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Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

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Contents.

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

Latest RESET booklet is about reactions to the pandemic

The latest booklet in WCB's RESET project is 'Conversations that Count', a look at what people from the sight loss community had to say about their experiences of the pandemic. [Full story...]

WCB report raises concerns at shortage of ROVIs

A new report from Wales Council of the Blind raises concerns about the shortage of Rehabilitation Officers for Vision Impairment (ROVIs) working with adults in Wales. [Full story...]

WCB is a Census Champion

We were delighted to receive a 'Census Champion' certificate and letter of thanks from the Office from National Statistics, in recognition of our 'invaluable support of Census 2021'. [Full story...]

WCB RESET Project - Transport and Travel resource issued

Wales Council of the Blind has produced a Transport and Travel booklet, as part of our RESET project, supported by funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. [Full story...]

Third Sector Organisations offering support in Wales

You can now find out about third sector organisations offering support to people with sight loss in one place on our website. [Full story...]

WCB supports call for more Rehabilitation Officers for Vision Impairment

A rehabilitation officer for vision impairment (ROVI) can transform the life of a person with sight loss, although there currently are not enough people providing this vital service in Wales. WCB estimates that at least 45 ROVIs are needed, but currently only 34 are in post, meaning that access to a ROVI is something of a postcode lottery. We are supporting RNIB Cymru’s Manifesto for the Welsh Parliament/Senedd Election this May. [Full story...]

Making the vaccine rollout process accessible

Wales Council of the Blind has joined with RNIB Cymru and Guide Dogs Cymru to call on the Welsh Government to ensure that the rollout of the Covid 19 vaccinations is accessible to people with sight loss. [Full story...]

WCB is now on Instagram

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, we are now sharing the news of the sight loss sector in Wales via Instagram. [Full story...]

WCB RESET Project

WCB's RESET project will produce information packs and online resources to assist people with sight loss in negotiating the measures put in place under the Covid-19 pandemic. [Full story...]

Advice to people with sight loss regarding safe guiding, social distancing and dealing with surfaces

We have updated our coronavirus information to include a new section giving advice to people with sight loss on safe guiding, social distancing and touching surfaces. [Full story...]


Sight loss charities issue call for the benefit system and employment support to be made fit for purpose for blind and partially sighted people

The UK Government's recent consultation on 'Shaping future support: The Health and Disability Green Paper' has recently closed. In response, seven sight loss charities have issued a joint statement, calling on the government to make major changes to the way that people with vision impairment are treated. [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK – Compliance aids survey

Glaucoma UK wants to hear about your experiences of using eye drops and compliance aids. Your feedback will be used to help to improve the design of these products. [Full story...]

Neath Port Talbot Council want to hear your views on the proposed future active travel routes

As part of the ongoing Active Travel Network Maps Consultation, Neath Port Talbot Council are asking for feedback from vision impaired people on the proposed future active travel routes. [Full story...]

Let your MP know your concerns about the UK Government's Elections Bill

The UK Government is proposing changes to the electoral system, and RNIB is concerned the Bill’s wording weakens protections for blind and partially sighted voters to vote independently and in secret. Now, the charity is asking anyone who shares these concerns to contact their MP to let them know why maintaining protections for blind and partially sighted voters is important. [Full story...]

Colleges Student Support Survey for education professionals

The Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) is asking education professionals who work with blind and partially sighted people in Further Education to complete a survey. The results will be used to help TPT better understand how these students are being supported during their time in FE. [Full story...]

RNIB survey for optometrists on low vision services

RNIB is inviting optometrists in the UK to complete a survey on low vision services. The responses will be used to help develop a high-quality framework for low vision support which can be adopted by low vision services nationwide. [Full story...]

RNIB Survey on the impact of e-scooters

Pilot schemes for the introduction of e-scooters are being carried out in the UK, and concerns have been raised about the impact on people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Dangers posed by electric cars highlighted in BBC Wales report

A report by BBC Wales news has shown the dangers that electric cars pose to people with sight loss, who are unable to hear them approaching. Although newer cars have a mandatory noise-emitting device, some drivers are switching it off. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

RNIB survey of diabetes patients with sight loss

If you have diabetes and have experienced sight loss within the last five years (2016 to 2021) RNIB would like to hear from you. [Full story...]

RNIB petition on tactile paving at rail stations: let your MP know your concerns

Following the tragic death of a partially sighted man who fell off a train platform with no tactile paving to indicate the edge, RNIB launched a petition calling for railway stations to be made safe for blind and partially sighted people. This has now been signed by almost 16,000 people and delivered to Network Rail and the Department of Transport. [Full story...]

Survey: Barriers to accessing the Brecon Beacons National Park

The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority is conducting a survey to identify barriers that prevent people from accessing it. [Full story...]

More participants needed for sleep and health survey

Circadian Therapeutics is still recruiting blind and partially sighted people, aged 18 and over who live in the UK, to participate in their sleep and health survey. [Full story...]

RNIB Survey: Perceptions of audio description provision

RNIB is asking people with sight loss to share their experience of using audio description when using on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer. [Full story...]

Community Health Council survey on NHS care during the coronavirus emergency

The Board of Community Health Councils in Wales is conducting a survey to find out about your experience of NHS services during the pandemic. The results will be used to improve services. [Full story...]

Pocklington Trust survey: your experiences of studying at university during the pandemic

The Pocklington Trust is asking university students with disabilities to let them know about their experience of studying during the pandemic. [Full story...]

RNIB Survey: Vision impaired womens' experience of safety

The harassment experienced by women has been the subject of debate following recent tragic events, and BBC Wales has reported on the particular problems experienced by women with disabilities. Now, RNIB is running a short survey to get more information. [Full story...]

The Welsh Centre of Tourism Research are gathering opinions of accessible travel and mobility apps

The Welsh Centre for Tourism Research at Cardiff Metropolitan University are conducting research on opinions and attitudes around accessible travel and mobility apps. [Full story...]

Call to increase public funding for sight saving research

Even though 1 in 5 of us will experience it, research into sight loss receives only 1.5% of public research funding. Eye health charity Fight for Sight is calling for this to be increased. [Full story...]

Contact your MP to raise concerns about guide dog travel post-Brext

The Guide Dogs organisation has renewed its call for people to raise concerns with their MP about post-Bexit arrangements for taking assistance dogs to European Union countries and Northern Ireland. [Full story...]


Delivering Accessible Learning - guide from Pocklington Trust and RNIB

RNIB and the Pocklington Trust have produced a guide for further education providers. 'Delivering Accessible Learning: A guide for Further Education providers supporting blind and partially sighted students' provides information, resources, top tips and handy checklists to help colleges and Further Education providers ensure vision impaired students get the right support. [Full story...]

‘How we can Help’ – guide to RNIB services

RNIB has recently launched 'How we can help', a booklet describing the range of products and services they provide to help you to maintain your independence and live the life you want to lead. [Full story...]

‘The State of the UK’s Eye Health 2021’ report shows devastating impact of the pandemic

The pandemic has prevented many people from accessing eye care services over the past year, and a report commissioned by Specsavers has attempted to quantify the impact of this situation on the UK’s eye health. [Full story...]

Latest Vision Support newsletter available

The latest newsletter from Vision Support is now available, with information for people with sight loss in North Wales. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru publishes Annual Report 2020/21

Sight Cymru's Annual Report for 2020/21 is now available. It includes information about how the charity has dealt with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. [Full story...]

Transitions information for the new term from LOOK UK and the Pocklington Trust

As the new school year approaches, LOOK UK and the Pocklington Trust have useful information for pupils with a vision impairment and their parents about making the transition to a new school. [Full story...]

Living Paintings Impact Report 2020

Living Paintings, the only charity in the UK who design and create 'Touch to See' books for children and adults, has published its Impact Report 2020. The report looks at the impact of the accessible books on children, and is based on the responses to a survey of parents, carers and teachers. [Full story...]

