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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
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  9. Miscellaneous

WCB would like to hear your views on information and support services in Wales

At Wales Council of the Blind we want to encourage the development of high quality services and to improve our own, and we need your help to do this. [Full story...]

Latest WCB Storm Newsletter available

The latest edition of the newsletter produced by WCB's Storm project for young adults with sight loss is now available. [Full story...]

New resource - Use of Direct Payments during the pandemic

Social Care Wales has updated its information about the corona virus to include a section on the flexible use of direct payments during the pandemic. [Full story...]

15 Ways to keep busy in lockdown

There are some great ideas for how to keep occupied during lockdown on the website of Storm, WCB's project for young adults. [Full story...]

Community Support booklets to download

Patient-focused booklets of support in the community are available in Word format for each local authority/ [Full story...]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rights of disabled people in Wales

Wales Council of the Blind has joined other members of the Wales Disability Reference Group (Disability Wales, Learning Disability Wales, and Wales Council for Deaf People) to issue a joint statement on the rights of disabled people during the coronavirus crisis. [Full story...]

Voice message in Swansea Bay spreading false information.

Swansea Bay NHS has become aware of some scaremongering falsehoods circulating in a voice message. The field hospitals being built in the Swansea Bay area, and all over the UK, are there to help support the main hospitals which don't have the capacity to deal with the numbers of patients coming their way in the next few weeks. [Full story...]

Latest Roundup available

The latest edition, focusing on support during the Coronavirus pandemic, is available for download. [Full story...]

Welsh national disability organisations raise concerns about the impact of the corona virus epidemic on disabled people living with pre-existing medical conditions

Wales Council of the Blind has joined other national disability organisations Disability Wales, Learning Disability Wales, All Wales People First, All Wales Parents and Carers Forum and Mencap Cymru, to raise concerns about the impact of the corona virus pandemic on disabled people living with pre-existing medical conditions. [Full story...]

Corona virus outbreak

WCB would like to ensure its members have access to all the information they require to remain safe during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you need to speak to a member of staff, WCB will remain contactable on 02920 473954 during office hours. [Full story...]


New survey into the impact of Covid-19 on physical activity

Anglia Ruskin University is investigating how COVID-19 is affecting the physical activity of people who are blind or visually impaired, and are asking UK adults with vision impairment to take part in an online survey to help gauge how physical activity habits have changed since the lockdown began. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

National Assembly for Wales Consultations

The National Assembly for Wales has launched several consultations related to Covid-19, which may be of interest to people with disabilities. [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire Disability - Covid-19 Research Survey

If you or a close family member have a disability, Leonard Cheshire Disability want to hear how Coronavirus, and the measures in place to tackle and prevent the spread of the virus, are impacting on your life. [Full story...]

Museum and Heritage Access Survey 2020

Vocal Eyes, the organisation that promotes access to arts and heritage organisations for people with sight loss, is running its annual access survey. [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...]

Survey for patients with age-related macular degeneration

A company based in France that is developing a "bionic" electronic medical device to restore partial central vision in patients affected by advanced, dry age related macular degeneration (AMD) is asking people affected by the condition to complete a survey. [Full story...]

Sight Life survey

Sight Life want you to tell them what work they should be doing in the future to help blind and partially sighted people enjoy independent, active, social and fulfilling lives. [Full story...]

Friends and family of people with sight loss wanted for research project

Researchers at City, University of London are working on a research study to explore whether family and friends of visually impaired people are receiving the right support, advice or information from healthcare professionals or charities. [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire Disability launch 'Trains for All' campaign

Leonard Cheshire disability is campaigning to make train travel accessible to everybody. The 'Trains for all' campaign calls for all stages of a rail journey, including buying a ticket, boarding a train and during the journey to be fully accessible to people with disabilities. [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...]

Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru Coronavirus Information

The Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru has produced a very comprehensive set of information on all aspects of the current coronavirus situation, to ensure that people in Wales have access to authoritative and reliable sources of help and advice. [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...]

Temporary changes to PIP

DWP have introduce several key changes to PIP due to the current pandemic. [Full story...]

