Wales Council of the Blind

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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
  5. Events
  6. Technology
  7. Opportunities
  8. Other Resources
  9. Miscellaneous

WCB News.

Researching Unpaid Carers.

WCB is initiating research into the experiences of unpaid carers for people with vision impairments and of the people they support. [Full story...]

Optometrists to issue CVIs for the first time.

For the first time in the UK, people with vision impairment will access certification of vision impairment in primary care optometry. Optometrists with relevant qualifications working in Wales can now complete certificates of vision impairment for people with bilateral dry age-related macular degeneration. [Full story...]


Consultations and Lobbying.

Period Proud Wales - Views of vision impaired people wanted

You might have heard of the term Period Poverty, but have you heard of Period Equity? The Welsh Government wants to change the silence, stigma and taboo about periods that have been the norm for too long. Everyone should be able to manage their periods with pride and the aim is to create a Period Proud Wales for all. To help this along, they are keen to understand the barriers that blind and partially sighted face women when managing periods. [Full story...]

Disability Wales Survey

Disability Wales is asking Disabled People's Organisations and disabled-led organisations in Wales to tell them about your organisation and the barriers you face in terms of capacity building and the accessibility of funding. [Full story...]

RNIB Survey: Social impact of gaming

RNIB is asking all video gamers with sight loss to complete a survey, to help them understand their experiences of playing video games and the associated social impact. [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 discrimination and sight loss in housing

Tai Pawb is a charity promoting equality in housing in Wales. The organisation wants to understand the experiences of those with sight loss in privately rented and social housing in Wales, and is hosting an online survey and a series of focus groups for people to share their experiences. [Full story...]

More participants wanted for research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Researchers at Royal Holloway University are looking into different ways of managing visual hallucinations (Charles Bonnet Syndrome) and are looking for more participants to share their experiences of this distressing condition. [Full story...]

Survey on accessibility of technology for the management of diabetes

A research project at Swansea University is looking at the accessibility of technology to manage diabetes in people with sight loss. [Full story...]

'Accessibility and You Survey'

AccessAble, the website that provides a directory of access facilities at places such as restaurants, cinemas, hospitals and shops across the UK, is asking people with disabilites to complete a survey about their experiences when planning a visit, or going out. [Full story...]

Proposal to close railway ticket offices in England scrapped

Proposals to close ticket offices at most railway stations in England have been dropped, following campaigning by sight loss and other disability organisations, including Guide Dogs, Macular Society and RNIB. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru is calling for action for new bus stops in Cardiff to be redesigned

RNIB Cymru has written to Cardiff Council calling for dangerous new bus stops to be redesigned. [Full story...]

Macular Society survey - treatment delays

The Macular Society is concerned at reports of treatment delays that patients with treatable macular conditions are experiencing across the UK, and is asking anyone who is affected (or their family) to complete a short survey about their experience. [Full story...]

'Every Story Matters' - Share your experiences of the pandemic with the UK Covid-19 Inquiry

The UK Covid-19 Inquiry has been set up to examine the UK’s response to and impact of the pandemic, and learn lessons for the future. The inquiry team is giving people in the UK the opportunity to tell them about their experiences of lockdown, the virus, the various restrictions that were imposed, and anything else that affected their lives during this difficult period. People with disabilities were particularly impacted, so it is important that their views are heard. [Full story...]

What is your experience of Access to Work?

As part of its campaign for improvements to the Access to Work (ATW) Scheme, RNIB wants to hear about your experiences when trying to access the scheme, which provides financial and practical support with the extra employment costs resulting from a disability or long term health condition. [Full story...]


Reports and Publications.

'Right to Ride' - New guide from SCOPE

SCOPE has produced a guide for disabled people, 'Right to Ride' which describes your rights when travelling on land-based public transport in the UK. [Full story...]

Vision Foundation report explores loneliness and isolation in people with sight loss.