RNIB publishes Involvement Report 2020–2021

RNIB has just published its second Involvement Report, an in-depth look into the work undertaken by the charity during a particularly challenging period. [Full story...]

UK Government publishes National Disability Strategy

The UK Government has published the National Disability Strategy, which sets out the actions the government will take to improve the everyday lives of all disabled people. [Full story...]

Disability Wales launches information resource for disabled people and disabled people’s organisations

Disability Wales has launched an updated version of 'Know your Rights, Use your Rights, Live your Rights!', a guide for people with disabilities and organisations that support them. [Full story...]

Henshaws publishes free mobility guide

Henshaws has published a free e-book, which gives 20 mobility tips for people with a visual impairment. The book also includes advice for sighted people on how they can support a person with sight loss to find their way around. [Full story...]

Low Vision: the essential guide for ophthalmologists

A new guide from the Royal College of Opthalmologists offers advice to opthalmologists on how they can help patients with low vision. [Full story...]

Royal College of Ophthalmologists issues new Guidance for Commissioning Age-Related Macular Degeneration Services

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has developed new guidance for commissioners of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) services. It sets out the principles and minimum standards of care for AMD to decrease variations of care across AMD services in England and Wales. [Full story...]

Voting is still not accessible for people with sight loss

Following the elections on 6th May 2021, RNIB conducted a survey into the experiences of vision impaired people. The results have just been published, and show that only one in five blind voters and less than half of partially sighted voters were able to vote independently. [Full story...]

Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19

The Welsh Government has issued a very detailed report on the impact of Covid 19 on the lives of disabled people. 'Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19' is the result of an evidence-based enquiry which was launched following concerns raised at the Welsh Government’s Disability Equality Forum. [Full story...]

Results of Macular Society survey raise concerns about lack of information and support for patients with sight loss due to diabetes

Earlier this year, The Macular Society asked people who were receiving treatment for diabetic macular oedema (DMO) to complete a short survey about their treatment. The conclusion from the survey results is that better connections between diabetic clinics, eye clinics and low vision support are needed, so clinicians can signpost those with diabetes and DMO to information about the condition and support. [Full story...]

RNIB New Product Guide available

RNIB's New Product Guide is now available. The 24-page document has details of lots of accessible everyday products – from tactile measuring spoons and cups, to a dashing easy-to-see watch and a heart-shaped audio message player, scientific calculators, and a new large print Kakuro puzzle book, which combines Sudoku and Crosswords. [Full story...]

Retina UK's Summer 2021 newsletter available

The Summer 2021 edition of Retina UKs newsletter 'Look Forward' is now available. [Full story...]

Advice for people who are waiting for cataract surgery

RNIB have published advice for patients waiting for cataract operations [Full story...]

Nystagmus Information Booklets updated

Nystagmus Network has revised and updated its information documents. [Full story...]

Transport for All issues guidance for frontline bus and rail staff

Transport for All, the pan-impairment organisation, that focuses exclusively on transport, has issued two new guidance documents for frontline bus and railway staff, setting out quick and simple ways for them to better meet the needs of deaf, disabled and older passengers as they return to transport networks. [Full story...]

Age Cymru Factsheet: Social care assessments for older people with care needs in Wales

Age Cymru has updated its factsheet 'Social care assessments for older people with care needs in Wales'. It provides information about your rights to advice, help and practical support from the adult social care system run by local authorities. [Full story...]

RNIB Everyday Living Catalogue 2021

The 2021 edition of RNIB's Everyday Living Catalogue is now available. [Full story...]

Carers Wales update 'Looking After Someone' guide

Carers Wales (part of Carers UK) has produced an updated version of their guide to looking after someone. [Full story...]

RNIB guide to making your video calls inclusive

RNIB has produced a short guide to making video calls, using technology such as Teams, Skype and Zoom, accessible to people with sight loss. Although primarily intended for businesses, the advice is applicable to anyone using this technology. [Full story...]

Coming out of lockdown - advice from RNIB

As lockdown restrictions ease, RNIB has produced some advice to help members of the public and businesses support people with sight loss as they try to get out and about. [Full story...]

RNIB issues updated Sight Loss Data Tool

An updated version of the Sight Loss Data tool has been issued by RNIB. It gives a wide range of statistical information about sight loss, organised by local authority, region or country. [Full story...]

Latest Strive newsletter available

The latest Strive newsletter, produced by VICTA's Young Ambassadors, is available. It looks at various aspects of lockdown experience by young adults with sight loss, and also has some cookery tips. [Full story...]

NHS Wales eye health care: future approach for optometry services

The Welsh Government has issued their plan for how they expect NHS Wales to deliver eye health care services over the next decade. [Full story...]

Pocklington Trust publishes guidance on exams for higher education providers

The pandemic is causing changes to the way that exams are carried out, which can be difficult for people with sight loss. The Pocklington Trust has worked with higher education providers to produce guidance on how the needs of vision impaired students can be taken into account. [Full story...]

Welsh Government launches Transport Strategy

The Welsh Government has launched its Transport Strategy 2021, which is intended to shape transport in Wales for the next 20 years. [Full story...]

Behçet’s: An Employer’s Guide

Behçet’s UK, the organisation for people with this rare condition that can affect the eyes, has produced a guide to help employers understand Behçet’s disease, their responsibilities as an employer of someone with the condition and how they can help their employee. [Full story...]

Report raises concerns about delays to treatment of stroke patients experiencing sight problems in Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic, Cwm Taf Morgannwg Community Health Council (CHC) undertook a series of monitoring visits to stroke wards and stroke rehabilitation outpatient clinics across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and to stroke support groups. The report raises concerns about the support provided to patients experiencing sight problems. [Full story...]

'What we see' - Articles give an insight into living with nystagmus

The final article in a series about living with nystagmus has just been published on the CVI Society website. [Full story...]

Age Cymru updates its factsheet on Direct Payments

Direct Payments are cash payments that local authorities can make to individuals so that they can organise their own services to meet their social care needs. Age Cymru has recently updated its factsheet, which provides information on these payments for social care services and how the system operates in Wales. [Full story...]

Results of research into CBS and Covid 19 published in BMJ

A research report published on the BMJ Open Ophthalmology website has examined how the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted people with Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), the visual hallucinations experienced by some people with sight loss. [Full story...]

CVI Project Research Team Paper published

A research paper on the prevalence of children with Cerebral Vision Impairments (CVIs) in mainstream schools has been published. [Full story...]

Chief Medical Officer produces special report on Wales’s response to the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic

Dr Frank Atherton, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Wales, has produced a very detailed report on Wales' response to the first phase of the Covid 19 pandemic. [Full story...]

Five Steps into mainstream college: guidance from Pocklington Trust

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced guidance for vision impaired young people wanting to move into post-16 education, and their parents. [Full story...]

Covid 19 vaccine advice from Guide Dogs

The Guide Dogs organisation has published advice for people with sight loss about the rollout of Covid 19 vaccines which answers many of the questions that people will have. [Full story...]

UK Rare Diseases Framework published

The UK Government has published its Rare Diseases Framework, which has been agreed by all four UK nations. As health is a devolved issue, each nation will set out an action plan detailing the steps they will take to meet the aims of the framework within their own arrangements. [Full story...]

Parenting with a vision impairment - RNIB Guide

RNIB's new guide, 'Parenting with a vision impairment' has been written by parents with sight loss, and has tips and advice covering pregnancy and caring for a baby. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Glossary

The Guide Dogs organisation has reviewed the language it uses to describe its work, and the people who work for and with it. The aim is to make the terms less clinical, and a better reflection of what the charity does. [Full story...]

EHRC publishes report: ' Accessible public transport for older and disabled people in Wales'

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published a report exploring how equality for older and disabled people has been factored into decision-making about public transport in Wales. [Full story...]