No reassessment of benefits for three months - Key changes and commitments from DWP

As of the 24th March, there will be no reassessments across all benefits for three months. [Full story...]

Access to Work claims can be submitted without employer or support worker signature

From 23rd April, Access to Work customers have been able to submit claim forms for reimbursement without an employer or support worker signature. [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...]

New report looks at opthalmology services in England

'Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) is a programme designed to improve medical care within the NHS in England by reducing unwarranted variations. The project has just released a report on opthalmology services which makes a series of recommendations which will also be of interest to people working in the sector in Wales. [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...]

Blocked in: the impact of pavement parking

Guide Dogs has produced a new report on pavement parking, and is calling on the government to bring forward proposals for a new law. The report is based on responses to an online survey publicised by Guide Dogs and other organisations. [Full story...]

Latest Strive Newsletter tackles wellbeing

The third newsletter from VICTA's young ambassadors, 'Strive' has been published. In this issue, the six young people have each written an article which they hope will inspire readers to think about their mental health and maybe try something new. [Full story...]

Researchers' discovery could improve diagnosis and lead to new treatments for AMD

Researchers have identified a new protein linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that could offer new hope for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. [Full story...]

Report on transition experiences of young people with vision impairment

The Thomas Pocklington Trust and the University of Birmingham have been following the experiences of a group of young people with vision impairment as they move from education to employment since 2010. Their latest report, 'The Transition Experiences of Young People with Vision Impairment aged 21 to 24' has just been released. Although there have been some improvements [Full story...]

Brexit and Disability - Common questions answered

Disability Wales has produced a briefing paper on the potential impact of the UK's departure from the European Union on people with 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 publishes disability statistics

The Welsh Government's Statistics unit has published the Local authority registers of disabled people as at 31 March 2019. [Full story...]

Welsh theatres need to improve their services for disabled customers

Vocal Eyes, the organisation that aims to increase the access of people with sight loss to the arts and to heritage sites, has produced its annual 'State of Theatre Access Report'. The report considers the availability of access information on theatre websites, and the number of accessible performances. [Full story...]

Survey shows lack of awareness of the link between lifestyle and eye health

The results of a survey carried out for Fight for Sight, and published in Eye Health Week, shows a worrying lack of awareness of the links between an unhealthy lifestyle and sight loss. [Full story...]

Advice on childrens' eye health

During Eye Health Week 2019, several organisation published useful advice on childrens' eye health. [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...]

IGA issues new standards for glaucoma patients

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has produced a new Patient Standards Document, following concerns that there are significant variations in standards of glaucoma care nationwide. [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...]

National Assembly report raises concerns about waiting list delays

The Public Accounts Committee of the Welsh Assembly has produced a report which looks at the management of follow-up outpatient appointments in Wales. The Committee expressed serious concerns about health boards' lack of progress at reducing waiting times for outpatient follow up appointments. [Full story...]

Report reveals the impact of welfare changes on disabled people

The Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) has been researching the impact of 10 years of benefit cuts on disabled people. Its report, 'Has Welfare become unfair?', reveals that the changes have had a devastating effect, removing financial security and leaving disabled people living in poverty and isolation. [Full story...]

Glaucoma Treatment During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has issued advice for women with glaucoma on treatment of the condition during pregnancy and breastfeeding. [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...]

Information for adults with acquired nystagmus

Nystagmus Network has updated its booklet 'Adults with Acquired Nystagmus', which describes the condition, its effects and potential treatments and contains advice for managing symptoms. [Full story...]

'Glaucoma in babies and children' - free guide from IGA

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has produced a guide for parents whose baby or child has been diagnosed with glaucoma. The guide describes the condition, its symptoms and treatment, and gives advice on how parents can help their child to live with the condition. [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...]

Norrie Disease Information Leaflet

The Norrie Disease Foundation has published an information leaflet which will be of interest to anyone affected by this very rare condition, and professionals in the sight loss sector. [Full story...]

