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Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

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Contents.

  1. WCB News
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Wales Eyecare Conference 2019

Thanks to everyone who has booked a place at the Wales Eyecare Conference on 19th September, we look forward to seeing you there. [Full story...]

Julie Thomas is overall champion in Womenspire 2019 awards

Julie Thomas, one of Wales Council of the Blind's trustees, was a double winner at Chwarae Teg's 'Womenspire Awards 2019'. The awards showcase the remarkable accomplishments of women across Wales and are intended to inspire future generations. [Full story...]

Latest issue of WCB's Roundup considers the cost of sight loss

The latest edition of WCB's quarterly magazine Roundup looks at the additional costs that people with sight loss - and other disabled people - face, and the problems with accessing the benefits which are intended to help with meeting such costs. [Full story...]

State of the Nation - services for adults with sight loss in Wales.

This report, prepared by the Wales Vision forum, was the subject of a BBC report on rehabilitation services. [Full story...]

Meaningless sight tests for benefit claimants causing anxiety

Wales Council of the Blind has raised concerns that people with sight loss are missing out on benefits because assessors from organisations such as Capita are carrying out vision tests which they are not qualified to perform. Eye tests should only be done by optometrists or ophthalmologists. [Full story...]

National Lottery Community Fund grant set to benefit over 500 blind children in England and Wales

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) has received more than £650,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly Big Lottery Fund) to extend its Family Support Service. The service will be delivered in collaboration with four partner organisations - Wales Council of the Blind, North Wales Society for the Blind, Vision Support and Kent Association for the Blind. [Full story...]

WCB welcomes continuation of SenCom service

Newport City Council has agreed to extend the Gwent SenCom service for children with sensory loss until at least 2022. The decision has been welcomed by parents, Wales Council of the Blind and other sight loss charities. [Full story...]

WCB response to Welsh Government consultation 'Tackling Loneliness and Isolation'

Wales Council of the Blind has prepared a draft response to the Welsh Government's consultation 'Tackling Loneliness and Isolation'. [Full story...]


RNIB Cymru bus users survey

Lots of us depend on buses to get from A to B, but blind and partially sighted people can find bus journeys a challenge. RNIB Cymru would like to hear your experiences of bus travel, both good and bad. [Full story...]

Pavement Parking in Wales - how does it affect you?

The Welsh Government has announced its intention to clamp down on pavement parking - a particular problem for people with sight loss. Living Streets Cymru will be part of the Welsh Government task group looking at pavement parking, and is asking people to complete a short questionnaire on the subject. [Full story...]

Have your say on health services in Newport and Cwmbran

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is inviting people from Newport and Cwmbran to attend local meetings to discuss health services, and hear how they will be developed / changed over the coming years. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Survey on transport to GP and hospital appointments

Travelling to hospital or GP appointments can be a problem for older people. Now the Older Person's Commissioner for Wales has launched a survey in order to find specific problem areas, and identify areas of good practice. [Full story...]

Access refusals - ask your MP to act

New figures show that three-quarters of guide dog owners (76%) have been illegally turned away by businesses and services, such as taxis, restaurants, shops and cafes, with taxis being a particular problem area. The UK Government has agreed taxi and minicab drivers should have disability awareness training, but has not made any firm plans for this. As part of its 'Access all areas' campaign, Guide Dogs is asking people to write to their Member of Parliament to demand a firm commitment to an implementation date. [Full story...]

Alström Syndrome UK questionnaire

Alström Syndrome UK is asking parents of children affected by the condition to complete a questionnaire about their childs health and development. The results will be used to improve care, increase understanding of the condition and accelerate patient diagnosis. [Full story...]

Macular Society calls for more opthalmologists

The Macular Society has launched a petition calling for more opthalmologists to be trained in the UK, to prevent people from needlessly losing their sight. [Full story...]

Help shops to support people with sight loss

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


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...]

'Managing Better' service building good relationships with key stakeholders

The Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC) at the University of South Wales has conducted an independent evaluation of the Managing Better programme, which is managed by Care and Repair Cymru in partnership with RNIB Cymru, Action on Hearing Loss and individual Care & Repair agencies across Wales. [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...]

New guide: Digital Inclusion for Health & Care in Wales

The Welsh Government, NHS Wales and Wales Co-operative Centre have published a new guide which is intended to improve digital inclusion, and ensure that the benefits of using digital technologies to manage health, wellbeing and care are available to all. Although the guide is particularly aimed at healthcare organisations in Wales, it should also be useful to local authorities and voluntary organisations. [Full story...]

