like to live with vernal keratoconjunctivitis, or to care for someone who has it. [Full story...]

Disability Benefits Consortium Universal Credit Survey

If you have applied for Universal Credit or tried to apply, the Disability Benefits Consortium would like to hear from you. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Help shops to support people with sight loss

Guide Dogs' young campaigners are campaigning for people with sight loss to have a more positive experience in shops. They have produced a brief guide giving retail staff advice on how they can best help their customers with sight loss and are calling on supporters to sign an open letter to retailers. [Full story...]

Survey on the experiences of disabled business people

Disability Wales wants to hear from disabled people who run their own business or would like to become self-employed. The information will be used to find out if the provision of information, advice and support could be improved in any way for disabled entrepreneurs in Wales. [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire Disability campaigns for better train travel

Leonard Cheshire Disability has launched a campaign to improve train transport for disabled people. This follows research conducted by the charity which showed that more than a third of disabled people of working age have experienced problems using trains in the last year as a result of their disability. [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...]

NHS Wales produces final report on the Accessible Information Standard

The NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights in Wales has published its final report on the introduction of the Accessible Information Standard (for people with sensory loss). [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...]

Results of study on transition experiences of young vision impaired people published

The University of Birmingham and the Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) have been following the experiences of 48 young people with sight loss as they moved from education into employment. Now they have released the results of this research. [Full story...]

VICTA's Young Ambassadors launch Strive magazine

VICTA, the organisation for children and young people with sight loss, introduced a new Young Ambassador Programme earlier this year. It consists of six Young Ambassadors aged between 18-29 years old who have been working with the VICTA team in the production of a bi-annual magazine which will focus on of topics of interest to young visually impaired adults as they enter into higher education or employment. The first issue of their magazine, Strive, has now been launched. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs publish strategy for 2018-2023

Following a review, and consultation with stakeholders the Guide Dogs organisation has published 'Guide Dogs By My Side', an overview of their future direction and strategy. [Full story...]

'Is Wales Fairer?' - Report from EHRC Wales

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Wales has produced a report which reviews how Wales is performing on equality and human rights in all areas of life, including education, work, living standards, health, justice and security, and participation in society. [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...]

Eye Clinic Referral - new guide for glaucoma patients

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has produced a new guide designed for people who have just been told that they might have glaucoma and who are being referred to a specialist eye service for further tests. [Full story...]

New patient standards to increase support for eye clinic patients

The UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA) has worked with RNIB to develop a set of patient standards designed to improve care for eye clinic patients. [Full story...]

Swansea University report considers use of digital technology by people with sight loss in Wales

Researchers at Swansea University have looked at use of digital technologies by members of RNIB Cymru. Although members appreciate the benefits that technology can bring, there are a number of barriers preventing people with sight loss from accessing information, education and services, mainly in the areas of finance and training. [Full story...]

'Claiming Disability Living Allowance for Children' - Updated guide from Contact

Contact, the organisation for families with disabled children, has updated its guide to claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the main benefit for disabled children, which is there to help meet any extra costs of being disabled. [Full story...]

CHECT publishes Impact Report 2015-18

CHECT, the organisation which supports families affected by childhood eye cancer, has produced an Impact Report, giving an update on their achievements over the last three years and plans for the next three. [Full story...]

UK Government responds to consultation on the accessibility of elections

Last year, the UK Government launched a Call for Evidence, asking for views on how disabled people experience registering to vote and voting. 256 responses were received and the Government has now published its findings, including a list of 17 actions to be taken forward. [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...]

UK Government launches Inclusive Transport Strategy

The UK Government's Department of Transport has launched its Inclusive Transport Strategy, which is intended to improve accessibility across all types of travel for those with both visible and less visible disabilities. [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...]

VI children more likely to develop mental health problems

Research presented at a recent conference at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health suggests that children aged between eight and 11 years old who live with a vision impairment are three times more likely to develop a mental health problem than children with no vision impairment. [Full story...]

'Unpacking Diversity' - report looks at barriers to standing as candidate for Welsh Assembly

As part of a drive to make the Welsh Assembly Government more representative of the community it serves, Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre has produced a report: 'Unpacking diversity: Barriers and incentives to standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales'. [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...]

'Matching income with needs' - New research from TPT

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced new research on the implications of living on a low income for people with a vision impairment in the UK. It has been conducted in the light of changes to disability benefits and cuts to services. [Full story...]