Can I tell you about Nystagmus?: A guide for friends, family and professionals

'Can I tell you about Nystagmus?' is a new book aimed at children, parents, carers and professionals looking after children with Nystagmus. It highlights the symptoms of the condition and practically illustrates a number of strategies to help a child with the condition. [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...]

Wales Vision Strategy 2018 - 2021 launched

The Wales Vision Strategy 2018 - 2012 has been launched at the Senedd, as part of Sensory Loss Awareness Month. [Full story...]

'Making Nature Accessible' - Guide from British Blind Sport

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

'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...]

'Dealing with bullying ' guide from Contact

Bullying can happen to any child, but is often aimed at children who are different in some way, for example because of a disability. Contact, the UK charity for families with a disabled child, has produced a guide with help and advice for families dealing with this difficult situation. [Full story...]

UK Government launches Inclusive Transport Strategy

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

Eye care for people with learning disabilities

Children and adults with learning disabilities are more likely to have serious sight problems than the rest of the population, yet many of them are not getting the eye care they need. SeeAbility's guide, 'How to be eye care aware', has lots of useful advice for families and support workers. [Full story...]

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

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

'Matching income with needs' - New research from TPT

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

Sight Loss, Home and the Built Environment

The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), a leading ‘knowledge hub’ on specialist housing, has published a series of resources related to housing and sight loss. The information has been provided in association with the Thomas Pocklington Trust. [Full story...]

New guide for higher education professionals

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

New lighting guide from Thomas Pocklington Trust

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

NICE issues new clinical guidance for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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

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...]

Resources for teachers of vi students

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

New research on transition of vi young people to adulthood

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

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

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

'Get up and go' booklet aims to prevent falls

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

Importance of eye tests for people with dementia highlighted

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

Commons Committee reports on disability and the built environment

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

Welsh Pathway for Children & Young People with Vision Impairment launched

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

'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...]


Tesco expands priority shoppers list

Supermarket Tesco has agreed to extend its list of priority shoppers, following legal action for breaching the Equality Act 2010. Over 300 disabled people complained, including some with sight loss. [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...]

'The Interval' - Accessible cultural experiences during lockdown

VocalEyes, the organisation which promotes the use of audio description in arts and culture, is producing a weekly selection of accessible cultural experiences available remotely until theatres, museums and concert halls re-open their doors. [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...]

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...]

RNIB launch new way to access its library service

RNIB Reading Services has announced changes to its free online library, which now includes new features such as access to eBraille books. [Full story...]

New £20 note includes accessibility features

A new £20 note has come into circulation, and it includes features to make it more accessible to vision impaired people, following discussions between the Banks of England and RNIB. [Full story...]

Audio description on BBC Wales

BBC Wales Today has reported on concerns raised by people with sight loss that not enough BBC Wales programmes are audio described. [Full story...]

BBC Audio Description Service

Members at our West Wales Regional Group informed us that some BBC Wales programmes did not have Audio Description, whilst the same programmes on BBC England channels did. In response to this, we contacted the BBC for an explanation. [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...]

Accessible washing machines - guidance from RIDC

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC) has produced a checklist for vision impaired people who are looking for a washing machine. [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...]

Aira App to help vision impaired passengers at Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport passengers with sight loss can now get help from the Aira app on their smartphone. Using the phone's camera, the app can connect them to an agent who will guide them through the airport, help them read documents or flight information, shop or even find their bag on the luggage carousel. [Full story...]

LEGO launch braille bricks for children with sight loss

LEGO have created bricks which will enable children with sight loss to learn braille while playing. [Full story...]

Concessionary Travel on trains

If you have a Concessionary Travel Pass from a Welsh Local Authority, you can travel free on many trains operated by Transport for Wales. You can also get 1/3 off tickets to travel on the Cardiff and Valley network after 0930 Monday - Friday, and any time at weekends and bank holidays. [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...]

Making churches accessible - advice from the Torch Trust

The Torch Trust, a Christian organisation for people with sight loss, has produced a range of resources aimed at making churches more accessible. [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...]

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...]


