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Contents.

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Wales Eyecare Conference 2017 - diary marker

The Wales Eyecare Conference 2017 will be held during Eye Health Week, on Wednesday 20th September at the College of Optometry in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Five Star Awards

Our Five Star Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, was a very successful evening with over 85 in attendance. [Full story...]

'Your Voice, a Shared Vision' - South East Wales Regional Forum

There will be a meeting of WCB's South East Wales Regional Forum on Thursday 8th June at Newport Salvation Army, 1 Hill Street Newport NP20 1LZ from 11 am to 2 pm. [Full story...]

Your experience of Direct Payments wanted

In the next issue of WCB's magazine Roundup we will be looking at the system of Direct Payments in Wales, where local authorities pay individuals directly in order for them to purchase their own care, and want to hear about your experiences. [Full story...]

Our Voice Our Storm website now online!

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

Roundup 26 published

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

WCB Perspectif launched

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


Survey for friends & family of guide dog owners

Guide Dogs is asking the friends and family of people who have guide dogs to complete a short survey. This is so that the organisation has a better understanding of the difference that dog ownership has on all parties involved. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Welsh Government Review of the Framework for Independent Living

The Framework for Independent Living sets out what the Welsh Government is doing to make Wales a better place for disabled people, so they can have the same opportunities as everyone else and live their lives in the way they choose for themselves. Now the Government is carrying out a review of the Framework to find out what needs to be improved. [Full story...]

Have your say on children’s disability services in Swansea

Following a review of Child Disability Services in Swansea, the Council has come up with a variety of options for how services could be improved, and wants to hear the views of people affected on the best way forward. [Full story...]

Big Benefits Survey 2017

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

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

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

Guide Dogs launch 'Access All Areas' petition

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

A chance to influence treatment of AMD, cataracts & glaucoma

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

Have you used the 999 service in Wales?

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


'Making sense of dance' - new resource from Sense

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

Importance of eye tests for people with dementia highlighted

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

Commons Committee reports on disability and the built environment

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

Welsh Pathway for Children & Young People with Vision Impairment launched

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

High levels of anxiety in patients receiving wet AMD treatment

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

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

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

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

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

'Being disabled in Britain - a journey less equal'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disability Wales presents report on disability rights to UN committee

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

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

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

BBS produce guide to vision impaired equestrian sport

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

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

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

Report claims that UK is failing on disability rights

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

RNIB Scotland updates 'Sight loss and dementia' leaflet

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

Voting still inaccessible for many vision impaired people

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

Review of opthalmology services published

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

Report highlights the additional costs which vision impaired pensioners face

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

Vision 2020's Dementia factsheets updated

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

'Shaping the Future' report from the UK Vision Strategy

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

New guides for Welsh social services professionals and housing providers

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

Wales Vision Strategy - Key achievements for 2015/16 published

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

Design and Low Vision Aids  – A Youth Perspective

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

Update on MegaFOCUS Project

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

Welsh Government publishes updated Diabetes Delivery Plan

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

Museums must improve website access information for vi visitors

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

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

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

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

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

Sight loss, dementia and meaningful activity

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

Driving down the extra costs disabled people face - final report

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

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

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

Deafblind people face significant barriers when looking for work

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

How Accessible is Access to Work in Wales?

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

RNIB publishes latest evidence-based reviews

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

Wobbly eyes booklet

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

Sense report on equal access to healthcare

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

Assistive & Inclusive Home Technology Guide from Pocklington Trust

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

New eye drop fact sheet produced

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

10 principles of good practice in vision rehabilitation

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

Parents guide to vision impairment from RNIB

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

People with sight loss have an increased risk of depression

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

Wales Eye Care Statistics for 2015/16 published

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

Management of glaucoma patients in care homes: new research

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

Retinoblastoma information for children and young people

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

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

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

Improving later life for people with sight loss

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

Disability discrimination - key points for the workplace

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

How can care homes support people with sight loss?

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

Sensory Loss: Know your healthcare rights

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


Audio described tour of the sculpture collection at the National Museum Cardiff

The National Museum Cardiff provides regular guided audio described tours of their collections for visitors who are blind or vision impaired. The tours will be on a different theme each time and most will include touch elements. Tours will run every other month and are are FREE, but booking is essential. The next tour is on Thursday 22nd June. [Full story...]

Accessibility of ATMs for people with sight loss

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

Accessible performances of ‘The Tempest’ from Taking Flight Theatre

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

Audio description on catch-up TV becomes law

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

Accessible Banking

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

General Election 2017 - Know your rights

Following the announcement that a General Election will be held on 8th June, RNIB is reminding people with sight loss of their rights to accessible voting. [Full story...]

All Party Group for Assistive Technology launched

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

Activities for vi people with Disability Sport Conwy

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

Disabled access facilities at football stadia criticised in new report

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

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

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

'Good Food Talks' makes restaurant menus accessible

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

Improve your experience when eating out with RNIB Toolkit

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

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

Back to School [Full story...]

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

Back to School Week [Full story...]