New resource - 'Understanding Albinism'

The Albinism Fellowship has produced a new information resource for anyone affected by the condition and professionals working with them. [Full story...]

Housing and disabled people: Wales's hidden crisis

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published the results of its enquiry into housing and disabled people. They found that there is a significant shortage of accessible homes and that many disabled people are frustrated by the housing system. For people with sensory loss, obtaining information in an accessible format was highlighted as a major issue. [Full story...]

Personal Independence Payment - a guide to making a claim

Disability Rights UK has updated its guide to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the benefit which replaces disability living allowance for people between the ages of 16 and 64. [Full story...]

Disability Wales reports on access to taxis

Disability Wales has published the results of its recent survey on the problems facing disabled people in Wales who want to access taxis and private hire vehicles. 64% of those who responded to the online survey stated they had experienced problems. [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...]

New lighting guide from Thomas Pocklington Trust

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a revised and updated version of its guide to lighting for vision impaired people. 'Lighting in and around the home: A guide to better lighting for people with sight loss' takes into account advances in light sources, mainly Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), since the previous edition, and looks at how new technology can help to improve lighting. [Full story...]

Accessing Public Services Toolkit

Cerebra, the organisation for families where a child has a brain condition, has produced an 'Accessing Public Services Toolkit', which aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. [Full story...]

Public Health Wales publishes Annual Equality Report

Public Health Wales has published its Annual Equality Report for 2016-2017. It details the work that the organisation has done relating to equality during that time, as well as looking at some of the health inequities that have been addressed. [Full story...]

Registering as sight impaired

The Macular Society has produced a leaflet which summarises the benefits of registering as sight impaired or severely sight impaired. [Full story...]

Inaccessible gym equipment is a barrier to fitness for vi people

A new report from the Thomas Pocklington Trust and consumer research charity RICA has looked at the accessibility of equipment in gyms, and concluded that the inaccessibility of machines such as treadmills and cross-trainers is preventing people with sight loss from getting the benefits of exercise. [Full story...]

NICE issues new clinical guidance for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued revised guidance on the diagnosis and management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), following a consultation exercise conducted during 2017. The guidance has been welcomed by the Macular Society, as it will allow the condition to be treated at an earlier stage. [Full story...]

Report recommends new model of care for Wales

The expert panel which was set up to undertake a review of health and social care in Wales has produced its final report. It recommends new models of care, with services organised around the individual and their family, as close to home as possible. [Full story...]

New publication: Nystagmus and Driving

Nystagmus Network has produced a new publication which tackles a subject of major concern to people with the condition. 'Nystagmus and Driving' addresses the issues, answers your questions and points to free and concessionary alternatives to driving. [Full story...]

'Missing Voices' project produces report on findings

The 'Missing Voices' project was set up by the Electoral Reform Society Cymru to examine the reasons for the low turnout in Welsh local elections and National Assembly elections. A project report has now been produced, based on focus groups across Wales (including one with Wales Council of the Blind) and an on-line survey. [Full story...]

Guide to juvenile macular dystrophies

The Macular Society has released a new guide to juvenile macular dystrophies. The term covers a large number of rare, inherited conditions which are often not diagnosed until later life. [Full story...]

New Accessible Information Standard for NHS Wales launched

An updated version of the All Wales Sensory Loss Standards has been launched by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething as part of Sensory Loss Awareness Month. [Full story...]

IGA advice on delayed glaucoma appointments

The International glaucoma Association (IGA) has published advice for people with glaucoma whose appointments have been delayed or cancelled. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Information Pack launched on Wobbly Wednesday

The Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics at Sheffield University has developed a Nystagmus Information Pack, with support from the Nystagmus Network (NN), and input from people attending NN events. The resource was launched on 'Wobbly Wednesday', the annual event which raises awareness of this eye condition. [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...]

Report suggests number of children with vision impairment is rising

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has examined the number of children in Wales and England issued with a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) and suggested that there has been an increase. [Full story...]

Resources for teachers of vi students

The Macular Society has produced a range of resources for teachers with vision impaired students which should help them to make lessons more accessible. [Full story...]

New research on transition of vi young people to adulthood

The Longitudinal Transitions Study is a research project following the experiences of young people with vision impairment during the transition from school through to employment and adulthood. The research has been carried out by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with RNIB and supported by the Thomas Pocklington Trust. A series of resources based on the project has now been published. [Full story...]