'Breaking down barriers to travel' - report from Leonard Cheshire

A new report from disability charity Leonard Cheshire and travel company Expedia makes recommendations on how travel can be made more inclusive when it resumes after the pandemic. [Full story...]

'Making Walks Sensory' - Guide from Sense

Sense, the charity for people who are deafblind, has produced a new guide which aims to help disabled people of all ages explore nature more meaningfully. 'Making Walks Sensory' includes advice on planning walks, tips on encouraging mindfulness and suggested sensory activities. [Full story...]

Dealing with bullying - Contact's Guide for Parents

Anti Bullying Week in November raises awareness of the harm that this behaviour can cause. 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...]

Best Practice Guidelines for businesses from RNIB

As the Welsh firebreak comes to an end, RNIB has advice and guidance for businesses who want to ensure that their premises and services are accessible to vision impaired customers. [Full story...]

Preparing for work: Information and advice on planning for employment

The Thomas Pocklington Trust's Student Support Service has produced guidance for vision impaired students who are preparing to enter the workplace. [Full story...]

New guide for higher education providers supporting students with vision impairment during Covid-19

The Thomas Pocklington Trust, LOOK UK and Guide Dogs have joined forces to produce 'A Guide for Higher Education Providers Supporting students with vision impairment during Covid-19'. [Full story...]

RNIB Toolkit to challenge discrimination

1st October 2020 marked the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the Equality Act, which was intended to protect individuals from unfair treatment and to create a more equal society. RNIB has information to explain the Act, and make a challenge if you feel that you have been discriminated against. [Full story...]

'Time to Focus' report makes case for increased research into eye conditions

Fight for Sight, the UK charity that funds eye research has published a new report, 'Time to Focus, which calls urgently for more investment in sight loss research, showing the rising personal and economic cost of sight loss in the UK. [Full story...]

Encouraging independence in your child with vision impairment

Henshaws has produced a free book giving hints and tips on how parents can encourage their vision impaired child to become more independent. [Full story...]

Pocklington Trust framework document for parents wanting to set up a support group

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a framework document for parents and carers of children with vision impairment who want to set up a support group. [Full story...]

Research report: Barriers to integrating routine depression screening into community low vision rehabilitation services

Undetected depression is common in people with low vision and depression screening has been recommended. However, this is a complex procedure for which low vision practitioners need training. A new study into this topic, co-written by researchers at Cardiff University, has been published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. [Full story...]

Senedd Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee reports on inequality and the pandemic

The Senedd’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee has published the results of its enquiry into the effects of the pandemic. The report, 'Into sharp relief: inequality and the pandemic', finds that 'the virus and the response to it is widening existing inequalities, by reducing the incomes and increasing risks disproportionately for some groups of people'. [Full story...]

Eye clinic appointments: a guide for parents from RNIB

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

Guides for leisure centres

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

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

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

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

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

Macular Society gives advice for parents

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

Guide Dogs have produced some top tips on social distancing.

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

Travel advice from Guide Dogs and The Macular Society

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOOK presents 'The Period Podcast'

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

Temporary transport recommendations: Coronavirus Courtesy Code

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

RNIB produce short guide for local and smaller shops

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

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

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

'Looking after my Eyes' - Book from Seeability

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

How to complain about inaccessible websites - AbilityNet factsheet

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

Report highlights problems faced by older people in accessing GP services

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

ECLO Framework documents updated.

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

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

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

Retina UK publishes results of its Sight Loss Survey 2019

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

Communicating with people with cerebral visual impairments (CVIs)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tips on producing an audio descriptive guide for museums and galleries

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

New guide for employers from RNIB

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

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

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

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

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

Retinoblastoma Information for children & young people

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

'Easing into Nature with Sight Impairment'

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

'Making Nature Accessible' - Guide from British Blind Sport

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

'Music is a Vibration' toolkit from Sense

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

Your rights to accessible and adaptable housing in Wales

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

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

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

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...]

New guide for higher education professionals

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

Employment guides from Sense

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

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

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

Commons Committee reports on disability and the built environment

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

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

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

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

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

Report claims that UK is failing on disability rights

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

RNIB Scotland updates 'Sight loss and dementia' leaflet

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

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

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

10 principles of good practice in vision rehabilitation

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

Parents guide to vision impairment from RNIB

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


National Braille Week 2021

National Braille Week (11th-17th October) aims to raise awareness of the importance of Braille to open up the written world to people with vision impairment. To mark the event, we have put together some information about this tactile writing system. [Full story...]

'Blind and Able' videos from the Thomas Pocklington Trust

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a series of five videos which demonstrate how common workplace tasks can be performed by employees with sight loss, using assistive technology such as JAWS. [Full story...]

Audio described Christmas shows

There are still a few months before Christmas, but tickets for seasonal shows are now on sale at theatres across Wales, with some audio described performances scheduled. [Full story...]

Audio described performances of 'The Boy with Two Hearts' at Wales Millennium Centre

Two performances of the production 'The Boy with Two Hearts' at Wales Millennium Centre will be audio described. [Full story...]

How to make your emails more accessible

An article on SCOPE's 'The Big Hack' website has lots of useful advice on how to make your emails more inclusive. [Full story...]

UK Government's Elections Bill raises concerns

The UK Government is proposing changes to the electoral system, and RNIB is concerned the Bill’s wording weakens protections for blind and partially sighted voters to vote independently and in secret. [Full story...]

British Wireless for the Blind Fund launch voice-controlled Speech Radio app

Speech Radio, a new app from British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) allows the user to access live radio and control its functionality and operations entirely by voice. [Full story...]

Audio described commentary returns to Wrexham and Cardiff City football clubs

The 2021/22 football season has started, and both Cardiff City FC and Wrexham FC will be providing audio described commentary at their home matches. The service is provided in partnership with Alan March Sport Ltd, and is available to both home and away fans. [Full story...]

Members of Listening Books can now access magazines and newspapers

Listening Books, the audiobook lending service for anyone with a print disability such as a visual impairment, has announced that its members can now have access to a huge range of magazines and newspapers at no extra cost, following an agreement with PressReader. [Full story...]

Access issues at vaccination centres are frustrating for people with sight loss

Vision impaired people in Wales have been telling BBC News how inaccessible communications, challenging journeys and a lack of awareness of sight loss by staff at vaccination centres have made it difficult to get their coronavirus vaccinations. [Full story...]

Welsh language Enid Blyton books available in accessible formats

RNIB Cymru has teamed up with Welsh language publisher Atebol to provide accessible Welsh-language Enid Blyton classics for schoolchildren with visual impairments. [Full story...]

Access to Work claim process to be more accessible

The Department of Work and Pensions is to make the process for claiming the Access to Work benefit more accessible for vision impaired people, following campaigning by RNIB. [Full story...]

Colourful barcodes to make food shopping more accessible

Shopping for food could become more accessible to people with sight loss when new barcodes are introduced on food packaging. [Full story...]

Public sector web accessibility regulations now include apps

In September 2020, new Web Accessibility Regulations came into force, requiring public sector websites to be accessible to everyone, including vision impaired people. These regulations have now (June 2021) been extended to cover public sector mobile apps. [Full story...]

Patient Information Leaflets for coronavirus vaccines in accessible formats

Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) for coronavirus vaccines, produced by pharmaceutical companies, are now available in accessible formats. [Full story...]

Audio books from Welsh Libraries include accessibility features

If you are a member of local Authority library in Wales, you can use BorrowBox to borrow audio books, and the BorrowBox app has many accessibility features to support users with visual impairments. [Full story...]

Tenby Museum and Art Gallery provides audio description of items from the collection

As part of the 'Hear to See' project, Tenby Museum and Art Gallery is producing a series of podcasts for people with sight loss, giving audio descriptions of items in its collection. The project is funded by the Aviva Community Fund. [Full story...]