Access to hotels: guide to your rights

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

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

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

'UCAN Go' indoor navigation app is now available

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


Glaucoma Support Group Meetings in Swansea and Port Talbot

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has organised support group meetings at Singleton Hospital Swansea on 2nd June and at Neath Port Talbot Hospital on 19th June. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for June

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

Sight Village visits Birmingham

Sight Village, the free exhibition where you can find out more about the latest technology, equipment and support services available to people who are blind or partially-sighted, makes its annual visit to New Bingley Hall in Birmingham on 18th and 19th July. [Full story...]

Event for people with glaucoma

Would you like someone to talk to about your glaucoma? Sight Cymru have nursing staff on hand to help with any issues regarding your treatment or any day to day problems you may have managing your condition, and are holding an informal lunch on Thursday 8th June. [Full story...]

Outreach Open Day at NCW

New College Worcester is running an Outreach Open Day on 22nd June for education professionals working with vision impaired young people and parents. [Full story...]

Family Fund Information & Support Day in Wrexham

The Family Fund is holding an event in Wrexham on Wednesday 21st June, from 10 am to 2.30 pm. It’s an opportunity for the families of disabled children, and professionals working with them, to find out about support services, grants and information that could help them. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for May

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

Moving on to higher education - course at NCW

New College Worcester is running a residential course for vision impaired young people who are moving into higher education in autumn 2017. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru activities in the Swansea area

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

Speed of Sight event in South Wales

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


Online Today sessions from RNIB Cymru in June

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

New eye examination may enable earlier detection of glaucoma

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

NHS England to fund retinal implant technology

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

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

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

Online Today events for 2017

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


Job opportunities with Blind Veterans UK in Llandudno

Blind Veterans UK is looking for three rehabilitation support workers and one receptionist to work at their premises in Llandudno. [Full story...]

Residential Programme for vi young people

'Vision England' is a residential programme for vision impaired young people aged 14 to 17 years funded by the National Lottery. Run by a consortium of eight organisations which is led by The Wildlife Trusts, the programme promotes young people leading change in their communities for the environment. Applications from young people in Wales are welcomed. [Full story...]

Bookings now open for VICTA's Snowdonia event

VICTA is organising an event for people with sight loss aged 18 to 29 years in Snowdonia from 1st to 3rd September, and bookings are now being accepted. [Full story...]

Nominations open for Sense Awards 2017

The Sense Awards recognise the achievements of deafblind people and those who support them, and nominations are now open for the 2017 awards. [Full story...]

BBC work experience opportunities in Wales

BBC Wales is offering work experience opportunities for individuals with an interest in working in the media who would like to find out more about the range of jobs which may be available. Applications from people in groups which are currently under-represented, such as disabled people, are encouraged. [Full story...]

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

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

Scarborough holiday flat for families with a vision impaired child

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

Vision impaired tennis in Swansea

Visually Impaired Tennis Sessions are held at Swansea Tennis Centre, every Thursday during term time, from 12 midday to 1pm. There is a charge of £3. [Full story...]

Macular Society 'Awards for Excellence 2017' open

Nominations for the Macular Society's annual Awards for Excellence are now open. The awards celebrate the excellent and inspirational work done to provide services and care for people with macular disease. [Full story...]

Volunteering opportunities with the Macular Society

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

Children with nystagmus wanted for research study

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

BridgeVis are seeking a Social Secretary

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

RNIB's Connect Project

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

Listening Books Groups in Anglesey

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

New Macular Support Group in Ystradgynlais

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

LOOK UK E-mentoring project for vi young people

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

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

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

'Exploring Music' at RWCMD

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


National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017 to focus on eye pressure

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

New animation launched to raise awareness of Alström Syndrome

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

Young children with sight loss wanted to help research

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

Carry on gardening when you have sight loss

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

Prestatyn Sight Loss Centre now open

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

Eye tests at home

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

Sense launch 'Play toolkits' for children

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

'How I see' - RNIB film dispels the myths

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

RNIB updates the Sight Loss Data Tool

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

SchoolScreener EZ will detect eye problems amongst children

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

The Accessible Friends Network

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

'Managing Better' - new partnership to help older people

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


New eye department at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to provide increased capacity

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

Sight Cymru presented with GSK Impact Award

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

Achievements of people with sight loss

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

Action for Blind People merges with RNIB

With effect from 1st April, Action for Blind People (AFBP) has merged with RNIB to become one charity. [Full story...]

Contact a Family Wales wins BBC Children in Need Grant

Contact a Family Wales, the organisation for families with disabled children, has been awarded a three-year grant of £32,592 from BBC Children in Need. It will be used to provide family fun days and activities for disabled children and young people. [Full story...]

Deafblind Cymru to expand its services

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

Giant cell arteritis - know the signs

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

Innovative ophthalmic diagnostic treatment centre opens in Newport

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

Charities merge to become Royal Society for Blind Children

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

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

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

It Makes Sense - November was Sensory Loss Awareness month

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

Pilot project will provide wet AMD treatment closer to home

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

Dont get bitten by loan sharks

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