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Contents.

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Latest edition of WCB Roundup available

The new edition of Roundup, WCB's quarterly newsletter, is now available. [Full story...]

Wales Eyecare Conference 2017 - booking now open

Bookings are now open for the Wales Eyecare Conference 2017 on Wednesday 20th September. The event is free and this year's theme is 'Outcomes and Accessibility'. [Full story...]

We want to hear your stories around Direct Payments

The next edition of Roundup will focus on Direct Payments. We would like to hear your stories. [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...]

WCB Perspectif launched

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


NICE Draft guidance consultation for macular degeneration

NICE has published draft guidance on the diagnosis and management of age-related macular degeneration, and is asking for comments. [Full story...]

'Missing Voices' project aims to discover why people don't vote

The Electoral Reform Society Cymru wants to find out why thousands of people in Wales have failed to vote in recent elections, and have launched a project called 'Missing Voices' in an attempt to identify, and break down, any barriers. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Big Benefits Survey 2017

The Disability Benefits Consortium has launched its annual survey, and wants to hear about the experiences of disabled people who have applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Attendance Allowance (AA) and Universal Credit (UC). [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...]

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...]

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...]


Blindness from diabetes halves in Wales, new research shows

Research by Swansea University published in the British Medical Journal has found that, despite an increase in the number of people in Wales with diabetes, the proportion of diabetics who go blind or suffer sight loss has almost halved since Wales' diabetic retinopathy screening programme started in 2007. [Full story...]

Loneliness and disability – new report from Sense

Sense, the organisation for people with dual sensory loss, has produced a new report, ‘Someone cares if I'm not there’, which explores why loneliness affects so many people with disabilities. It is written from the perspective of disabled people themselves. [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...]

'Making sense of dance' - new resource from Sense

Dance is a powerful art form for people with sensory and communication barriers, as it enables them to express meaning physically and without the need for spoken language. Now Sense, the organisation for deafblind people, has launched a booklet and video resource to support more people to enjoy and engage in dance. [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...]

High levels of anxiety in patients receiving wet AMD treatment

Research conducted at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital has revealed high levels of undiagnosed depression and anxiety among patients undergoing treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The main sources of anxiety were fear of going blind from the injections and concerns about treatment effectiveness, rather than trepidation around pain. [Full story...]

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

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

Homes for people with learning disabilities and sight loss - new guide from RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru has produced a guide for housing providers on the needs of people with sight loss and learning disabilities. It explains how simple changes to accommodation can reduce the risk of falls and accidents in the home, improve wellbeing and quality of life, and support independence which will reduce the levels of care and support required. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


New £10 note includes tactile feature

The Bank of England has revealed the design of the new £10 note, which features Jane Austin. It includes a series of raised dots in the top left-hand corner and has been developed in conjunction with the RNIB, in addition to the accessibility elements already incorporated in Bank of England banknotes for vision impaired people; the tiered sizing, bold numerals, raised print and differing colour palettes. [Full story...]

Audio Described Tour at the National Museum Cardiff on 10 August

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 and are are FREE, but booking is essential. The next tour is on Thursday 10th August. [Full story...]

Monmouthshire CC launches 'Safe Spaces' scheme for disabled people

Monmouthshire County Council has launched a 'Safe Spaces' scheme for disabled people. Around 90 participating businesses in the county will offer help and support to disabled people who experience difficulties while out and about, for example by giving them directions or making a phone call. [Full story...]

Accessibility of ATMs for people with sight loss

There have been two recent announcements related to the accessibility of cash machines. [Full story...]

Accessible performances of ‘The Tempest’ from Taking Flight Theatre

Taking Flight Theatre, the company that brings accessible performances to venues across Wales each summer, will be touring Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ during June and July. All performances have audio description and live integrated BSL interpretation, and touch tours and BSL introductions are available by arrangement. [Full story...]

Audio description on catch-up TV becomes law

The Digital Economy Act 2017 has become law. The law includes provision to ensure that on-demand television is accessible to people with disabilities. [Full story...]

Accessible Banking

A member of RNIB’s ‘Connect’ group has produced a brief survey of how UK banks make their services accessible to vision impaired people. This was based on visits to local branches, and enquiries to bank’s head offices. [Full story...]

All Party Group for Assistive Technology launched

A Parliamentary Group has been set up which is dedicated to innovative technology that helps people learn, live and communicate. The All Party Group for Assistive Technology (APPGAT) aims to disseminate knowledge, generate debate and facilitate engagement on assistive technology amongst Members of both Houses of Parliament. [Full story...]