RNIB Cymru 'Living with Sight Loss' courses

RNIB’s Face to Face Living with Sight Loss courses are currently postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. RNIB are offering telephone based courses which take place over 6 weeks. If you would like to attend a phone course whilst you wait for a face to face course, please contact the helpline on 0303 123 9999. [Full story...]

Macular Society support group meetings continue via the telephone

There are Macular Society Support Groups across Wales, offering practical and emotional support for people with macular disease. Although physical meetings have been suspended during the pandemic, groups are continuing to meet via the telephone. [Full story...]

LOOK Online sessions

LOOK has responded to the corona virus crisis by running a series of online workshops for vision impaired children, young people, young adults and their parents/guardians. [Full story...]

Sense Usher Service - Weekly Zoom Rooms

Following the recent Sense Usher Service Coronavirus Workshops, the charity is starting weekly 'Usher Zoom Rooms'. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Ceredigion Technology Group telephone meetings

The RNIB Cymru Ceredigion technology group now meets over the phone on the last Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is May 27th from 1pm. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Young People's Group meetings

RNIB Cymru's Young People's Groups in Barry and the Vale, and Cardiff are now holding telephone meetings. [Full story...]

Buddy Dog Discovery Day - Webinar session

A buddy dog brings a new friend into the lives of children with sight loss. By helping to develop their self-confidence, improve relationships and build a greater sense of trust, these dogs can have a very positive effect on the wellbeing of a child with vision impairment. Guide Dogs is holding a 'Buddy Dogs Discovery Day' webinar, where parents can find out more about this service. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Awareness Day will be on 20th June

Nystagmus Network has announced that this year's Nystagmus Awareness Day will be on 20th June, and despite the lockdown, there are plenty of ways to get involved. [Full story...]

New College Worcester still available for enquiries

New College Worcester (NCW) is reminding the families of potential students that, although the building is closed, staff are still available to answer enquiries - and it is hoped that a free Sixth Form Open Day will be held in September. [Full story...]

Vision Support Community Information Service suspended

Vision Support are temporarily suspending visits of the Community Information Service with immediate effect. The situation will be reviewed on a weekly basis. [Full story...]

VI football Taster Day at RNC - POSTPONED

VICTA's vision impaired football taster day for young people at the Royal National College for the Blind on 28th May has been postponed. [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...]

A new service from British Wireless for the Blind Fund

British Wireless for the Blind Fund has announced a new service. [Full story...]

Tech Talkers

Macular Society Connect by Tech is a brand new service to help people make the most of things like tablets, smartphones and smart speakers to stay connected. [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...]

Free Orbit Reader 20 from RNIB

The refreshable braille display Orbit Reader 20 is now available for FREE via the RNIB Helpline for people of all ages. [Full story...]

British Wireless for the Blind Fund launch new short term service

In order to reach out to more people during this difficult time, British Wireless for the Blind Fundhas launched a new short-term service, BWBFconnect. [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...]

New wet AMD drug could be available in 2020

The Macular Society has reported that, Novartis could launch its new drug for wet age-related macular degeneration in Europe early 2020 after getting approval from the European Medicines Agency. [Full story...]

'Fight for Sight' to fund glaucoma bio bank

The organisation 'Fight for Sight' has announced that it will fund a project to create the UK’s first large-scale glaucoma biobank, a new tool that will help personalise glaucoma treatment and identify patients most at risk of sight loss. [Full story...]

RNIB technology grant scheme

RNIB offers grants to vision impaired people for useful technology that can help them to live independently. This includes accessibility software, accessible smartphones or tablets, and talking kitchen equipment. [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...]

Report claims that laser treatment is best for glaucoma

Research by Moorfields Eye Hospital, published in The Lancet, suggests that using a laser-based treatment on newly diagnosed cases of glaucoma is more successful and more cost-effective than the current method of using eye drops. It could also result in significant savings for the NHS. [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...]

UCAN Go Indoor navigation app for Cardiff Central Library Hub

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

New treatments for glaucoma and AMD trialled

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


Sight Life are running a number of special interest groups

In addition to their regular tele-befriending calls, Sight Life are running a number of special interest groups. [Full story...]