Hi Vis 2021 celebrates the world of accessible reading

7th-20th June is 'Hi Vis Fortnight'. The event (formerly called 'Making a Noise in Libraries') celebrates the world of accessible reading and raises the profile of accessible library services, collections, and activities. [Full story...]

Passenger Assistance app aims to make rail travel easier for disabled people

A new app has been launched to make it much easier for people with disabilities to arrange assistance when they travel on the National Rail network. [Full story...]

Advice on making Covid-safe theatres accessible as lockdown eases

As theatres start to re-open, VocalEyes wants to ensure that, in addition to being Covid-safe, they are also accessible to people with sight loss. The charity has joined with The Audio Description Association and Mind's Eye to produce some guides for theatre staff on how they can enable blind and partially sighted people to attend touch tours and audio-described performances without exposing themselves, their companions, theatre and production staff to any additional risks. [Full story...]

What's On & Online: VocalEyes weekly listings of accessible culture

As arts venues start to re-open, the new weekly listings newsletter from VocalEyes, 'What's on and online', has information about accessible arts and cultural events at venues and online. [Full story...]

Gardening when you have sight loss

For National Gardening Week, here's a reminder that Thrive's 'Carry on Gardening' website has lots of tips and advice on gardening when you have sight loss. [Full story...]

New website helps make climbing more accessible

A new website has been launched to provide information to make climbing more accessible to people with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

Audio described sculpture and paintings

The Vocal Eyes organisation and South Wales-based artist Carl Chapple have produced some audio descriptions of artworks recently. [Full story...]

TV catch-up services: how accessible are they?

With more people watching TV during lockdown, a new blog from Henshaws reviews the accessibility of four of the UK’s major TV catch-up services for people with sight loss: BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5. [Full story...]

Disability Wales advice on making information accessible

Disability Wales has produced advice on how information can be made accessible to their members. [Full story...]

Free subscription for people with sight loss during coronavirus

RNIB is helping people with sight loss keep up to date during the coronavirus situation by offering a free subscription to a newspaper or broadcast guide delivered in a plain text email. [Full story...]

RNIB #DesignForEveryone campaign aims to increase accessibility

A new campaign from RNIB highlights the way that products designed without consideration of accessibility deny people with sight loss their privacy. [Full story...]

Welsh Pavement Parking Task Force produces report

The Wales Pavement Parking Task Force Group was formed by the Welsh Government in July 2019 to address an issue which is a major concern for vision impaired people. The Task Force has now produced a report, which recommends that 'parking on pavements should be tackled by changing driver behaviour through raising awareness that pavements are for pedestrians and not for vehicles, backed-up by the deterrent of effective enforcement'. [Full story...]

Identity card for deafblind people

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

Transport for Wales joins the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

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

RNIB Bookshare Service for learners responds to the pandemic

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

LEGO Braille Bricks website launched

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

Concerns raised about accessibility of arts venues after lockdown

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

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

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

Accessibility features on Welsh health websites

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

Communications needs advice to health workers

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

Accessible communication advice for health workers

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

New passenger assistance meeting point at Cardiff Central

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

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

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

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

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

Toolkit to help Guide Dog users respond to access refusals

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

RSS news reader for people with macular degeneration launched

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

RNIB launch new bilingual personal transcription service

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


Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for November

Vision Support's new mobile Community Information Unit, which covers the Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy areas (as well as Cheshire & Halton) will be out and about during November. [Full story...]

Have a Go Activity Weekend at Royal National College for the Blind

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC), the specialist residential college of further education for people with a visual impairment, is holding a ‘Have a Go’ Activity Weekend event on 23rd/24th October at their campus in Hereford. [Full story...]

Next Macular Society condition/issue-specific virtual clinic is about benefits

The next event in the Macular Society's series of condition or issue-specific webinars will will focus on benefits: your entitlements and how to make a claim. [Full story...]

Next Macular Society virtual clinic is all about injections

The next event in The Macular Society's series of Virtual Clinics is an opportunity to find out all you need to know about injections. [Full story...]

UCAN workshops for children and young people

UCAN Productions continues to run a wide variety of free, online workshops for children and young adults with sight loss. They have also added some face-to-face activities to the programme. [Full story...]

Free Forest School sessions for families with disabled children in Wales

Contact, the charity for the families of disabled children, has organised four free 'Forest School' sessions for disabled children their families in North Wales. [Full story...]

RNIB Connect Cymru Telephone Groups - October programme

RNIB Connect Cymru's telephone groups will continue to meet in October. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Living Well with Sight Loss' telephone courses for people in Wales

RNIB has scheduled upcoming Living Well with Sight Loss telephone courses. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport 'Active at Home' programme for October

'Active at Home' is British Blind Sport's latest programme to help people keep fit: a live workout week at the beginning of each month with a different inclusive class each night from Monday to Friday at 6pm. The schedule for October (starting on Monday 4th) has been published. [Full story...]

Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for October

Vision Support's new mobile Community Information Unit, which covers the Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy areas (as well as Cheshire & Halton) will be out and about during October. [Full story...]

Events for professionals at New College Worcester

This autumn, New College Worcester (NCW) is running three events for education professionals working with vision impaired children. [Full story...]

'Looking for Work' webinars for people with sight loss

RNIB and Blind Ambition are running a series of sixteen free webinars to help job seekers with sight loss. [Full story...]

Disability Wales Annual Conference and AGM

This year's Disability Wales Annual Conference and AGM will be a virtual event (via Zoom) on Wednesday 20th October from 10.15am to 1pm. [Full story...]

RNIB Virtual 'Shape and Share' autumn events programme

The Autumn schedule for RNIB's virtual family event programme 'Shape and Share' is now available. The events, which are designed to support families of children with sight loss, are open to children, young people and families from across the UK. [Full story...]

'With Eyes Closed' - Performance by Sight Life members

Members of Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) will be presenting a theatre piece based on personal stories of their experiences during the pandemic. [Full story...]

New support group for people with diabetic macular oedema

The Macular Society is starting a new, virtual support group for people affected by diabetic macular oedema (DMO). This has been prompted by the results of their recent survey, which revealed a lack of information and support to these patients. [Full story...]

Deafblink UK Tech Talks

Deafblind UK is running a series of 'Tech Talk' webinars this autumn, to showcase some of the most advanced technology on the market for people who have sight and hearing loss. [Full story...]

Minority Ethnic Communities Health Fair to be held online

The 12th Minority Ethnic Communities Health Fair will be held online (via Zoom) on Wednesday 20th October 2021, from 10 am — 2 pm. [Full story...]

Glaucoma Digital Support Group Meetings

Glaucoma UK's programme of digital support group meetings resumes at the end of August. [Full story...]

LOOK regular online events

LOOK has a programme of regular online events for children and young people with sight loss, and for their parents. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network virtual support networks

Nystagmus Network runs virtual monthly support groups for parents of children with nystagmus, and for adults living with acquired or congenital nystagmus. They are an opportunity to meet like-minded people, share experiences, make new friends and support each other. [Full story...]

Macular Support Group Conference Call meetings in South Wales

The Macular Society continues to run monthly telephone meetings for its members. [Full story...]

Royal Society of Blind Children - Programme of activities

The Royal Society of Blind Children (RSBC) has organised a programme of virtual activities for children and young adults. [Full story...]

Macular Support Group Conference Call meetings in North Wales

The Macular Society continues to run monthly telephone meetings for its members. [Full story...]

Sense Usher weekly chatroom

Sense, the charity that supports people with dual sensory loss, runs a weekly Zoom chartroom for people affected by Usher syndrome. [Full story...]