Wales Eye Care Stats 2016-2017 released

Eye care and hearing stats for 2016-17 have been released by the Welsh Government. The report aims to provide a summary of currently provided sensory care services in the context of poor eye health and hearing loss. [Full story...]

Review of Health & Social Care in Wales - Interim report published

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government set up an expert panel to conduct a review into Health and Social Care. The panel has now produced an interim report which calls for new models of care to be trialled. [Full story...]

Housing guide for people with sight loss

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a new online guide for vision impaired people who are looking for a new home, seeking to live independently for the first time or experiencing problems in their current accommodation. [Full story...]

Practical Guidance reports from Pocklington

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has put all of its Practical Guidance reports into a new section of the website, making it easier to find information on a particular topic. [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...]

'Get up and go' booklet aims to prevent falls

The risk of falling increases with age, with one in three people over 65 having a fall every year. A new handbook on falls prevention is being given to patients on non-emergency transport in Wales, as part of an initiative by Public Health Wales, the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. [Full story...]

Importance of eye tests for people with dementia highlighted

Recent research by the College of Optometrists has revealed that the prevalence of visual impairment is higher among people with dementia, compared to the overall population. However, almost 50% of those living with dementia and VI were no longer classified as visually impaired when wearing their up-to-date spectacle prescription. [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...]

Welsh Pathway for Children & Young People with Vision Impairment launched

VISION 2020 UK, the umbrella organisation which leads collaboration in eye health and sight loss, has launched the 'All-Wales Integrated Pathway for Children and Young People (0 to 25 years) with Vision Impairment, and their Families'. The pathway, created in collaboration with the Children’s Vision Service Advisory Group for Wales, provides an agreed provision pathway from the point of diagnosis to adulthood. [Full story...]

Talking to your child about sight loss - new guide from RNIB

'Tough talks: Talking to children about sight loss' is a new guide for parents which gives advice to parents and carers of children with vision impairment on ways to discuss this sensitive topic. [Full story...]

'Being disabled in Britain - a journey less equal'

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has produced a report on disability equality in Britain. It covers six areas of life, including education, work, health, justice and participation in politics, looking at where there has been progress and where there are still serious issues to be tackled. [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...]

'Filling the gap where patients used to fall": Report on the impact of ECLOs

Research conducted for RNIB by the University of South Wales and Swansea University has looked at the impact of the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) role on patients, clinics and services. It concludes that ECLOs have a positive impact in each of these areas. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


Heathrow Airport launches app for vision impaired passengers

From 3rd December, vision impaired passengers using Heathrow Airport will be able to access personalised assistance via a free app, Aira. [Full story...]

Audio Description Commentary at Wrexham Football Club

Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) in association with sponsors North Wales Masons and The Maesgwyn Hall, has introduced audio described commentary at Wrexham Football Club’s home matches, starting on 8th December. This is a good opportunity for younger people with sight loss who have never been to a match to give it a try – and for older supporters with visual problems to continue their attendance. [Full story...]

Coping with Christmas when you have sight loss

Some useful tips on coping with Christmas when you have sight loss have been published recently. [Full story...]

VI Tennis sessions start in Cardiff

Vision Impaired tennis sessions are starting at Cardiff City's House of Sport. They will be held on Mondays from 1 pm to 2.30 pm. [Full story...]

Letter from Santa for vi children

This Christmas, RNIB will be helping Santa to write to vision impaired children in their preferred accessible format. The scheme has been running for over 20 years. [Full story...]

Transport for Wales - Passenger Assistance

The rail service for Wales and Borders is now run by Transport for Wales (replacing Arriva Trains Wales). Their website contains information for disabled people about the assistance services that they provide. [Full story...]

Welsh Cycling to develop pathway for vi people

Welsh Cycling is looking to develop a pathway for disabled people in Wales to progress within cycling. The disability categories that are classifiable in cycling are people with a physical impairment or people who are blind or have a visual impairment. [Full story...]

Audio Described Tour at the National Museum Cardiff on 13th December

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 are FREE, but booking is essential. The next tour is on Thursday 13th December. [Full story...]

Audio described Christmas shows in Wales

Many theatres will be giving audio described performances of their Christmas shows. [Full story...]

New assistance app to improve service to disabled rail travellers

The Rail Delivery Group has announced that it is trialling an app which should make it easier for disabled people to book help at stations and get a more consistent and reliable service when travelling by train. [Full story...]