ITV Wales wants to speak to anyone with a disability who is self isolating or is feeling lonely

ITV wish to interview disabled people who are self isolating or feeling lonely during this time. [Full story...]

VICTA Activities Schedule

Despite the current difficulties, VICTA is hoping to run some activities for children, young people and young adults with sight loss later in the year. [Full story...]

RNIB are seeking new Trustees

As well as recruiting a new Chair, RNIB are seeking two new Trustees to join their Board. [Full story...]

IGA Research Grant Awards 2020

The International Glaucoma Association has launched a £100,000 PHD Studentship Award. [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...]

JobSense continue to take new referrals

The JobSense team are fully operating their pre-employment support. [Full story...]

VICTA Science Competition - Closing date extended

VICTA, in association with Microsoft and City University, is running a science competition for children who are registered (or are registrable) blind or partially sighted aged between 10 and 17 years on 26th June 2020. [Full story...]

VICTA Positivity Project aims to lift the spirits

VICTA, the organisation for vision impaired children and young people, has launched a 'Positivity Project' to lift the spirits during this difficult time. [Full story...]

Macular Society Awards - closing date for nominations extended

Nominations for the Macular Society's 'Awards for Excellence 2020' are now open. The awards are an opportunity to recognise the work of people providing services and care for people with macular conditions. [Full story...]

Eye2Eye - Social club for visually impaired people

Eye2Eye is a social group for visually impaired people based in Flintshire. [Full story...]

Summer activity break at New College Worcester

New College Worcester is running a residential Summer Activity Break for 11- to 16 year-olds with sight loss from 21st to 23rd July. [Full story...]

Technology group for vision impaired people in Aberystwyth

There is a new Technology group for vision impaired people in Aberystwyth. [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...]

Deafblind UK Holidays

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

Technology volunteering opportunities with RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru is looking for volunteers from across Wales to help blind and partially sighted people access life-changing technology. [Full story...]

Macular Society launches Working Age & Young People's Service Facebook Group

The Macular Society is setting up a Working Age & Young People’s Service Facebook group, which will launch on Tuesday 3rd December. [Full story...]

Volunteering opportunities with RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru is looking for Welsh and English speaking volunteers to help out with their transcription services in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Macular Society peer support group for parents

The Macular Society now has a peer support group for parents with children with juvenile macular dystrophies. [Full story...]

LOOK Mentoring Scheme

LOOK UK, the organisation which provides help, support and services for vision impaired children, young adults and their families, has a peer mentoring service for vision impaired children and young adults aged 11-29 who are at school, university/college or looking for work. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Telephone and Skype Groups

RNIB Cymru are setting up some telephone and Skype groups to support blind and partially sighted people in Wales who would like to talk to others with similar experiences. This includes a dedicated Welsh language service. [Full story...]

New social group in Llanishen

A new social group for those living with sight loss in Llanishen [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...]

RNIB Connect Welshpool Group

Are you aged between 20-45 and enjoy meeting new people? [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...]

Research participants wanted for Neurological Vision Loss Database

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

Active Inclusion – VI Volunteer Mentoring Project

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

Children with nystagmus wanted for research study

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

Guide Dogs Cymru 'Pathway to Participation' project

The Guide Dogs Cymru 'Pathway to Participation' project opens up access to sporting, social/leisure activities and clubs for children and young people with a visual impairment aged between 10-18 years in Wales, supporting them to expand existing interests, explore new opportunities and develop new social networks. The project is supported by Children in Need Cymru. [Full story...]


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...]

Social distancing tips from Henshaws

Social distancing can be a challenge when you have sight loss. Now a senior rehabilitation officer from Henshaws (who is vision impaired himself) has produced a list of 11 top tips to help you to get around during the current restrictions. [Full story...]

RNIB are offering free subscriptions to Newsagent during the coronavirus pandemic

Subscription to RNIB's Newsagent is now free during the coronavirus pandemic. [Full story...]

Services from Vision Support during Covid-19 pandemic

During Covid-19, Vision Support have been continuing with many services by telephone, including digital support. Staff are available on the phone to talk to you and ensure that you remain connected to your local community and to the charity. [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...]