'Outside: Loneliness and Isolation', a new report from Vision Foundation, considers vision impaired people's experience of loneliness and isolation, and finds that respondents to their survey were three times more likely to report feeling lonely some or all the time than the general population. [Full story...]

Living Streets publish research report on 'Inclusive Design at Bus Stops with Cycle Tracks'

Living Streets, the charity that promotes a better walking environment, has published a very detailed research paper on the effects of ‘bus stop bypasses’, and other arrangements involving a bus stop and cycle track, on pedestrians. The report has a particular focus on the challenges that they present to people with vision impairment. [Full story...]

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

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

Digital exclusion in public transport - Senedd research article

An article by Senedd Research (which provides impartial, authoritative information on the latest topics under consideration at the Welsh Parliament) raises concerns that the increasing use of digital technology in the transport sector, which is often seen as a solution, is making transport systems less accessible to many people in Wales. [Full story...]

Older People's Commissioner reports on difficulties in accessing GP appointments

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales has produced a report which reveals that changes to the way that GP services in Wales are accessed, and the changing relationships between patients and their practices often make it difficult for older people to find suitable appointments with an appropriate clinician. [Full story...]

'Blind to the Facts' - Research report on the UK music industry for professionals with visual impairment

A new research report from BRAVO VICTOR sheds light on the challenges faced by blind people within the music industry. [Full story...]

Research report: How does the UK public treat, think and feel about people with visual impairment?

Research and innovation charity BRAVO VICTOR has produced a report that looks at the UK public's attitude to vision impaired people, and how it compares with the experiences of those people. The research was carried out in close collaboration with RNIB. [Full story...]

Latest issue of Retina UK's newsletter available

The Spring 2024 issue of 'Look Forward', the newsletter of Retina UK, is available. [Full story...]

'Out of Sight' - RNIB report on vision rehabilitation on England

A new report by RNIB raises concerns about state of the rehabilitation service in England, with blind and partially sighted people missing out on services that they are legally entitled to, which could improve their quality of life. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs produce 'Reasonable Adjustments in Schools' guidance

Guide Dogs has produced a set of guidelines to help schools & teachers to support children & young people with a vision impairment in education. [Full story...]

Latest Vision Support newsletter available

The latest (February) newsletter from Vision Support has been published. [Full story...]

Gwent Health Guide

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has produced an online resource, The Gwent Health Guide, giving people in their area (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and South Powys) advice on where to find the right health and wellbeing service. [Full story...]

UK Government launches 'Disability Action Plan'

The UK Government has launched its Disability Action Plan, which sets out 32 practical actions intended to transform the everyday lives of disabled people. [Full story...]

New report: Access Denied: Older people’s experiences of digital exclusion in Wales

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales has published a report which looks at the the wide range of challenges older people often face with digital technology while trying to use everyday services. [Full story...]

Vision Support publishes Impact Report for 2022/23

Vision Support has published its Impact Report for 2022/23, covering its work in North East Wales, Halton and Cheshire. [Full story...]

Welsh Benefits Charter launched

The Welsh Government has launched the 'Welsh Benefits Charter', an agreement with all 22 local authorities to work together to improve the Welsh Benefits System. [Full story...]

Easy read guides to eye conditions from SeeAbility

SeeAbility, the organisation that supports people who have learning disabilities or autism, who may also have sight loss, has produced a range of easy read guides to eye conditions and eye care. [Full story...]

New resource : A guide to nystagmus and the early years

Nystagmus Network has launched a new guide for parents and carers of babies and toddlers diagnosed with nystagmus, designed to support you through the crucial years from birth to five years. [Full story...]

New research report: Visual impairment and minority ethnic communities - use of eye health and support services

Research and innovation charity BRAVO VICTOR has produced a second report on visual impairment and minority ethnic communities, looking at use of eye health and support services. [Full story...]

Alström Syndrome UK's winter newsletter available

The latest edition of Alström Syndrome UK's newsletter, for Winter 2023, has been published. [Full story...]