VocalEyes publishes 'State of Museum Access 2018' report

VocalEyes, the organisation which aims to increase access to arts and heritage for people with sight loss, has published a report on the provision of access information on the websites of museums in the UK. It found that only 81% of museums provided access information for disabled visitors on their websites, with the figure for Wales being lower, at 76%. [Full story...]

Hints and tips for people with sight loss

Several useful hints and tips for people with sight loss have been published recently. [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...]

Electronic Programme Guides to be made more accessible

OfCom, the UK's communications regulator, has announced changes to TV broadcasters' on screen guides which should make them more accessible to people with vision impairments. [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...]

Culverhouse Cross Shopper service

A community bus service from Barry or Wenvoe to Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff. Shop at Marks and Spencer, TK Maxx, Tesco and Aldi. Drivers will carry your shopping into your house. Door to door service. [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...]

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...]


LOOK UK Wellbeing weekend

LOOK UK is holding a Wellbeing Weekend on 8-10 February 2019, at Poulstone Court, Herefordshire. [Full story...]

'Dementia, sight loss and the living environment ' workshops

RNIB Cymru is running free workshops on dementia, sight loss and the living environment, aimed at care home staff, family-based carers and occupational therapists within the Western Bay region of Bridgend, Neath-Port Talbot and Swansea. [Full story...]

Outreach Open Day at New College Worcester

New College Worcester (NCW) is organising an Outreach Open Day on Tuesday 22nd January. It is an opportunity for education professionals working with a vision impaired child, or a parent, to find out about how the College teaches its students, and receive advice on teaching specific subject areas. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru's Specialist Workers Meeting

Sight Cymru's next Specialist Workers Meeting will be held on Friday 15th March at the Masonic Lodge, Masonic Hall, Cardiff. [Full story...]

Audio Book Club at Penarth Library

Penarth's free Audio Book Club for blind and partially sighted people meets on the second Thursday of each month at 2 pm. The club is supported by Sight Cymru. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for December

Vision Support's Mobile Information Units will be out and about in North Wales during December, 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...]

Disability Wales Events

Disability Wales is organising an event on Direct Payments, and two events to discuss the Welsh Government's consultation on Independent Living. [Full story...]

VICTA activity programme for 2019

Details of some of the events VICTA will be running for vision impaired children and young people during are now on their website. [Full story...]

'Living with Sight Loss' courses - dates for 2019

RNIB Cymru will be running more of its free, 2-day 'Living with Sight Loss' courses in 2019. [Full story...]

Speed of Sight events in South Wales in 2019

Speed of Sight, the organisation which gives disabled people and their families the opportunity to experience the thrill of driving in custom made, dual controlled cars, has announced four events in South Wales in 2019. [Full story...]

National Eye Health Week 2018

This year's National Eye Health Week was 24th to 30th September. The event promoted the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. [Full story...]

Ceredigion Disability Forum meetings

Ceredigion Disability Forum has arranged a series of meetings for disabled people in the county, and support workers, carers or representatives working with them. [Full story...]

North Wales Social Groups

Vision Support organises five social groups in North Wales. [Full story...]


UCAN Go Indoor navigation app for Cardiff Central Library Hub

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

'Be My Eyes' app connects vi people with sighted volunteers

'Be My Eyes' is a free app which enables people with a vision impairment to call on sighted volunteers via a live video call for help with tasks such as checking expiry dates, distinguishing colours, reading instructions or navigating new surroundings. [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...]

RNIB launch Orbit Reader 20 in National Braille Week

National Braille Week 2018 started on 8th October - and RNIB is marking the event by launching the Orbit Reader 20, a device that aims to “significantly” reduce the cost of refreshable braille technology and opens up the language to a new audience. [Full story...]

Three new Nystagmus research projects announced

Nystagmus Network and Fight for Sight announced funding for three new research projects at the Nystagmus Network Conference on 29th September. [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...]

New treatments for glaucoma and AMD trialled

New treatments for glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are being trialled. [Full story...]

Research could see the end of eye injections for wet AMD patients

Eye research charity Fight for Sight has announced that it will fund a project which could lead to the end of the need for eye injections for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). [Full story...]

VICTA/RNIB Grant for Apple iPad Air

RNIB and VICTA are offering a grant to young people with a vision impairment to enable them to study independently. If you are aged between 11 and 25 years and a UK resident, you may be eligible for an Apple iPad Air 2 and case. [Full story...]