'Ask the Expert' telephone calls for people with rare genetic eye diseases during lockdown

A consultant ophthalmologist who works with Retina UK is offering a limited number of 1-1 informal phone calls with members of the Retina UK, Aniridia Network and MACS Charity community during lockdown. [Full story...]

Macular Society launches 'Connect by Tech' service

The Macular Society has launched a new service which provides telephone support to people with sight loss who need help to use technology during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Borrow a Touch to See book from Living Paintings

Living Paintings is the only charity in the UK who design and create 'Touch to See' books. [Full story...]

Advice for glaucoma patients

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) has issued advice for people with the condition during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport Audio Exercise Prorgrammes

British Blind Sport is encouraging people with sight loss to keep exercising despite the current restrictions with their campaign #StayInWorkOut. [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...]

Age Cymru West Glamorgan have extended their meal delivery service

Age Cymru West Glamorgan have extended their meal delivery service. [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...]

RNIB Helpline hours extended

The RNIB Helpline hours have been extended to cope with enquiries during the corona virus pandemic. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Covid-19 Sight Loss Information Line

Guide Dogs has launched a telephone advice line providing answers and information for adults and the families of children with sight loss. [Full story...]

Welsh Government issuing letters to most vulnerable.

Letters to individuals identified as in need of shielding are being sent out this week. Accessible formats are being produced. [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...]

Sources of support in Torfaen

Torfaen Social Services has provided information about community resources which are available to support people in the area during the corona virus pandemic. [Full story...]

Disabled People’s Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus COVID-19

Disability Wales has updated its website with information for disabled people during the corona virus outbreak. [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...]

Resources for parents from Positive Eye

Positive Eye is a provider of educational consultancy and training for professionals working with children and young people with vision impairment. They have responded to the current crisis by producing fun ideas, activities and inspiration for parents and families during the periods of time spent at home during the months of the COVID19 Epidemic. [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...]

Support services from The Macular Society

The Macular Society offers a wide range of support services to people affected by central vision loss. [Full story...]

VICTA Parent Portal

VICTA has launched a Parent Portal, a one-stop information hub for all parents and carers raising a child with a vision impairment.. [Full story...]

VICTA launches Student Helpline

VICTA has launched a new Helpline for university students with a vision impairment. [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...]

Macular Support Groups in North Wales

As several new Macular Support Groups have started in North Wales, we have produced a summary of venues and dates. [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...]

New video - Things not to say to a guide dog owner

Visualise Training and Consultancy has produced a short video, 'Things not to say to a guide dog owner', which aims to enlighten and educate the public about guide dogs. [Full story...]

Research into the causes of Keratoconus

Fight for Sight and the Keratoconus Group have secured funding to investigate the causes of Keratoconus. [Full story...]

New glaucoma films

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

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

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

Films from Deafblind UK

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

Useful tips for teachers of students with sight loss

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

Disability discrimination at school - advice from Contact

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

Understanding Cerebral Vision Impairment (CVI)

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

Nystagmus Network launches Education Resource Hub

Nystagmus Network (NN) has launched a new resource for parents and carers of children with nystagmus, comprising practical information, signposting to resources and answers to frequently asked questions. [Full story...]

New animation launched to raise awareness of Alström Syndrome

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

Eye tests at home

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

'How I see' - RNIB film dispels the myths

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


Vision Support has identified their top 5 mindfulness apps

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

People 'afraid to seek treatment' for eye problems

Concerns have been raised recently that, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, people are reluctant to seek treatment for serious conditions. Now a report on BBC Wales has highlighted the problem that people with serious eye problems are risking their sight because of a reluctance to leave their homes. [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...]

Update on eyecare appointments in Wales from RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru has an update on the situation regarding eye care appointments in Wales, with particular reference to the measures that are being put in place to ensure that, if a hospital visit is essential, patients can be kept safe. [Full story...]