Supporting blind and partially sighted patients during hospital stays

Hospital stays can be particularly difficult for vision impaired people if staff do not consider their specific needs. A blog written for the International Family Nursing Association gives some very useful advice and tips on how to make the experience less stressful. [Full story...]

Making Match Day Accessible - guide for football clubs

As part of their 'Seeing Sport Differently' campaign, RNIB has produced a guide for football clubs with information on how the match day experience can be made accessible for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Latest CHECT newsletter available

The Winter 2023 edition of 'In Focus', the newsletter of The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has been published. [Full story...]

Beyond Rb - Information for adults who had retinoblastoma as a child

CHECT UK has produced a range of information for adults who were affected by retinoblastoma (Rb) as children. [Full story...]

Eye Care Support Pathway launched at Wales Eye Care Conference

RNIB's 'Eye Care Support Pathway' has been launched in Wales at the Wales Eyecare Conference. The UK-wide pathway aims to ensure that patients have timely access to information, advice and support throughout their eye care journey. [Full story...]

Disability Wales publishes Annual Report for 2022/23

Disability Wales has published its Annual Report for 2022/23, giving details of its strategic aims and objectives, and its key achievements. [Full story...]

Report on Hynt access scheme shows how it has increased theatre visits

A new impact report on Hynt, the national access scheme for theatres and arts centres in Wales, shows how the scheme has increased theatre attendance for disabled audience members in Wales. [Full story...]

Results of Level Playing Field's Annual Fan Survey 2023 published

Level Playing Field, the charity campaigning for an inclusive matchday experience and equal access for all disabled sports fans in England and Wales, has published the results if its annual Fan Survey. [Full story...]

Behçet’s UK publishes Annual Report 2023

Behçet’s UK has published its Annual Report for the year ending August 2023. [Full story...]

Specsavers Report - 'Access to care 2023: The benefits of eye and hearing care in the community'

A new report from Specsavers considers the increasing need for eye care in the UK as the population ages, and highlights the vital role of primary care. It identifies areas of opportunity to reduce pressure on the waiting lists, by making more effective use of existing services, resources, and skills in community optometry. [Full story...]

New report on access to green and blue spaces by people with vision impairment

Natural England has produced a new report 'Creating More Accessible Green & Blue Spaces: Understanding the experiences of people with visual impairments that visit green and blue spaces'. [Full story...]

World Sight Day 2023 - Roundup of activities

The theme for this year's World Sight Day on 12th October was eye health in the workplace. Optometry Today has produced a summary of various activities and initiatives to mark the event. [Full story...]

Update on Disability Rights Taskforce

The Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip in the Welsh Government has issued an update on the work of Wales' Disability Rights Taskforce. [Full story...]

New regulations for Wales optometry contract published

New ophthalmic services regulations have been released by the Welsh Government. [Full story...]

BBC Wales presenter Lucy Owen highlights the importance of regular eye tests

BBC Wales presenter Lucy Owen's eyesight saved by routine test. [Full story...]

Thomas Pocklington Trust launch ‘Accessibility and Disability Support across the Leisure and Fitness Sector’ report.

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has launched its ‘Accessibility and Disability Support across the Leisure and Fitness Sector’ report. The report highlights the challenges faced by blind & partially sighted people when accessing leisure facilities and offers recommendations to create more inclusive spaces [Full story...]

Travelling with glaucoma medication

Glaucoma UK has some useful advice to patients who are going on holiday, and have concerns about transporting and storing their medication. [Full story...]

'Make it Make Sense' - RNIB Cymru report on inaccessibility of health information

A new report from RNIB Cymru shows that health information is still being provided to vision impaired people in Wales in a format that they are unable to read. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Impact Report 2022/23

RNIB Cymru has published its first Impact Report, covering April 2022 to March 2023. [Full story...]