UK Government announces new Tech Fund for employers of disabled people

The Department of Work and Pensions has launched a new 'Tech Fund' as part of its Access to Work (ATW) scheme. The fund will offer savings on the cost of assistive technology to employers. [Full story...]

Stem cell treatment restores sight of AMD patients

The first patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to receive a new treatment derived from stem cells have regained enough vision to be able to read, in what has been described as 'a major milestone in the London Project to Cure Blindness', which was funded by the Macular Society. [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...]

Clinical trial to test a new type of therapy to treat retinitis pigmentosa.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has accepted an application from GenSight to run the first clinical trial in the UK to test a new type of therapy with the potential to treat all forms of retinitis pigmentosa. [Full story...]

Best apps for vision impaired people

The Macular Society has produced a list of smartphone apps which can help vision impaired people to be more independent. Most of them are available free of charge. [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...]

Magnetic implant used to treat nystagmus

Researchers at Oxford University and University College London have developed a set of magnetic implants to treat the eye condition nystagmus. [Full story...]


RNIB Cymru seeks Network Committee members

RNIB Cymru is looking for people who want to help shape their work in Wales. As a member of the new Network Committee, you will help lead and steer their work to bring about positive change for blind and partially sighted people of all ages and anyone affected by sight loss. [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...]

There are two new Macular support groups

The Macular Society has established two new support groups. [Full story...]

A new study: 'Mapping Accessible Transport for Persons with Reduced Mobility'

Your views are wanted to support a new study: 'Mapping Accessible Transport for Persons with Reduced Mobility. [Full story...]

'Change 100' - paid internship opportunities for disabled students

Leonard Cheshire Disability has launched its 'Change 100' scheme which offers disabled students and recent graduates the opportunity of a three month paid internship with a major employer next summer. [Full story...]

Radnorshire Association for the Blind are seeking a Treasurer

Radnorshire Association for the Blind are seeking a volunteer to manage their financial matters as part of the Executive Committee. [Full story...]

Cardiff Institute for the Blind seeks trustees

Cardiff Institute for the Blind (CIB) is seeking new trustees with a background in one or more of the following areas: commercial business set-up/management, income generation and/or fundraising, charity and/or corporate governance, safeguarding and information governance. [Full story...]

Alström Syndrome UK 's Big Activity Challenge

Alström Syndrome UK (ASUK) is offering adults with the condition (aged 18 years and over) funding to try a new activity and then write about the experience. [Full story...]

Share your glaucoma story

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is asking people with the condition to share their story in an online book. The book will be used to help others with glaucoma, raise awareness, and also raise funds. [Full story...]

Research participants wanted for Neurological Vision Loss Database

Researchers at Cardiff University are looking for potential research participants for studies of neurological vision loss (NVL). [Full story...]

Active Inclusion – VI Volunteer Mentoring Project

Vision Support are currently working on an ‘Active Inclusion’ project aiming to support people over the age of 25 who live in Conwy or Denbighshire and are long-term unemployed or economically active. The “VI Volunteer Mentoring Project” will provide training and support to individuals over a period of ten weeks in order to increase confidence and skills related to employability. [Full story...]

Children with nystagmus wanted for research study

A study by the Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit and Research Unit for Nystagmus (RUN), School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University is looking to recruit children aged between 6 months and 5 years to take part in a research study. [Full story...]

'Can Do' volunteering scheme for young people with disabilities

Leonard Cheshire Disability's 'Can Do' scheme offers disabled people aged 16 to 35 years the opportunity to volunteer in their community. [Full story...]

Mentoring opportunities for vi children from LOOK UK

LOOK UK, the organisation which provides help, support and services for vision impaired children and their families, is offering a mentoring service to vi children. [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...]

Opportunity to help nystagmus research

The University of Southampton is doing research on the support and information available to people with nystagmus, and is asking people with the condition, their families and teachers to complete a short questionnaire. [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...]


New glaucoma films

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has produced five short films about the condition. [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...]

Useful tips for teachers of students with sight loss

The Royal Blind Society and Look-UK have given some useful tips for teachers of vision impaired students recently. [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...]

'A B See' - A sight test helps your child achieve their best

A B See is a new campaign launched by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) which aims to help children reach their full potential through regular sight testing. [Full story...]

A helping hand with taxes from RNIB

Did you know that RNIB has a tax team that supports blind and partially sighted people with tax, tax credits and HMRC issues across the UK? The team, based in Liverpool, is supported by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). [Full story...]