Sight Life Telephone Groups

Sight Life continues to run a wide range of telephone groups for people with sight loss in Cardiff, Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK Social Group Telephone Calls

If you would like an opportunity to talk to people who are also living with deafblindness, join Deafblind UK's social group telephone calls and BSL video chats which are proving so popular that there are now 8 groups every fortnight. [Full story...]


News of research into hemianopia, dry AMD and glaucoma

Fight for Sight, The Macular Society and Glaucoma UK have news of recent research developments. [Full story...]

Synthetic corneal implants developed at Cardiff University

Researchers at Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences have co-developed fully synthetic corneal implants that will resolve the corneal tissue shortages faced by traditional corneal transplants. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs 'Tech for All' scheme offers free Apple iPad or iPhone to vi children

For a limited period, children and young people aged 3 to 18 years with a vision impairment can apply for a free Apple iPad or iPhone as part of Guide Dogs 'Tech for All' scheme. [Full story...]

Two new nystagmus research projects announced

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network have announced two new projects which will aim to improve the lives of people affected by nystagmus through improved treatments and diagnosis. [Full story...]

Sight of man with retinitis pigmentosa partially restored

The BBC has reported that the vision of a completely blind man has been partially restored using light-sensing proteins first found in algae. The man, who has retinitis pigmentosa, was treated with a type of therapy called optogenetics, which uses the proteins to control cells at the back of his eye. [Full story...]

Global Access Awareness Day

For Global Access Awareness Day (GAAD) on 20th May, both Guide Dogs and RNIB announced new services, and other disability organisations offered their thoughts. [Full story...]

Research raises possibility that sight loss could be reversed

Research carried out on mice by University College London has shown the ability to reverse sight loss, as light-sensing cells have been successfully transplanted into the retina for the first time. [Full story...]

Technology grant offer for people in Ceredigion

Ceredigion Association for the Blind is offering blind and partially sighted people in the county an opportunity to apply for a technology loan or grant. [Full story...]

Gene therapy success in treating rare eye condition

BBC News has reported on the success of gene therapy to treat a rare inherited genetic eye condition, leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). [Full story...]

RNIB technology grant scheme

The RNIB Technology Grant Scheme can help with the cost of many hi-tech products, including an iPhone, iPad or Macbook. Eligible customers can receive up to £500 towards products such as braille notetakers or braille displays. [Full story...]

Glaucoma research project at Cardiff University

Research to investigate whether a naturally occurring protein in the body can be used to prevent sight loss from glaucoma is being carried out at Cardiff University. [Full story...]

New Alexa function connects to RNIB Helpline

A new function has been launched on Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices to help connect people with sight loss to the RNIB Helpline. Developed in partnership with the RNIB, the new feature allows people with sight loss to give the voice command of ‘Alexa, call RNIB Helpline’ to be connected directly to the service. [Full story...]

Welsh optometry practices equipped to carry out virtual consultations

A recent report by Optometry Today describes how 330 optometry practices accredited to the Eye Health Examination Wales Service have been supplied with equipment to boost the roll out of the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service. [Full story...]

'Glaucoma in Perspective' app for patients

An app designed to provide education and support for people living with glaucoma was launched during World Glaucoma Week (March 7-13). 'Glaucoma in Perspective' was designed to help patients understand the impact of glaucoma, improve quality of life and reduce disease progression by promoting treatment adherence. [Full story...]

Researchers in Wales to develop test for severe short-sightedness

Researchers funded by Fight for Sight in partnership with the Welsh Government (through Health and Care Research Wales) are developing a genetic test to identify people with severe short-sightedness who are most at risk of permanent damage to their eyesight and thus benefit from more frequent monitoring. [Full story...]

New eye test could detect wet AMD before symptoms appear

The Macular Society is reporting that a new test could predict wet age related macular degeneration (AMD) up to three years before symptoms develop. [Full story...]

New treatment for AMD approved by NICE

A new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which could see patients receiving as few as four injections a year, has been approved for use in England and Wales. [Full story...]

How the iPhone 12 Pro can help navigation

In a recent report for the BBC, vision impaired reporter Lucy Edwards showed how the Lidar (light detection and ranging) sensor feature on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and artificial intelligence help her navigate a busy street. [Full story...]

Home test for glaucoma developed

Research funded by Fight for Sight and Glaucoma UK has led to the development of a vision test for glaucoma that can be performed at home. [Full story...]

Macular Society's 'Connect by Tech' service helping people stay in touch

In the early days of the pandemic, The Macular Society launched 'Connect by Tech', a service providing telephone support to people with sight loss who need help to use technology during the corona virus crisis. Now they are reporting that volunteers have been kept busy helping people use Kindles and smart speakers and making video calls. [Full story...]

Fight for Sight to fund stem cell research

Fight for Sight has announced funding for a ground-breaking stem cell research study which could reverse sight loss for people with macular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and juvenile macular dystrophies. [Full story...]

New research to investigate sight problems after stroke

On World Stroke Day (29th October) Fight for Sight announced that is to fund research to test the effectiveness of a treatment for ‘retraining’ the eyes for people who experience a loss of vision after stroke (hemianopia). [Full story...]

Using the NHS Test and Trace app if you have sight loss

The NHS Test and Trace app, which was launched in September, is an important part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England, and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service. Now Henshaws has tried it out, to find out how accessible it is for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

British Wireless for the Blind Fund Connect service to be extended

British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) started its Connect service to enable them to continue to support people living with sight loss throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The charity has now decided to extend the scheme to continue supporting people with sight loss who may be choosing to shield. [Full story...]

Free Amazon Fire Tablets from RNIB

RNIB is offering Amazon Fire Tablets free to those who currently receive its large or giant print books and who have access to the internet. [Full story...]

Google's Lookout App can read grocery labels

Google's Lookout App can now read the labels of grocery items. [Full story...]

Social distancing app

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

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

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

'Be My Eyes' users can now connect with RNIB

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

20 things the Amazon Echo can make easier for vi people

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

Research project seeks an alternative to eye injections

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

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

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

Accessibility features of Windows and MS Office

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

Artificial Intelligence as good as experts in diagnosing eye disease

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

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

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

Guide Dogs 'Access and Technology' Grants

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


International Tactile Book Competition

The Typhlo and Tactus International Tactile Book Competition is held every two years to encourage tactile book creation across the world. ClearVision, the postal lending library of children’s books designed to be shared by visually impaired and sighted children and adults, will be organizing the UK selection. The contest is free to enter and open to anyone, whether it's your first try at making a tactile book or your twentieth, and there is a prize of 500 euros for the winner. [Full story...]

Braille for Beginners - Online course

The Braillists Foundation is to run a 'Braille for Beginners' course, via Zoom, starting in January 2022. [Full story...]

Cardiff Met are seeking participants for their research project

Cardiff Met Tourism are looking for participants to take part in two studies focussing on travel apps. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with RNIB: Eye Care Liaison Officer

RNIB are seeking an ECLO to be based in Princess of Wales Eye Clinic, Bridgend [Full story...]

South Wales Goalball sessions for October and November

South Wales Goalball will be holding sessions in Cardiff and Swansea. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Sight Cymru: Corporate Services Manager

Sight Cymru is looking for a Corporate Services Manager to play a leading role in driving the organisation forward in research & innovation and diversity & inclusion and help strengthen their communications and fundraising ability. [Full story...]

Opportunity to help nystagmus research

Following a presentation at the recent Nystagmus Open Day, researchers at Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences are asking for volunteers who have the condition to help with their work. [Full story...]

Job Opportunity with Disability Wales

Disability Wales is looking for a disabled person to represent the charity as Policy and Research Officer (EU Transition). [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire Disability's 'Change 100' Scheme for disabled students is open for applications

‘Change 100’ is programme of paid summer work placements, professional development and mentoring for university students and recent graduates with disabilities which is run by Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD). It aims to remove barriers experienced by disabled people in the workplace, to allow them to achieve their potential. The scheme has been running for several years, and applications are now open for 2022. [Full story...]