Parliamentary report recommends change to Disabled Student Allowance

The UK Parliament's All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology has conducted a review into how the Disabled Student Allowance is working, and recommended that the requirement for students to pay an upfront charge of £200 towards the cost of a high-powered laptop be removed 'as a matter of urgency' because it has led to a significant drop in take-up of essential assistive technology. [Full story...]

Sensory health statistics for Wales published

The Welsh Government has published sensory health statistics, covering eye care and hearing services, for April 2017 to March 2019. The report summarises statistics relating to primary care eye services and targeted Welsh eye care services such as Eye Health Examination Wales and Diabetic Eye Screening Wales, the Hospital Eye Service, sight impairment registration, certification and the Low Vision Service Wales. [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...]

Change 100 scheme - five year review produced

Leonard Cheshire Disability's 'Change 100' scheme, which provides internships with major employers for students and recent graduates with disabilities, has been operating for five years, and a review of the scheme suggests that it has had a positive impact on the individuals who participate, and on the attitudes of participating companies to the employment of disabled people. [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...]

Diversity in Local Government - National Assembly Report

The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee of the National Assembly for Wales has launched a report on diversity in Local Government. The Committee found that little progress has been made in increasing the representation of people with disabilities, women, and those from the LGBTQ and BME communities in Local Government, and makes 22 recommendations on how the situation could be improved. [Full story...]

The Story of National Eye Health Week (NEHW) 2018

Vision Matters has published 'The Story of NEHW 2018', which summarises the achievements of last year's event. It is encouraging to read that 27% of people surveyed say they remember seeing, hearing or reading something about eye health during the week, and that 63% of opticians responding to a survey reported an increase in eye test bookings in and around the week. [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...]

Disability Rights UK publishes guide to higher education

Disability Rights UK has published a new guide for anyone with a disability who is thinking about going into higher education in September 2019. 'Into HE 2019' is a guide to the additional support which is available, and includes information for students from Wales. [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...]

Survey results show GP surgeries have low awareness of 'It Makes Sense' campaign

NHS Wales Centre for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) has carried out an online survey of GP surgeries to get their views on the working of the Accessible Information Standard. Disappointingly, 75% of the practices which responded had not heard of the 'It Makes Sense' campaign, and few of them had completed the e-learning module on sensory loss. [Full story...]

Diabetic Eye Screening Wales publishes Annual Statistical Report 2017-18

Diabetic Eye Screening Wales (DESW) has published its first annual statistical report, covering 2017 to 2018. DESW aims to protect the sight of people with diabetes by screening for retinopathy before symptoms show. [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...]

NHS Wales produces final report on the Accessible Information Standard

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

Wales Vision Strategy 2018 - 2021 launched

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

'Making Nature Accessible' - Guide from British Blind Sport

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

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

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

Guide Dogs publish strategy for 2018-2023

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

'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...]

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

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

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

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

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...]

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

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

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

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

'Matching income with needs' - New research from TPT

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

Housing and disabled people: Wales's hidden crisis

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

Personal Independence Payment - a guide to making a claim

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

Disability Wales reports on access to taxis

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

Sight Loss, Home and the Built Environment

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

New guide for higher education professionals

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

New lighting guide from Thomas Pocklington Trust

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

Accessing Public Services Toolkit

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

Registering as sight impaired

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

Inaccessible gym equipment is a barrier to fitness for vi people

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

NICE issues new clinical guidance for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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

Report recommends new model of care for Wales

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

'Missing Voices' project produces report on findings

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

Guide to juvenile macular dystrophies

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

New Accessible Information Standard for NHS Wales launched

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

IGA advice on delayed glaucoma appointments

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

Nystagmus Information Pack launched on Wobbly Wednesday

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

Employment guides from Sense

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

Report suggests number of children with vision impairment is rising

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

Resources for teachers of vi students

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

New research on transition of vi young people to adulthood

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

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

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

Housing guide for people with sight loss

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

Practical Guidance reports from Pocklington

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

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

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

'Get up and go' booklet aims to prevent falls

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

Importance of eye tests for people with dementia highlighted

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

Commons Committee reports on disability and the built environment

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

Welsh Pathway for Children & Young People with Vision Impairment launched

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

'Being disabled in Britain - a journey less equal'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report claims that UK is failing on disability rights

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

RNIB Scotland updates 'Sight loss and dementia' leaflet

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

Review of opthalmology services published

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

Report highlights the additional costs which vision impaired pensioners face

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

Vision 2020's Dementia factsheets updated

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

New guides for Welsh social services professionals and housing providers

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

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

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

Sight loss, dementia and meaningful activity

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

How Accessible is Access to Work in Wales?

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

RNIB publishes latest evidence-based reviews

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

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...]