Mental Health Awareness Week - 18th to 24th May 2020

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

Guide dog training impacted by lockdown

A feature on the BBC website looks at how the current lockdown, with the lack of traffic and closure of venues such as shops and cafes, has made it difficult to train new guide dogs. This may result in vision impaired people having to wait longer for a dog - there are currently 59 people on the waiting list in Wales. [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...]

New telephone number for Retina UK

The telephone number of the Retina UK helpline has changed - the new number is 0300 111 4000. The helpline provides support and information for people with inherited sight loss, their relatives and anyone who wants to know more about these conditions. [Full story...]

Optometry Practices open in each Welsh health board during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Eye Care Wales has produced a list of optometry practices which are open for urgent eye care during the corona virus crisis. [Full story...]

Change of name for the International Glaucoma Association

The International Glaucoma Association has announced that it will change its name to Glaucoma UK this summer. The name change follows discussion with patients and professionals, who felt that the current name didn't accurately describe the organisation's work. [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...]

New interim director for Sight Life

Sight Life, formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind, has announced the appointment of Michelle Jones as its interim Director, with effect from 1st May. [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...]

Stories of carers, and users of care & support services, wanted

'Measuring the Mountain' is a project supported by the Welsh Government and run by the University of South Wales. Researchers want to hear from anyone who has recent experience (within the last 12 months) of social care in Wales - this could mean receiving care and support or being a carer looking after a loved one or friend. They are particularly interested in hearing from people in diverse communities. [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...]

Falls Awareness Week 2020

24th February is the start of Falls Awareness Week in Wales, when organisations including Age Cymru, Care & Repair Cymru and Age Connects remind people that falls are not an inevitable part of ageing, and give advice on how they can be avoided. [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...]

Vision impaired people making the news

Here's our summary of recent BBC reports and stories featuring people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Experiences of sight loss from young adults in Wales

Two people with sight loss from Wales have written about their personal experiences of vision impairment. [Full story...]

New Glaucoma Ophthalmic Diagnostic Teaching and Treatment Centre opens in Cardiff

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services in the Welsh government, has opened a new Glaucoma Ophthalmic Diagnostic Teaching and Treatment Centre (ODTTC) at Cardiff University's School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. [Full story...]

Job Centre staff to receive RNIB training

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that Job Centre Plus (JCP) staff are to be given access to online training, developed in partnership with RNIB, which is intended to provide better support to people with sight loss who are looking for work. [Full story...]

RNIB forces change to tax decision by HMRC

RNIB has successfully challenged a decision by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) related to the Blind Person’s Tax Allowance. [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...]

New statistics reveal extent of delays to eye care in Wales

The Welsh Government recently introduced new measures for eye care waiting times, and as a result, has identified that almost 35% of all patients in the highest risk category waited longer than the target time. [Full story...]

New support group for people with Acquired Nystagmus

Nystagmus Network has launched a new, free support group for people with Acquired Nystagmus. [Full story...]

Fight for Sight partnering with Welsh Government to fund research

Fight for Sight, the eye research charity, is inviting applications for project grants for research that aims to address sight loss caused by any eye condition. The charity has partnered with Health and Care Research Wales and the Chief Optometric Adviser for Wales to offer a joint Project Grant Award to an eligible Host Institution based within Wales. Applications are particularly encouraged in the fields of myopia and corneal disease. [Full story...]

New measures for eye care services across Wales

Following the recent announcement by Vaughan Gething, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Care, new measures for eye care services are being introduced in Wales from this month (April 2019). The new measures ensure that both new and existing patients are seen or treated within an agreed timeframe, based on their clinical condition. Measures will be based on priority and urgency of care required by each patient. [Full story...]

Introduction of a new eye care digital system and transformational funding for eye care services

Welsh Heath and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething has announced £7.087m additional funding for the introduction of a new digital system for eye care across both primary and secondary care. Digitisation will help to reduce demand in secondary care and provide a better experience and improved outcomes for people across Wales. [Full story...]

WARNING - Scam targeting vision impaired people

A colleague at Deafblind Cymru has warned us about a scam targeting people who receive bank statements by audio CD. [Full story...]

Could you help research into albinism and macular degeneration?

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

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...]