Vision Support launches virtual and telephone support groups for people in North East Wales

It's still not easy to travel to meetings, so Vision Support is launching new virtual and telephone support groups for people with sight loss in North East Wales in October. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Cymru's My Time to Play is an online programme of fun and supportive sessions for families of children with sight loss

Guide Dogs Cymru is inviting the families of children with sight loss to sign up for My Time to Play. [Full story...]

Opportunity to join Glaucoma UK Readers' Panel

Glaucoma UK is looking for people to review their information leaflets, to ensure that they are relevant and useful. [Full story...]

TV Licensing – over 75 changes Zoom meetings for community groups and charities

TV Licensing will be hosting zoom meetings for community groups and charities to get up to speed with the latest updates to their policies, and what this will mean for your clients. [Full story...]

New e-learning course from Visualise Training and Consultancy

Visualise Training and Consultancy has launched a new e-learning course, to develop knowledge of all aspects of disability. It provides learners with the practical skills and confidence needed to effectively assist people with disabilities and covers definitions, types, legislation, discrimination, reasonable adjustments, employment matters, etiquette, communication, interaction and appropriate language. [Full story...]

Specialist VI curriculum framework - views wanted

VIEW, a charity which represents the interests and needs of children and young people with visual impairment across the United Kingdom, is asking education professionals and everyone supporting the development of children & young people with VI for their your help in identifying resources to help deliver the specialist VI curriculum. [Full story...]

Are you waiting for a cataract operation?

Are you waiting for a cataract operation in Wales? If so, RNIB Cymru would like to speak to you as part of their work during Cataract Awareness month [Full story...]

Could you help glaucoma research?

As well as providing information and support to people with the condition, Glaucoma UK funds research into glaucoma. They are always interested in hearing from glaucoma patients who would like to help research, for example, by participating in clinical trials or completing surveys. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Living Well with Sight Loss' telephone and online courses

RNIB continues to run 'Living Well with Sight Loss' courses over the phone and online, and has started a new range of themed 'Focus on' courses dedicated to specific topics. [Full story...]

Vision impaired tennis players in Wrexham wanted

Do you have a vision impairment, live in Wrexham and would like to play tennis? [Full story...]

Cardiff Blues VI rugby sessions restart on 5th May

The Cardiff Blues Visually Impaired rugby team will resume training sessions on Wednesday 5th May at Cardiff Arms Park, and new members are welcome to join. [Full story...]

VI tennis sessions for adults in Cardiff have resumed

Cardiff Stars Tennis Club organise tennis sessions for adults with a visual impairment, which run indoors at David Lloyd Cardiff from 2 pm to 3 pm on Wednesdays. Following the easing of lockdown restrictions, sessions resumed on 5th May. Led by an LTA-qualified coach, the sessions include structured coaching but also provide a chance to play some games of tennis and meet others. VI tennis uses a smaller court and sponge balls with bells in to help players establish a rally, and the club are proud to have entered tournaments pre-Covid. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK holidays in Prestatyn

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

Free beginners Welsh conversation classes from Sight Cymru

Sight Cymru has started free, weekly Welsh conversation classes for beginners. [Full story...]

Student placement opportunities with Disability Wales

Disability Wales provides student placement opportunities to disabled students through the GO Wales scheme, which is designed to support the employability of young students on higher education courses in Wales, and is aimed at young students who have faced barriers in accessing higher education or work experience and are most at risk of not securing employment, education or training when leaving their higher education course. [Full story...]

Opportunities for Disability Arts Cymru members

The pandemic has caused particular problems for people working in the arts sector. Now Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) is offering its members some support. [Full story...]

Volunteer trainers with sight loss needed

Sight Cymru is looking for volunteer trainers with sight loss for their 'Don't Look Away' project. [Full story...]

Welsh Ambulance Service - Offer to local vision impairment groups and clubs

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust has had to cancel all their planned face to face events and engagement activities across Wales. However, one of their main concerns is to stay connected with members of the public, to meet and listen to their experiences, share information and enable them to influence the trust's work. [Full story...]

New Welsh Government Benefit Take-up Initiative: Free training for front line workers

Tens of millions of pounds in benefits and other help currently goes unclaimed in Wales: money which can make a real difference in families’ lives. The Dangos project is a new Welsh Government funded initiative which aims to increase knowledge and awareness about the availability of help in frontline workers (paid or volunteers) who are in day-to-day contact with families who might need extra help. [Full story...]

Mock interviews with the Thomas Pockington Trust

Job seekers with vision impairment are being offered the opportunity of a mock interview with the Thomas Pocklington Trust's Employment Team. [Full story...]

The BBC is looking for more diverse voices

The BBC's 50:50 project aims to increase the range of its contributors to better reflect the diversity of its audience. This means, for example, that disabled people with specialist knowledge of a particular topic are invited to contribute to discussions on that topic. [Full story...]

Free counselling via Skype from LOOK UK

LOOK has teamed up with York College to offer free skype counselling sessions to vision impaired people aged 18+, as well as their network of support staff, parents, carers and siblings. [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire Disability 'Change Makers' programme for young people

Leonard Cheshire has launched its 'Change Makers' scheme, which gives young people with disabilities aged 16 to 25 years the opportunity to become a citizen reporter. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru's Connect Voices Network seeks new members

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

Scope - Working on Wellbeing project

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

British Blind Sport launches 'First Steps' project for children

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

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

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

Call for participants: Academic research focused on the social and academic inclusion of adolescents with and without visual impairments

A PhD researcher in the Department of Psychology at Kingston University London is looking for participants to help with research into the social and academic inclusion of adolescents with and without visual impairments. [Full story...]

Visually Impaired Genealogists Group

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

JobSense employability project for people with sensory loss

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

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

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


Come and visit Guide Dogs Cymru in Cardiff this month

Guide Dogs Cymru is marking 90 years since the first guide dog partnership in Wales with a pop-up shop in St David’s Centre, Cardiff, open daily throughout October. Whether you are a guide dog fan, a sight loss professional, or a member of the public interested in receiving support or a service, you are welcome to call in and find out more. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network Virtual Open Day - recordings available

If you missed Nystagmus Network's Open Day in September, you can still watch recordings of some of the sessions. [Full story...]

New resource from VICTA - Student Portal

VICTA, the charity that provides support to children and young adults from 0 to 29 who are blind or partially sighted and their families, has launched a new website for students. [Full story...]

Macular Disease Conference 2021 - recordings available

If you missed this year's Macular Disease Conference on 11th September, recordings of the sessions are now available to watch online. [Full story...]

Thomas Pocklington Trust/Deafblind UK 'Uni in Sight‘ campaign

Thomas Pocklington Trust, a national charity which supports blind and partially sighted people with a focus on Education, Employment and Engagement has joined with Deafblind UK to launch a campaign 'Uni in Sight' to provide universities, staff and students with the information to help them get an ‘insight’ in to the experiences of blind, partially sighted and deafblind students. [Full story...]

BAME Vision launched

A new group has been set up to break down the barriers and change perceptions of sight loss in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Communities. [Full story...]

Useful resources for new students

The new academic year starts soon, so here is a reminder of some of the useful resources for new students with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

'Sight Loss Sunday' will encourage churches to consider vision impaired members of their congregation

Torch Trust, a charity for Christians with sight loss, is encouraging churches to consider members of their congregation who have a vision impairment on 'Sight Loss Sunday', 17th October. The date has been chosen to coincide with World Sight Day. [Full story...]

New support for carers from Deafblind UK

Deafblind UK has launched a new service to support people who are caring for someone who has both sight and hearing loss. The six-week support is similar to counselling, offering the chance to talk openly and honestly about your situation. [Full story...]