Activities for vi people with Disability Sport Conwy

Disability Sport Conwy provide a wide range of sporting opportunities for people in the area. [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...]

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...]

'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...]

'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...]


Insport Event in Cardiff on 8th/9th September

Disability Sport Wales is running an accessible sports event on 8th and 9th September at the National Indoor Athletics Centre, Cardiff Metropolitan University Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff CF23 6XD. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for August

Vision Support's mobile information unit will be out and about in North Wales during August, 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...]

RNIB Cymru's On-line Today team to visit Welsh shows this August

RNIB Cymru's On-line Today team will be visiting several Welsh shows this August. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for July

Vision Support's mobile information unit will be out and about in North Wales during July, 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...]

RNC and VICTA Sports Camp

There is a Sports Camp for vision impaired young people aged 14 to 17 years at Royal National College of the Blind at Hereford on 22nd to 25th August. The event has been organised in association with VICTA. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network Open Day 2017

Bookings are now open for the annual Nystagmus Network Open Day, which will be held in Birmingham on Saturday 30th September. The event is an opportunity for anyone with an interest in the condition (parents, children, professionals etc) to get together, share experiences and find out more about research. The theme for this year is 'Raising Aspirations'. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru activities in the Swansea area

RNIB Cymru's Swansea office has arranged a full programme of activities and workshops for vision impaired people in the Swansea area between April and August 2017. [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...]


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...]

Online Today sessions from RNIB Cymru in July

RNIB Cymru is running 'Online Today' events in Newport and Caerphilly in July, helping people with sensory loss gain and develop skills that allow them to use technology and the internet with confidence. [Full story...]

New eye examination may enable earlier detection of glaucoma

Researchers at University College London have developed an eye test which could enable glaucoma to be detected (and treated) much earlier, and before sight loss begins. [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...]


Do you want to make a difference to healthcare services in Wales?

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) would like to recruit voluntary lay members throughout Wales to form part of their inspection teams. Their role would be to speak to people using the services to gain their views and gather information related to patient experience. [Full story...]

'Face of parenting' campaign: applications from disabled families encouraged

A campaign that provides support and advice to parents of young children living in Wales, has launched a nation-wide search for four inspirational families to share their parenting stories, and families with disabled children, or where a parent is disabled, are encouraged to apply. [Full story...]

Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK 2017

Leonard Cheshire Disability has announced that applications are now being accepted for the 'Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK 2017'. This is the eleventh year of the award, which is run with the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation. It rewards those with disabilities who have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurial spirit and business ability in the face of significant barriers. The overall winner wins £30,000 & an additional 4 shortlisted applicants win £10,000 each. [Full story...]

Nominations invited for 'Embolden' ambassadors

Embolden: Spirit of Disabled Women is a vision to change negative perceptions of disabled people by sharing stories about the achievements of disabled women in Wales, and by provoking conversations that challenge attitudes about disability. Disability Wales is looking for Embolden Ambassadors – deaf or disabled women in Wales who are breaking stereotypes, achieving great things and creating positive change. [Full story...]

Volunteers wanted for a research project exploring art and vision impairment

Are you, or do you know someone who is vision impaired and would like to take part in a research project exploring art and vision impairment? [Full story...]

The Office for National Statistics are seeking volunteers

The Office for National Statistics are seeking volunteers [Full story...]

Vision impaired tennis in Swansea

Vision Impaired Tennis Sessions are held at Swansea Tennis Centre every Thursday throughout the year, from 12 midday to 1pm. All ages and abilities are welcomed, and equipment can be supplied. There is a charge of £3 per session. [Full story...]

Employment Support at RNC - free places available

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford provide employment focussed training, funded through the Department for Work and Pensions, tailored to remove barriers to employment for people with a visual impairment. Places are still available for free employment training. [Full story...]

Opportunity to try para-swimming with South Wales Titans

South Wales Titans is a Competitive Para Swim Club designated for those with a physical or visual impairment, enabling them to compete at a national level and beyond. They have training sessions at Barry Leisure Centre (Tuesdays/Thursdays), Pyle Swimming Pool (Wednesdays) and Western Leisure Centre Cardiff on Sundays. [Full story...]

'Early Years' weekend for vi infants & their parents

VICTA is running a weekend event for vision impaired infants aged 0 to 4 years and their families on 21st - 22nd October. This is the fourth time that the event has been held, and once again, it will take place at New College Worcester. [Full story...]