Disability Wales report: ‘Barely Surviving’: The Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis on Disabled People in Wales

Disability Wales has produced a report on the impact of the cost of living crisis on disabled people, based on the results of a survey and two focus groups. The report finds that 'disabled people in Wales and across the UK have been systemically let down by their governments and our findings show that trust in Government is at an understandable extreme low'. [Full story...]

Applying to Oxbridge - guide from the Thomas Pocklington Trust

The Thomas Pocklington Trust have produced a new guide for vision impaired young people who are thinking of applying to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge (know jointly as Oxbridge). [Full story...]

Guide Dogs 'Forward' magazine celebrates 80 years

The latest edition of Guide Dogs quarterly magazine 'Forward' celebrates 80 years of publication. [Full story...]

AOP publishes response to Welsh Government consultation on primary eye care reforms

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has published its response to the recent Welsh Government consultation on proposed changes to eye care services in Wales, following feedback from AOP members. [Full story...]

'Funding Visual Impairment' - Report calls for increased funding for research

A new report into the sight loss sector from think-tank and consultancy New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) reveals that most funding goes to services which improve quality of life, with just 3% going to research. [Full story...]

Tips for people recently diagnosed with a vision impairment

Guide Dogs has published some practical tips for people who have recently been diagnosed with a vision impairment, which mainly involve technology. [Full story...]

VI Organisations call on Welsh Government to '#Unlock Education'

A group of vision impairment (VI) organisations, including RNIB and The Thomas Pocklington Trust, is calling on UK Governments to ensure children and young people with VI have equal access to education and provide the specialist support they need. [Full story...]

Vision problems and brain tumours

Brain tumours can cause sight problems, and The Brain Tumour Charity has produced a printable guide, 'Vision problems and brain tumours', which can be downloaded from their website. [Full story...]

Royal College of Ophthalmologists publishes 'Guide to Managing Nystagmus in Childhood'

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has published a new guide for clinicians: Clinical Practice Points for managing nystagmus in childhood. [Full story...]

CHECT publishes results of 'Pathways to Diagnosis' research

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has updated its regular survey on the experiences of parents of a child who has been diagnosed with retinoblastoma. [Full story...]


Access.

Audio described performances by National Dance Company Wales

National Dance Company Wales is giving two performances of a new show for families, with audio description, on 26th and 27th April in Cardiff Bay. [Full story...]

UK Government announces new funding for bus operators to help disabled passengers travel with confidence

The Department for Transport in the UK Government has announced that almost £5 million is being made available to roll out audible and visual announcements on buses throughout Great Britain. [Full story...]

Audio described performances at theatres across Wales

Some theatres in Wales now have a section on their website where you can find details of all forthcoming audio described (and other accessible) performances in one place. [Full story...]

World Book Day titles in accessible formats

All the World Book Day books are available in accessible formats with help from RNIB (braille and audio), Guide Dogs Custom Eyes Service (large print) and Calibre Audio(audio). [Full story...]

Conwy Home Library Service

Conwy has a Home Library Service that delivers books and information to the homes of people that are unable to visit their local library, including Large Print books and audio books. [Full story...]

Pilot project in Wales considers how tactile maps can help independent travel

A recent pilot project involving Sustrans and the Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, has looked at new ways of engaging people with visual impairments by exploring the use of 3D printing and tactile maps to support independent travel and navigation in Wales. [Full story...]

Wales Online highlights the obstacles facing blind pedestrians in Cardiff City Centre

A reporter from Wales Online accompanied RNIB Cymru's campaigns assistant Dan, who is registered blind, on a walk through Cardiff city centre to find out about the obstacles he faces every day. [Full story...]

'Be My Eyes' app introduces new feature for friends and families

'Be My Eyes', the app that connects blind and partially sighted people with sighted volunteers from all over the world through a live video call in order to provide assistance, has launched a new feature, 'Be My Eyes Groups'. [Full story...]