Blind in Business podcasts

Blind in Business, the organisation that helps blind and partially sighted people into work, is producing a series of podcasts which are designed to give an insight into different industries and people working within them. They are an opportunity to hear from employers and find out about the opportunities they offer, get top tips when it comes to applications/interviews and find out more about our alumni and their journey into employment. [Full story...]

New resource from Disability Wales: advice on benefits, education, employment and housing

The Disability Wales website now includes a new section giving advice on advice on benefits, education, employment and housing. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Looking for Work' podcasts

If you know someone with sight loss who’s looking for work, RNIB's new pre-employment podcasts are a great place to start. [Full story...]

Vision loss and sleep disruption - useful tips from Circadian Therapeutics

Sleep disruption and daytime sleepiness is commonly reported among individuals with vision impairment. Researchers at Circadian Therapeutics have produced some tips that could help you get a good night's sleep. [Full story...]

Esme's Umbrella website has a new look

Esme's Umbrella, the organisation working to raise awareness of Charles Bonnet Syndrome, has a new website, making it easier for people affected by the condition, their family and health professionals to find information and support. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru launches new support during Mental Health Awareness Week

For Mental Health Awareness Week, RNIB Cymru is offering free Wellbeing Check-In sessions for blind and partially sighted people in Wales, and has also launched a new range of Good Mental Health guides. [Full story...]

Retina UK launch new 'Unlock Genetics' website

Retina UK has launched a new 'Unlock Genetics' website at its annual conference. The website explains how genetic testing may help you and your family discover more about your inherited sight loss condition and how to unlock choices. [Full story...]

Parent Talk Cymru - new service for parents of children and young people

Parent Talk Cymru is a free and confidential service for parents of 0-19 year-olds in Wales from Action for Children. You can get support with anything that’s worrying you about parenting or your child. [Full story...]

'See what's next' campaign and website for people with wet AMD

Pharmaceutical company Novartis, supported by The Macular Society, has launched 'See What's Next', a website and disease awareness campaign to help those with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) continue to live more independently. [Full story...]

Independent living skills at home - useful tips from Guide Dogs

The Guide Dogs website has a section on independent living skills at home. It has a wide range of useful and practical advice under topics such as household chores, preparing meals, organising everyday items and managing appointments. [Full story...]

Plan your journey to a hospital appintment with 'My Health Journey'

Traveline Cymru’s ‘My Health Journey’ website allows you to plan your trip to a hospital appointment by public transport, find your bus stops and keep up to date with the latest transport news. [Full story...]

Tom Walker Podcasts on vision impairment

Tom Walker, a radio producer and reporter presents a series of podcasts related to vision impairment. [Full story...]

Children in Wales missing out on habilitation support

A report on BBC Wales highlights gaps in the provision of habilitation services for children with sight loss in some parts of Wales. [Full story...]

RNIB Tax Advice team

RNIB has a Tax Advice team that supports blind and partially sighted people with tax, tax credits and HMRC issues across the UK. [Full story...]

RNIB Emergency Mental Health Sessions - additional resources for Wales

Last autumn, RNIB announced the launch of a new Emergency Mental Health Service: free sessions by BACP-registered counsellors with sight loss experience, over the phone, to give emotional support during these difficult times. Now, funds have been secured to allow increased support for people in Wales. [Full story...]

Covid 19 vaccine rollout: Patient information from NHS Wales

The NHS Wales website contains a section on the Covid 19 vaccine for patients in priority groups. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru COVID-19 ring-around service

Since the first lockdown in March, Sight Cymru has been providing a ring-around service, and other services to help ease the feelings of loneliness and isolation felt by people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Social distancing when you are vision impaired- audio guide from Henshaws

Henshaws' '11 tops tips for social distancing if you are blind or vision impaired' is now available as an audio guide on their YouTube channel. The tips have been written by a senior rehabilitation officer from the charity, who is vision impaired himself. [Full story...]

Disabled people and Brexit - video resources from Disability Wales

Disability Wales has produced a series of short YouTube films to explain how the UK's departure from the European Union will affect people with disabilities. [Full story...]

Gene Vision - A new resource on rare genetic eye disorders for everyone

Gene Vision is a new, on-line, fully accessible web resource for both health care professionals and patients. It has been set up by Professor Mariya Moosajee, a practising consultant ophthalmologist specialising in genetic eye disease, so that anyone with an interest in this area can benefit from the sharing of knowledge and expertise. [Full story...]

Vision Support Home Visitor Service

Vision Support is reminding people in North Wales that, during Covid-19, their Home Visitors are available to offer essential visits and support. [Full story...]

Employment Services from The Thomas Pocklington Trust: Professional Coaching Service added

The Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) has launched a professional coaching service for blind & partially sighted people who have been made redundant or are facing redundancy as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. This follows the recent offer of mock interviews for job seekers with sight loss. [Full story...]

Befriending scheme for people with aniridia

Aniridia Network UK is reminding people with the condition that they run a befriending scheme for members that seeks to link people who are affected by it, whether as individuals or parents, for support, to discuss experiences and share knowledge. [Full story...]

Social Distancing tools

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

Retina UK Online Information and Support resources include Facebook Group for Wales

Retina UK has a number of online support resources which are available via social media. These include a range of local peer support groups on Facebook, including one covering Wales. [Full story...]

Could filters and tints help your eye condition?

Henshaws has produced a very informative new video with information about the variety of filters and tints which are designed to enhance contrast and definition to assist with certain eye conditions. [Full story...]

'Reality or Illusion?' Film about Charles Bonnet Syndrome

'Reality or Illusion?' is a 14-minute training film about Charles Bonnet Syndrome, presented by consultant ophthalmologist Manoj Kulshrestha. [Full story...]

Diabetes UK gives advice on eye care during the pandemic

Diabetes is a leading cause of preventable sight loss in the UK, and Diabetes UK has advice on how you can keep your eyes healthy if you have the condition. [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK Digital Support Group sessions available to view

Glaucoma UK's series of Digital Support Groups has now finished, but you can view the sessions on YouTube. [Full story...]

Job seeking and employment videos

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

Advice on tolerating face masks for vi children

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

Macmillan Cancer Support launches Telephone Buddy Service

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

UCAN Productions launch 'The Pod Squad'

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

Tips for attending your eye clinic appointment during coronavirus from RNIB

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

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

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

Welsh Government advice for unpaid carers.

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

Problems with lockdown measures for people with sight loss

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

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

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

Advice for taxi and minicab drivers

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

Mental health and wellbeing advice from Henshaws and The Macular Society

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

Live Fear Free: domestic abuse helpline.

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

New website to support the education of vision impaired children

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

Deafblind UK launches new Wellbeing and Emotional Support service

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

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

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

Useful advice and resources for families from LOOK and Guide Dogs

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

Advice for people helping a vision impaired person with shopping

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

Sensory learning advice from Henshaws

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and diabetes

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

Home schooling resources during the corona virus crisis

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

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

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

Visual Impairment Breconshire telephone befriending service will continue to operate

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

RNIB Grant Scheme

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

Sight Advice FAQ

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

Sighted guiding resources from Guide Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

Vital Tech - Guide to assistive technology

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

What are reasonable adjustments? Guidance from EHRC

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

Database of optometrists providing services for people with learning disabilities

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

Direct Payments - online resource

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

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

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

Films from Deafblind UK

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

Disability discrimination at school - advice from Contact

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

Understanding Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI)

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


Sight Life wins 'Movement for Good' award

Congratulations to Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind), which has been awarded £10,000 in insurance company Ecclesiastical’s 'Movement for Good' awards for their project ‘Beautifully Blind make-up tutorials’. [Full story...]

Optometry Wales appoints new chair

Sarah Schumm has been appointed the chair of Optometry Wales, the professional umbrella organisation for the primary care eye health profession in Wales. [Full story...]