Workshop for vi musicians at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Once again, the Royal Welsh Music and Drama (RWCMD) will be running a workshop for vision impaired musicians as part of its Summer School programme. [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...]

Volunteering opportunities with the Macular Society

Could you give some time to reach out and change the lives of others affected by macular disease? The Macular Society offers vital services that rely on the skills and support of people like you. [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...]

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...]

'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...]


New look for NHS Direct Wales website

The NHS Direct Website has been given a new look. The site includes a wide range of information such as healthy living advice, symptom checker and an encyclopedia. You can also use the site to find your nearest local services (including eye care). [Full story...]

National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017 to focus on eye pressure

National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017 is 12th-18th June. This year, the event will be used to highlight the importance of having your eye pressure checked regularly. [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...]

Young children with sight loss wanted to help research

The DAiSY project (Development and Assessment of Social Interaction for children with visual impairment) is designed to learn more about the social development of vision impaired children, and the project is now looking for 4-7 year olds with visual impairment in Wales and England to help with their research. [Full story...]

Carry on gardening when you have sight loss

Thrive, the organisation which encourages disabled people to enjoy the pleasures of gardening, has a wide range of information for people with sight loss. [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...]


3D films can help parents spot vision problems

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has advised that parents taking their children to see 3D blockbuster Despicable Me 3 this summer should look out for warning signs that their child might have an undiagnosed vision problem. [Full story...]

Experiences of visual hallucinations wanted

The Macular Society wants to raise awareness of the visual hallucinations (known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome) which are experienced by up to half of people with macular degeneration, and are asking people who have had these hallucinations to get in contact and describe their experiences. [Full story...]

LOOK-UK win national mentoring award

Congratulations to Danielle and Jack from LOOK-UK, who have won 'Mentoring Pair of the Year (under 16)' in the Brightside Mentoring Awards. [Full story...]

Call to end the ‘stigma’ of albinism

Albinism is a rare genetic condition, which affects about 175 people in Wales. It limits the body's production of melanin (the pigment which gives hair, skin and eyes their colour) and can result in significant vision impairment. People with the condition in Wales claim that "negative portrayals", including in films, has a detrimental impact on the way that they are perceived. [Full story...]

Chief Optometric Adviser to Welsh Government appointed

David O’Sullivan has been appointed as Chief Optometric Adviser to the Welsh Government. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru transcription team win bronze award

Congratulations to RNIB Cymru's Transcriptions Team, who have won a bronze award at the New York World's Best Radio Programmes Awards for the Welsh language narration of David Walliams’ ‘Cyfrinach Nana Crwca’ (Gangsta Granny), narrated by actress Hanna Jarman. [Full story...]

Macular Week 2017 highlights link between smoking & sight loss

This year's Macular Week is 26th June to 2nd July, and the event will be used to raise awareness of the link between smoking and sight loss. Smoking is the biggest ‘modifiable’ risk factor when it comes to Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and smokers are up to four times more likely to develop the condition. Passive smoking can also have an impact on your eye health. [Full story...]

21st June is Aniridia Day

Wednesday 21st June is the first international Aniridia Day, which aims to raise awareness of this rare condition which means the iris, the coloured part of the eye, is missing or incomplete. The event will also be used to raise funds, recruit volunteers and show what people with the condition can achieve. [Full story...]

Diabetes Week 2017 - Know diabetes, fight diabetes

Diabetes Week 2017 was 11th to 17th June, and the theme this year was 'Know Diabetes, fight diabetes' where people with the condition were encouraged to find out more about the life-changing complications that could have been avoided or delayed if they'd had the right knowledge and support to manage their diabetes. One of these is sight loss. [Full story...]

Welsh vi bowler features in BBC film

As Wales' para bowlers prepare for next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia, the BBC Sport website has a short film about Julie Thomas from Bridgend, who is hoping to be in the team. [Full story...]

New eye department at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to provide increased capacity

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which serves people in mid Wales as well as those in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire, has announced the creation of a new Eye Department. This is expected to bring a number of benefits to patients including modern facilities, new equipment and increased capacity, meaning that more patients will be able to be treated each year. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru presented with GSK Impact Award

Congratulations to Sight Cymru, who were presented with their GSK Impact Award at a ceremony on 18th May. The awards, which are run by GSK in partnership with The King’s Fund, reward community-based health and wellbeing charities by providing them with mentoring and funding. [Full story...]

Achievements of people with sight loss

Two positive stories about the achievements of people with sight loss have featured in the media recently. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]