Macular Society produces 'Guide to Accessible Streaming'

The Macular Society website includes information about the accessibility features available on the most popular streaming services. [Full story...]

Traveleyes is back

Traveleyes, the company that provides holidays which are designed to be shared by both vision impaired and fully sighted people travelling together is back. [Full story...]

Torch Trust accessible library

Torch Trust has a free accessible Christian library containing nearly 3,000 titles in braille, audio and large print for people who are blind or partially sighted. [Full story...]

Ceredigion Talking Newspaper relaunched

Ceredigion Talking Newspaper, which ceased publication during the pandemic, has been relaunched. [Full story...]

RNIB trials accessible voting solutions

Four different accessible voting solutions have been trialled by RNIB at an event supported by the Government and the Electoral Commission. [Full story...]

LEGO® to sell braille bricks

LEGO® have just released their "Play with braille collection", helping children with sight loss learn braille. [Full story...]

Audio described commentary at Wrexham and Cardiff City Football Clubs

The 2023/24 football season is starting, and both Cardiff City FC and Wrexham FC will be providing audio described commentary at their home matches. The service is provided in partnership with Alan March Sport Ltd, and is available to both home and away fans. [Full story...]

Map of sensory walks

Sense, together with other relevant organisations, have produced a map of sensory walk routes in Wales and England that are available for the public to use. [Full story...]

Access to Work now has online service

Access to Work, the scheme that provides employment support such as assistive equipment and support workers to disabled people, now has an online service which can be used to manage your claim. [Full story...]

Royal Collection online lectures for vision impaired people

The Royal Collection, which looks after the Royal Family's art collection, is free running monthly online lectures for blind and partially-sighted people. Talks take place on the first Tuesday of the month, from 2pm. [Full story...]

Find your local Talking Newspaper

If you struggle to read printed material, you can stay up to date with local news, features and information through your local Talking Newspaper. [Full story...]

Success for Guide Dogs 'Talking Buses' campaign

Passengers with sight loss in Wales can look forward to more accessible local travel, thanks to the success of Guide Dogs’ Talking Buses campaign. The Department for Transport has introduced measures that will see buses fitted with audio-visual announcements, and Andrea Gordon of Guide Dogs Cymru is in touch with Welsh Government to pinpoint exactly how this will be rolled out in Wales. [Full story...]


Events.

Vision Support Tech Forum on 15th May

Vision Support's 'Tech Forum' is for anyone living with a vision impairment who is interested in learning more about technology and what’s available to tech-enthusiasts. The group meets every third Wednesday of the month and the next meeting is on Wednesday, 15th May at 10.30 am. You can join in person at AVOW in Wrexham or via Microsoft Teams online. [Full story...]

Vision Support launch new social group in Flintshire

Vision Support is starting a new social group for adults with a vision impairment in Flintshire - the Mold Visionaires. [Full story...]

Thomas Pocklington Trust 'Future Vision' event

The Thomas Pocklington Trust is running a series of online events to help vision impaired students in transitioning to the next stage of their education. [Full story...]

Goalball session in Llanelli

There's a chance to try goalball in Llanelli on Saturday 11th May. [Full story...]

Summer Activity Break at New College Worcester

New College Worcester is running a Summer Activity Break for vision impaired young people aged 11 to 16 years from 23rd to 25th July. [Full story...]

MACS Meet Up in Newport

MACS, the UK's national charity for children born with one or more of three rare conditions, Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia and Coloboma, is organising a Meet Up for members in Newport on Saturday 8th June. [Full story...]

Sense online and telephone activities

Sense, the organisation for people with complex disabilities, including deafblindness, runs a range of activities online and via the phone. [Full story...]

Behçet’s UK Friends & Family Day 2024 in Wales

Behçet’s UK is holding a Friends & Family Day in Monmouthshire on Saturday 22nd June. [Full story...]

Free VI Golf taster sessions in Newport

There will be a free Golf Taster session in Newport for people of all ages with a vision impairment on 17th April at Parc Golf Club, Church Lane, Marshfield. [Full story...]