Public blind to warning signs of sight-threatening conditions

As part of National Eye Health Week, a survey conducted for Eye Health UK revealed that the public has a low level of awareness of the ‘red flag’ symptoms linked to sight threatening eye conditions. [Full story...]

It's National Eye Health Week 2021

This year's National Eye Health Week is Monday 20th - Sunday 26th September. The event promotes the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all. [Full story...]

Blind Veterans' Llandudno Centre marks ten years of support for ex-service people

It is exactly ten years since Blind Veterans opened their centre in Llandudno. In that time they have provided free support for over 4,000 ex-service personnel with sight loss. [Full story...]

New National Lottery funding for The Macular Society in Wales

The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales has recently granted the Macular Society £300,000 to allow the charity to continue to support people with macular disease across Wales. [Full story...]

Coronavirus: Wales moves to Alert Level 0

On Saturday 7th August, Wales moved to Alert Level 0. The Welsh Government has updated its website with full details of what the changes mean. [Full story...]

Sight Life to become an independent charity

Sight Life (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) is to leave the RNIB Group and become an independent local sight loss charity. [Full story...]

Talking Books Wales has been a 'lifeline' during the pandemic

Talking Books Wales was started almost 45 years ago by Rhian Evans, who founded the service after losing her sight at 32. The service is still going strong, and has been a lifeline to many readers during the pandemic. [Full story...]

Falls Awareness Week 2021

12th July is the start of Falls Awareness Week 2021 in Wales, when Age Cymru, Care & Repair Cymru and Age Connects Wales remind people that falls are not an inevitable part of ageing, and give advice on how they can be avoided. [Full story...]

Sight Life face-to-face appointments resume

After a closure of 15 months due to the pandemic, Sight Life is now offering face-to-face support at their resource centre in Cardiff, and some outdoor groups have resumed. [Full story...]

South Wales Talking Magazine Association to close

The South Wales Talking Magazine Association is to close as it celebrates its 50 year anniversary. [Full story...]

Impact of covid delays on eye care patients in Wales highlighted

BBC Wales is continuing to report on the huge problem of delays to eye care in Wales as a result of the pandemic. [Full story...]

New glaucoma service being trialled in Merthyr

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has launched a pilot service for monitoring glaucoma patients at Specsavers in Merthyr Tydfil. The aim of the service is to make monitoring of lower risk patients as easy and convenient as possible. [Full story...]

Macular Week 2021

>This year's Macular Week was Monday 21st to Sunday 27th June. The Macular Society highlighted the impact of the condition, and also the urgent need for more funding for research to find a cure. [Full story...]

Mental Health Awareness Week: 10th-16th May 2021

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

New emergency service being trialled in Cardiff and Vale Health Board

A new approach to responding to 999 emergency calls is undergoing a 6-month trial in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, starting on 19th April 2021. [Full story...]

Progress of the Covid vaccination in Wales - interview on RNIB Connect Radio

RNIB Connect Radio has an interview with Dr Gill Richardson, chair of Wales' Covid-19 Vaccine programme. She talks about the progress of the programme, and how it is being made accessible for blind and partially sighted people. [Full story...]

Transforming Eye Care Services Wales project explained in video

A short film has been produced to explain how the Transforming Eye Care Services project is looking at how community optometry services can be used to reduce the burden on hospital eye care services in Wales, and allow patients to be treated closer to home. [Full story...]

Diabetic Eye Screening to resume in Wales

Diabetic Eye Screening Wales (DESW) has advised that, following the pause in screening services due to the Coronavirus pandemic, they are inviting people for screening again. [Full story...]

Welsh Government guidance on wearing face coverings

The Welsh Government has announced stricter supermarket rules in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus. This includes stronger enforcement of the requirement to wear a face covering, although there are some exemptions. [Full story...]

Covid-19 vaccine: scam warning

There is a warning that scammers and criminals are trying to trick people regarding the Covid-19 Vaccine. The NHS don’t need your bank details and won’t ask for them in a phone call, email or text, and vaccines are NOT being delivered door-to-door. [Full story...]

Information for guide dog owners travelling to the EU

Following the UK's departure from the European Union and the end of the transition period, the country is no longer a member of the European Pet Passport Scheme. The Guide Dogs organisation has advice for people wanting to travel to the EU with their dogs. [Full story...]

Getting food and essential supplies if you are vulnerable, self-isolating or a critical worker

The Welsh Government has recently updated its advice on how you can get food and essential supplies if you are vulnerable, self-isolating or a critical worker. [Full story...]

Eye clinic appointments

RNIB Cymru is advising people who have eye clinic or opticians appointments that they should continue to attend, unless they have any symptoms of coronavirus. [Full story...]

New study to investigate the value of monitoring chronic eye care conditions in the community

Health and Care Research Wales has provided funding for a project to investigate the value of monitoring chronic sight-threatening conditions in the community. [Full story...]

Rehabilitation services from Vision Support

Vision Support's latest newsletter has information about the rehabilitation services that they provide to people in north Wales. [Full story...]

UK Specialist VI curriculum project launched

A new project, funded by RNIB, has been launched to establish a UK-wide specialist vision impairment (VI) curriculum framework for children and young people. Participants in the project will include the Pocklington Trust, the professional association of the VI education Workforce (VIEW) and VI Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) in addition to RNIB. [Full story...]

Travel during the Covid 19 firebreak: advice from Guide Dogs Cymru

Guide Dogs Cymru have the following advice for anyone with sight loss who has to travel during the current Wales firebreak. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru are extending their services

Sight Cymru have successfully been awarded funding from Welsh Government VSEF. [Full story...]

Sense and RNIB join forces to provide Sense Information and Advice Service

Sense, the charity supporting people with dual sensory loss, and RNIB will be working together to deliver a telephone and email-based information and advice service, The Sense Information and Advice Service. [Full story...]

Changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

LOOK UK is warning parents of 15-year-olds who are in receipt of DLA that they will be getting letters from the Department of Work and Pensions regarding the need to migrate from DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). [Full story...]

Glaucoma UK campaign encourages safe screen use

For National Eye Health Week 2020, Glaucoma UK has launched a campaign to reassure people with glaucoma and dry eye that they can to use screens, and gives advice on how to do so safely. [Full story...]

Changes to coronavirus regulations

The Welsh Government has announced changes to the The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020, which came into effect on 14th September. They include the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, such as shops, but with certain exemptions and exceptions. [Full story...]

Fight for Sight to conduct research into diabetic retinopathy and Covid-19

Fight for Sight is partnering with Diabetes UK to investigate if people with the eye disease diabetic retinopathy are at greater risk of developing complications from Covid-19. [Full story...]

Changes to Access to Work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced further changes to the process of claiming the Access to Work benefit during the pandemic. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs 'Buddy Dogs' service to be rolled out in Wales

Guide Dogs is now rolling out the Buddy Dog service throughout Wales. [Full story...]

Public Health Wales guidance on guiding, social distancing and hygiene

Public Health Wales has written supplementary guidance to SightAdviceFAQ pages on coronavirus. [Full story...]

TV Licence - blind concession

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

Concerns raised about introduction of e-scooters

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

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

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

Welsh Government to extend video consultations to optometry

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

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

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

Vision Support has identified their top 5 mindfulness apps

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

IGA advice on DVLA visual field tests during pandemic

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

Uber to be prosecuted for refusing to take guide dogs

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

Welsh Government provides assurances to The Macular Society

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

Covid-19 and Charles Bonnet Syndrome

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

Macular Society says urgent eye treatments must continue

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

Alström Patient Registry goes live

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

Corona virus - Macular Society advice on eye clinic appointments

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

Pilot project to provide eye care closer to home in Wales

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

EU Settlement Scheme - Support for people with disabilities

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

Welsh Government funding to support disabled people after Brexit

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

UK Government announces package of measures to tackle disability discrimination

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