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...]

Audio Described Commentary at Wrexham Football Club

As the start of the 2019/20 football season approaches, here's a reminder Wrexham Disabled Supporters Association (DSA) in association with sponsors North Wales Masons and The Maesgwyn Hall, provides audio described commentary at Wrexham Football Club’s home matches. The service is managed by Europe's number 1 sports ADC service provider Alan March Sports Limited and is also available to supporters of the away team. This is a good opportunity for younger people with sight loss who have never been to a match to give it a try – and for older supporters with visual problems to continue their attendance. [Full story...]

Audio described opera at Wales Millennium Centre

Welsh National Opera (WNO) is giving an audio described performance of Bizet's 'Carmen', at 4 pm on Sunday 6th October at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. The performance will be preceded by a touch tour. [Full story...]

'Painting Dance': audio described tour in Llanrwst

'Painting Dance' is an exhibition of drawings and paintings of Ballet Cymru by artist Carl Chapple at the Ffin y Parc Gallery in Llanrwst. There will be audio described tours of the exhibition, provided by 'Word of Mouth'. [Full story...]

Tandem rides at Pedal Power in Cardiff

Pedal Power, the charity based in Cardiff that encourages and enables children and adults of all ages and abilities to experience the benefits of cycling, are now doing monthly tandem rides at 3:30 pm on the first Friday of the month. [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...]

Lloyds Banking Group works with 'Be My Eyes' to support vi customers

Lloyds Banking Group is partnering with the 'Be My Eyes' app to provide support and assistance for customers of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland who have sight loss. [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...]

Gardening tips for people with sight loss

If the arrival of warmer weather has made you want to get out into the garden, Thrive's 'Carry on Gardening' website has lots of tips and advice on gardening when you have sight loss. [Full story...]

Access improvements at railway stations

The UK Government's Department of Transport has announced that 73 stations across the UK will benefit from funding to improve accessibility. [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...]

More useful tips and advice

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

Top tips for flying when you have a vision impairment

Deafblind UK's website has some useful tips on flying when you have a vision impairment. [Full story...]

VI Tennis sessions start in Cardiff

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

Transport for Wales - Passenger Assistance

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

Welsh Cycling to develop pathway for vi people

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

VocalEyes publishes 'State of Museum Access 2018' report

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

Hints and tips for people with sight loss

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

RSS news reader for people with macular degeneration launched

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

RNIB launch new bilingual personal transcription service

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

Culverhouse Cross Shopper service

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

'Good Food Talks' makes restaurant menus accessible

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

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

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


Cornea to Cortex - School of Optometry and Vision Sciences Research Seminar Program

Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences organise research seminars entitled 'Cornea to Cortex' and have hosted UK-based and international researchers from a wide range of vision-related disciplines. Academic staff from the School also showcase the world-class research being undertaken at Cardiff University. The schedule for Autumn 2019 is now available. [Full story...]

National Eye Health Week 2019

National Eye Health Week 2019 starts on Monday 23rd September. The annual event promotes the importance of good eye health and the need for everyone to have regular eye tests. [Full story...]

Living with Sight Loss courses

RNIB Cymru is running a programme of free, 2-day 'Living with Sight Loss' courses. [Full story...]

Activities for people with sight loss in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot

RNIB Cymru, Cardiff Institute for the Blind and Vision Impaired West Glamorgan organise a wide range of events, activities, clubs and support groups for people with sight loss living in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for September

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

Macular Degeneration Patient Event in Pentre

The Macular Society invites people with macular degeneration to a free Patient Event in Pentre on Wednesday 18th September. [Full story...]

Sixth Form Open Day at New College Worcester

New College Worcester (NCW), the residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 years with a vision impairment, is organising a free Sixth Form Open Day on Saturday 21st September. It is an opportunity for young people who are considering their options for sixth form studies, and their families, to find out more about what NCW can offer to students. [Full story...]

Alström Syndrome UK Family Information Day

Alström Syndrome UK (ASUK) is holding a Family Information Day on 19th October at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham. It will be an informative day, with information about research developments, interactive workshops, the launch of the Patient Registry and a chance to socialise over dinner. [Full story...]

Glaucoma Patient Conference in Bristol

The International Glaucoma Association is organising a free Patient Conference for people affected by the condition in Bristol on Friday 20th September. [Full story...]

Event for young people with sight loss in the Vale of Glamorgan

RNIB Cymru is inviting young people who have sight loss to an event at the YMCA Hub café in Barry. [Full story...]

Disability Wales Conference and AGM 2019

Bookings are now open for Disability Wales' Annual Conference and AGM on 5th November at Cardiff City Stadium. [Full story...]