RNIB telephone course for parents

RNIB is running a telephone course for parents and carers who have recently received, or are going through the process of receiving, a diagnosis of vision impairment for their child. [Full story...]

Retina UK peer support group - 'Talking Travel'

The next meeting of Retina UK's monthly peer support group 'Talking Travel' is on Tuesday 16th April. [Full story...]

Retina UK Webinar - In conversation with new grantees

Retina UK is holding a webinar on Thursday 11th April, where you can find out about the latest breakthroughs in retinal research. [Full story...]

RNIB Training for education professionals supporting learners with vision impairment

RNIB provides a wide range of online professional development training for those working with a child or young person with vision impairment. [Full story...]

Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for April

Vision Support's mobile Community Information Unit, which covers the Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy areas (as well as Cheshire & Halton) will be out and about during April. [Full story...]

Events for professional and parents at New College Worcester

New College Worcester (NCW) is running three events for education professionals working with vision impaired young people and parents during the summer term. [Full story...]

Digital Glaucoma Support Group meetings

Glaucoma UK has scheduled more online support group meetings. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Open Doors, North Cardiff

RNIB Cymru has set up an afternoon social event in Llanishen for people with sight loss who want to get out and meet new friends. [Full story...]

Blind Baseball sessions in Cardiff and Swansea

Blind Baseball are running regular sessions in Cardiff and Swansea. [Full story...]

Retina UK - National Peer Support Group Meeting

The Spring meeting of Retina UK's National Peer Support Group will be held online on Wednesday 24th April. It will be an Adult First Aid Workshop, led by members of the British Red Cross. [Full story...]

VICTA Independent Living Skills Fun Day at NCW

VICTA is running an Independent Living Skills Fun Day for young people with vision impairment aged 10 to 13 years at New College Worcester on Wednesday 29th May. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK TalkTech webinars

Deafblind UK is running some more free 'Talk Tech' webinars, intended to provide practical tech advice to people with sight and hearing loss. [Full story...]

Glaucoma Support Group Meetings in Wrexham

Glaucoma UK has scheduled further face-to-face Glaucoma Support Group meetings in Wrexham. [Full story...]

New RSBC Social Groups

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) has started some new social groups. [Full story...]

RSBC Connecting Families Online Group

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC)'s Connecting Families Online Group runs monthly evening group sessions for parents and carers of vision impaired children and young people (0-25 years). [Full story...]

Pickleball sessions in Swansea

Sightlife is running four pickleball sessions in Swansea throughout March. [Full story...]

Torfaen Access Forum meeting on 22nd March

The next Torfaen Access Forum meeting will be held on Friday, 22nd March, via Zoom. [Full story...]

Open Day at Royal National College for the Blind

There's an Open Day at Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford on Friday 12th April, giving prospective students, their families and professionals working with young people with a visual impairment the opportunity to find out about study at this specialist residential college of further education for young people with sight loss. [Full story...]

QTVI Conference at Royal National College

There will be a conference for Qualified Teachers of Children with Vision Impairment (QTVIs) at Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford on Thursday 25th April. [Full story...]

Sensory Exploration activities in Caernarfon

Sense is running weekly 'Sensory Exploration' activities for families of children with complex disabilities aged 0-8 in Caernarfon. [Full story...]

RNIB Connect Cymru Telephone Groups

There have been some changes to RNIB's Community Connection groups. [Full story...]

Family Day at New College Worcester on 6th May

There's a free Family Day for any family with a vision impaired child at New College Worcester on Monday 6th May (bank holiday). [Full story...]

Vision Support ‘Time to Chat’ dial-in social group

Vision Support has launched a monthly dial-in social group where you can join either by phone or through Teams and meet others living with a vision impairment North Wales and parts of Cheshire and Halton. There will be exciting speakers/entertainment each month. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network virtual support networks

Nystagmus Network runs virtual monthly support groups for parents of children with nystagmus, and for adults living with acquired or congenital nystagmus. They are an opportunity to meet like-minded people, share experiences, make new friends and support each other. [Full story...]