New technical support service from The Macular Society

The Macular Society has launched a new technical support service, to help people affected by macular disease to get the most out of gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. [Full story...]

Macular Society launches free on-line training for professionals

The Macular Society has launched the first of a series of free on-line training modules which will give healthcare professionals a greater understanding of central vision loss. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network launches new information and support line

The Nystagmus Network can now offer information and support over the phone. [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...]

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...]

'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...]

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...]


Rail Ombudsman starts work

A new, independent Rail Ombudsman service has been launched to investigate unresolved complaints about the train service. This includes dealing with complaints regarding passenger assistance, facilities for customers with disabilities, and discrimination or issues arising under the Equality Act 2010. [Full story...]

Norrie Disease Awareness Week

The inaugural Norrie Disease Awareness Week started on 19th November. The event was used to raise awareness of this rare X-linked genetic condition which causes boys to be born blind or with severe sight impairment. [Full story...]

Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day 2018

16th November was the awareness day for Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS) - a condition which causes visual hallucinations in people with sight loss. [Full story...]

RNIB celebrates its 150th anniversary

Congratulations to RNIB, which was founded in 1868 and is celebrating its 150th anniversary . [Full story...]

RP Fighting Blindness becomes Retina UK

RP Fighting Blindness has a new name, Retina UK, and a new website. The new name does not involve any change to the charity's remit: funding medical research into inherited retinal dystrophies including retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, Usher syndrome, cone-rod dystrophy, choroideremia and Leber congenital amaurosis, and supporting those affected. [Full story...]

Cardiff entrepreneur included in the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List

Entrepreneur Dan Williams, founder of Cardiff-based Visualise Training and Consultancy, was included in the Shaw Trust's Disability Power 100 List. The list is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru awarded £98,800 by Big Lottery Fund Wales

Sight Cymru has been awarded £98,800 by the Big Lottery Fund Wales, to be spent over the next three years. [Full story...]

TV advertising campaign to promote the importance of regular sight tests

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) is partnering with eye research charity Fight for Sight to promote the importance of regular sight tests in a new TV advert and public awareness campaign, which launches in Wales on 12th October. [Full story...]

Welsh Health Secretary announces new funding for eye care

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething used the Wales Eyecare Conference to announce a £4 million investment to transform eye care in 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...]

Optometry Wales considers new guidance on sight tests and driving

Following news that three police forces in England are to carry on roadside sight tests on any driver that they stop, the chief of Optometry Wales has said that they are considering introducing new guidance on sight tests and driving. [Full story...]

'Just ask, don't grab' campaign

Dr Amy Kavanagh, a vision impaired activist and campaigner who has ocular albinism, has launched the #JustAskDontGrab campaign to help change the way people interact with those with disabilities. [Full story...]

NHS Wales communications still not accessible to vision impaired people

Although the Welsh Government introduced a requirement for the NHS to provide accessible communications for people with sensory loss in 2013, RNIB Cymru say that this remains a problem for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Could you help research into albinism and macular degeneration?

If you have albinism and are aged over 60 years, you may be able to help the vision research team at 'Gift of Sight', which is managed by the University of Southampton. [Full story...]

Personal story of sight loss and Charles Bonnet Syndrome featured on BBC programme

BBC TV's 'Victoria Derbyshire' programme has produced a feature on a young woman's experience of losing her sight, and experience of visual hallucinations. [Full story...]

'Access to Work' funding increased

The maximum amount disabled people can claim to help them access employment is set to increase to £57,000 a year, which represents a £15,000 - or 38% - rise from the current cap on Access to Work funding. [Full story...]

Driving when you have cataracts: new guidance from DVLA

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued new guidance for drivers who have cataracts. Car and motorcycle drivers now only need to tell the DVLA about their cataract if they do not meet the relevant visual standards for driving. [Full story...]

RNIB - The future of service delivery

There's an article about changes to the way that RNIB delivers services on their website. This will be based around twelve networks, grouped into four areas. One of these areas will cover Wales, South West England and the West Midlands. [Full story...]

New funding for research into nystagmus announced

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network have announced two funding awards for research into this eye condition. [Full story...]

National Lottery to fund development of Wayfindr

The Big Lottery Fund has made an award of £300,000 to Wayfindr, a partnership between the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) and digital product company ustwo. It will be used in an innovation to help vision impaired people navigate indoor environments independently using audio navigation. [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...]