Free places available at Nystagmus Network Open Day

The Nystagmus Network have been awarded a small grant by the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust to sponsor a number of free places at their Open Day 2019. [Full story...]

Open Day for prospective students at RNC

There's an Open Day for prospective students at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford on Friday 18th October. [Full story...]

'Have a Go' activity weekend at RNC, 26th/ 27th October

There's a free activity weekend for young people aged 13 to 17 with a visual impairment at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October 2019. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network Open Day 2019 to be held in Cardiff

This year's Nystagmus Network Open Day will be held on Saturday 28th September at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Listening Books Group starting at Porthmadog Library

Porthmadog Library has started a Listening Books Group. The group will meet on the first Tuesday of each month from 1 pm to 3 pm. [Full story...]

North Wales Social Groups

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


Technology for Life: Drop in Sessions in in Welshpool

RNIB Cymru is starting regular, monthly drop-in sessions in Welshpool. [Full story...]

British Wireless for the Blind Fund

The British Wireless for the Blind Fund provide a range of audio equipment for people with sight loss. [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...]

VICTA/RNIB Grant for Apple iPad Air or Orbit reader

RNIB and VICTA offer a grant to young people with a vision impairment to enable them to study independently. If you are aged between 11 and 25 years and a UK resident, you may be eligible for an Apple iPad Air 2 and case, and now Braille users aged 8 to 25 years can apply for an Orbit Reader 20. [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...]

Latest research into macular disease

Research funded by Fight for Sight has identified new genes linked to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in the UK. Also, the Macular Society has provided an update on research into treatments which can reduce, or remove, the need for injections to treat AMD. [Full story...]

UCAN Go Indoor navigation app for Cardiff Central Library Hub

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

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

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

Accessibility features of Windows and MS Office

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

RNIB launch Orbit Reader 20 in National Braille Week

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

Artificial Intelligence as good as experts in diagnosing eye disease

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

New treatments for glaucoma and AMD trialled

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

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

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

UK Government announces new Tech Fund for employers of disabled people

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

Stem cell treatment restores sight of AMD patients

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

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

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

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...]


Volunteers wanted for BBC programme

Volunteers with vision impairment living in Cardiff are wanted for a BBC programme to be broadcast before Christmas. The production company would like to form a choir of 6-10 vision impaired people who have not had much or any experience of singing before and who may have experienced isolation due to sight loss or for other reasons, but are happy to talk about it, and where singing may have a positive well being effect. [Full story...]

VI Rugby training sessions

Cardiff Blues are planning to start VI rugby training sessions for men and women over 16. [Full story...]

Holyhead Listening Book Group

The Holyhead Listening Book group meet on the first Thursday of each month [Full story...]

Holyhead Knits and Natter Group

The Knits and Natter group meet every Monday [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Social Group in Welshpool

Do you live in the Welshpool or Newtown area, are aged between 20-45 and enjoy meeting new people? [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...]

Nominations open for RNIB's 'See Differently' Awards

RNIB's 'See Differently' awards recognise the work of those who support people with sight loss in the UK, and nominations are now open. [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...]

SallyAmblers vision impaired walking group

The SallyAmblers is a walking group based in Carmarthenshire [Full story...]

Sustainable Cities study

A student from Leeds University wants to hear from disabled people. [Full story...]

Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC) seeks panel members

The Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC) is an independent charity that carries out user-centred research involving disabled and older consumers. They are looking for new members with disabilities to join their panel, and are offering a prize of £150 to the 1,000th person to join. Applications from people with sight loss are particularly welcome. [Full story...]

Gloucestershire Growlers Visually Impaired Cricket Club seeks members

The Gloucestershire Growlers VI Cricket Club is looking for new members. The club trains indoors in Gloucester, once a month, from January to April. During the summer, it is based at Hatherley and Reddings CC in Cheltenham, and trains outdoors and play matches from May to September. Both Cheltenham and Gloucester can be reached by direct train services from South Wales, and the club can provide help towards transport costs. They also currently have training sessions running in Bristol fortnightly, on Thursday evenings. [Full story...]

Vision impaired football in Cardiff

Is anyone in or around Cardiff interested in weekly skills sessions in VI football leading up to week-end matches? [Full story...]

RNIB Connect Welshpool Group

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

RNIB Parent Support Group

RNIB are looking to set up a parent support group in South Wales to be piloted in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area. [Full story...]

LOOK UK launches 'Employability Workshops' for schools

LOOK UK is offering 'Employability Workshops' to schools with vision impaired students. This follows feedback from young people supported by the organisation, who feel that the careers advice offered by schools does not take account of the specific needs of students with sight loss. [Full story...]

