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.

UK Parliament general election: Information for blind and partially sighted voters in Wales

All voters have a right to vote independently and in secret, and local authorities have to ensure that polling stations are accessible to people with sight loss. RNIB Cymru have worked with the Electoral Commission to produce the following guide which provides information for blind and partially sighted voters in Wales in English and Welsh.

You have a right to request a reasonable adjustment to vote in the General Election. We would encourage you to write to your local Returning Officer or local electoral services as soon as possible, to notify them that you require reasonable adjustments in order to vote independently. Use RNIB Cymru's template notification letter to request an audio or audio - tactile device:

Find your local Returning Officer contact information, on the Electoral Commission’s Postcode look up tool.

For more information, visit RNIB's website.


Perspectif Social: New project to tackle loneliness

Perspectif Social is a new project to tackle loneliness in people with vision impairment.

Loneliness is associated with depression, sleep disturbance, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is identified as a global public health problem. Living with a vision impairment increases a person’s risk of loneliness and isolation. However, increased social interaction through signposting such as social prescribing is helpful in alleviating loneliness and isolation.

Wales Council of the Blind (WCB) is working with Rebecca John, National Wales General Ophthalmic Services (WGOS) Clinical Lead, in a Vision Foundation-funded project to develop a toolset for Low Vision practitioners for signposting patients to support using our Perspectif Information Portal. We shall be seeking members of a review panel for the project and also service users to interview.

If you would like to know more, contact WCB on 02920 473 954 or email owen@wcb-ccd.org.uk .


British Wireless for the Blind Fund launches scheme to provide free Alexa devices

British Wireless for the Blind Fund (BWBF) has launched a new scheme to provide a free Alexa device to people with sight loss who meet certain criteria.

The scheme is provided in association with digital accessibility charity Ability Net to ensure that people using the scheme have the help they need to set up and familiarise themselves with their new device. The Alexa device is controlled by voice and without buttons or on-screen controls, so is particularly useful for people with sight loss.

You can find out more about the scheme, and how to make an application, on the BWBF website.


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.


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.