Wales Council of the Blind

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About WCB.

Wales Council of the Blind is the umbrella agency representing vision impairment within Wales. We work to campaign, lobby and support the improvement of services for people with sight loss. [Read more...]

Latest news.

Voter Identification in UK General Election

The UK General Election will be held on Thursday 4th July, and voters will be required to bring photo id to the polling station.

Acceptable forms of photo ID include a UK passport, driving licence, 60 and Over Welsh Concessionary Travel Card and Disabled Person’s Welsh Concessionary Travel Card. If you don't have accepted photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document, which is known as a Voter Authority Certificate. The deadline to apply for free voter ID for the UK General Election 2024 is 5pm on Wednesday 26th June.

The Electoral Commission website has full details of what is required which you can read here. The Commission also has a helpline, 0800 328 0280, which can be used to request information in an accessible format.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote in the Parliamentary general election is 5pm on Wednesday 19th June. You don't need photo ID to vote by post, so you don't need to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate if you choose to vote this way.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

For Mental Health Awareness Week (13th to 19th May), we have a summary of some of the resources and support that are available to help people with sight loss. The theme of this year's event is 'Movement: Moving more for our mental health'.

Retina UK's Discover Wellbeing resource has been designed to help people affected by inherited sight loss to develop an awareness of emotional wellbeing and the practical skills to adapt to life’s ups and downs. It is made up of three online courses designed to support individuals at different stages of their sight loss journey.

Vision Support’s Brighter Futures Information Hub aims to provide you with information including websites and apps that can help improve your wellbeing as well as services that you can access throughout North-East Wales, Cheshire-West and Chester and Halton.

Starting university is an exciting time, but the change can be quite daunting. The Thomas Pocklington Trust’s Student Service has produced ‘Mental health and wellbeing: A guide for blind and partially sighted students’ which you can download here. It contains lots of useful information and advice.

Deafblind UK has written a blog on deafblindness and mental health, which you can read here. Their Wellbeing & Emotional Support service can help people with sight and hearing loss though difficult time. Click here to find out more.

Many sight loss organisations also offer counselling and emotional support services. You can find out more on WCB’s Perspectif portal.

UK Government consultation - 'Modernising support for independent living: the health and disability green paper'

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on proposals to change parts of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), a benefit for working age people to help cover the extra costs of living with a disability or health condition.

You can read the consultation document and find out how to respond here. The closing date for responses is 22nd July.

Sight loss and other disability charities have raised concerns that the proposed changes, which are intended to reduce the UK's welfare bill, would have a devastating effect on disabled people who are already struggling with the effect of cost of living increases. You can read the views of RNIB here and the Thomas Pocklington Trust's reaction here. Charities will be responding to the consultation and are encouraging individuals who have concerns to respond.

RNIB Cymru report reveals 'The Cost of Sight Loss in Wales'

A new report from RNIB Cymru reveals how cost of living increases have had a devastating effect on people with sight loss.

Based on responses to a survey and focus group meetings, 'The Cost of Sight Loss in Wales' shows how rises in unavoidable expenses such as taxis, lighting and support are causing genuine hardship to blind and partially sighted people. The report includes a list of measures that Welsh Government and Local Authorities should take to provide more targeted support.

You can find out more and read the full report here.