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

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

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

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

Alström Syndrome UK 's Big Activity Challenge

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

Share your glaucoma story

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

Research participants wanted for Neurological Vision Loss Database

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

Active Inclusion – VI Volunteer Mentoring Project

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

Children with nystagmus wanted for research study

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

'Can Do' volunteering scheme for young people with disabilities

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

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...]

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...]


Top tips from the Macular Society

The Macular Society website has a section with top tips for people with sight loss on a wide range of topics. [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...]

Look has a new website

Look, the small UK charity that supports young vision impaired people and their families has a new website, making it much easier to find out about its services and the events that it organises. [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...]

Nystagmus Network launches new information and support line

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

New animation launched to raise awareness of Alström Syndrome

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

Eye tests at home

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

'How I see' - RNIB film dispels the myths

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

SchoolScreener EZ will detect eye problems amongst children

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


Congratulations to RNC students

Congratulations to students at Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford, who are celebrating 100% success in their A-Level exams. [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...]

Stats Wales publishes Eyecare Measures for June

In April 2019, the Welsh Government introduced new measures for eye care waiting times, and Stats Wales has just published the figures for June 2019. [Full story...]

Information about Glamorgan County Council School for the Blind wanted

Do you have any information about Glamorgan County Council School for the Blind in Bridgend, or digital images of the school? for a series I¹m working on for S4C called Gwesty >Aduniad. Ideally circa 1950. >Would be very grateful for your help, Diolch, [Full story...]

Disabled people's experience of applying for jobs wanted

A researcher with BBC Wales is investigating the disability employment gap and would like to hear about your experiences when applying for jobs. [Full story...]

Success for vi sportswomen at Disability Sport Wales Awards

The achievements of two vision impaired sportswomen were recognised at the Disability Sport Wales Awards 2019. [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...]

Importance of research highlighted in Macular Week 2019 (24th to 30th June)

This year's Macular Week started on 24th June, and the Macular Society released a short film which tells the story of a young family affected by the condition. The mother has an inherited form of the disease and arranged for her three young sons to be tested. She describes how awful it was to discover that two of them were also affected. [Full story...]

'Sight seeing or sight loss?' - Glaucoma Awareness Week focuses on holidays

Glaucoma Awareness Week was 17th to 23rd June, and this year's theme was holidays - 'sightseeing or sight loss?'. [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...]

Cardiff deafblind medical student's photos capture NHS diversity

Alexandra Adams, a third-year medical student, has created a photography project to show there is "no set image to being an NHS worker". [Full story...]

Disability discrimination in public sector jobs

Have you experienced disability discrimination when working in the public sector? A media company would like to hear from people who have experienced this. [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...]

RNIB announces new Chief Executive

RNIB has announced that Matt Stringer will be its permanent Chief Executive. [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...]

DRIVE Taxis Cardiff

If you have a concessionary travel pass, DRIVE Taxis Cardiff is offering a 10% discount on the metered fare. DRIVE Taxis Cardiff is a new, driver-owned co-operative firm. [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...]

How accessible are DWP Assessment centres?

If you have sight loss (or other disabilities), BBC Wales would like to hear whether you have had problems accessing Department of Work and Pensions assessment centres. [Full story...]

Self-catering holiday accommodation from Deafblind UK in North Wales

Deafblind UK, the organisation that supports people with dual sensory loss, has three self-catering caravans which provide a home from home break at heavily discounted rates - including one in Prestatyn, North Wales. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport wins award for e-coaching course

Congratulations to British Blind Sport (BBS), which has won gold in the Learning Awards 2019 for its e-learning course, 'Coaching people with a vision impairment'. [Full story...]

Access to Work grant increased

The Department of Work and Pensions has announced that from 1 April 2019, disabled people will be able to claim up to £59,200 annually to help pay for additional support that they may need in the workplace through the UK Government’s Access to Work scheme. [Full story...]

Braille Music users in Wales wanted

If you live in Wales and use Braille Music, Anne Wilkins from RNIB's National Music Committee would like to hear from you. [Full story...]

Welsh Government announces investment to transform eye care

The Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced an investment of £3.3 million to transform eye care services, and ensure that the treatment of those with the highest risk of blindness is prioritised. This follows concerns about waiting times. [Full story...]

Rail Ombudsman starts work

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

Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day 2018

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

Welsh Health Secretary announces new funding for eye care

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

WARNING - Scam targeting vision impaired people

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

NHS Wales communications still not accessible to vision impaired people

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

Could you help research into albinism and macular degeneration?

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

Driving when you have cataracts: new guidance from DVLA

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

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...]