Retina UK's The Blind Lads Loch Inn – Gents Peer Support Group meeting

The second meeting of Retina UK's new Peer Support Group - The Blind Lads Loch Inn for Gents is on 20th February. [Full story...]

Royal Society for Blind Children's programme of activities

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) invites all blind and partially sighted young people in Wales to be part of an awesome online learning community! Dive into exciting opportunities and connections by signing up for a mix of activities that will help you to unlock your potential. [Full story...]

Bridgevis Coffee Mornings

A reminder that Bridgevis (Bridgend & District VI Society) hosts a coffee morning on the first Friday of each month. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Cymru 'Time to Play' events for young children at Cardiff City Stadium

Guide Dogs Cymru are running a series of free 'Time to Play' events for young children with sight loss at Cardiff City Stadium. [Full story...]

'My Macular and Me' webinars

The Macular Society runs two webinars each month, giving people affected by the condition and those working with them the chance to find out more about macular conditions from experts. [Full story...]

New support group for people with early onset macular degeneration

The Macular Society is launching a new online support group for people with early onset macular degeneration. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network celebrates its Ruby Year

Nystagmus Network was founded in 1984 and marks its fortieth (ruby) anniversary in 2024. The charity has planned a series of events, workshops, competitions, stories and more to mark this significant anniversary. [Full story...]

New Sight Cymru Groups starting in January

Sight Cymru is launching new social groups and vision impaired tennis sessions in January. [Full story...]

New VI Bowls group in Carmarthen

A new v.i. bowls group has started in Carmarthen. [Full story...]

Behçet’s UK - Wales Support Group Meeting

Behcet's UK runs regular online Support Group Meetings for people affected by the condition in Wales. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Living Well with Sight Loss' telephone courses for people in Wales

RNIB runs 'Living Well with Sight Loss' telephone courses specifically for people in Wales. Course dates for the start of 2024 are now available. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Connect: Face-to-face group

The RNIB Cymru Connect team runs a Face-to-face Working Age Social Group, in addition to their programme of telephone groups. [Full story...]

Torch Trust virtual meetings

Torch Trust, the Christian sight loss charity, runs several virtual meetings each month. [Full story...]

Sight Life Art Group in Swansea

Sight Life's Art Group meet twice a month at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea [Full story...]

Falls Awareness Week 2023

18th September is the start of Falls Awareness Week 2023 in Wales, when Age Cymru, Care & Repair Cymru and Age Connects Wales remind people that falls are not an inevitable part of ageing, and give advice on how they can be avoided. [Full story...]

UCAN Workshops for children and young people

UCAN Productions continues to run a range of face-to-face and online workshops for vision impaired children and young people. [Full story...]

Macular Society online condition-specific communities

The Macular Society has groups which are specific to particular types of macular disease: diabetic macular oedema, myopic macular degeneration, Sorsby's fundus dystrophy, Best's disease and Punctate inner choroidopathy (PIC). [Full story...]

LOOK Parent Support Group

LOOK runs an online Parent Support Group for the families and carers of children and young people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Visual Impairment Merthyr Tydfil (VIM) monthly meetings

Visual Impairment Merthyr Tydfil (VIM) holds members meetings on the second Monday of each month. [Full story...]


Technology.

Research News

Retina UK has produced a roundup of the latest research into inherited retinal conditions, and BBC News has a report of a potential treatment for diabetic maculopathy. [Full story...]

'Tech for All' - Free devices for children with sight loss from Guide Dogs

The Guide Dogs 'Tech for All' initiative is the charity's commitment to make sure children with a vision impairment in the UK have access to the technology they need. This includes Apple iPads, specialist technology and software or sensory toy bundles to use outside of school (while stocks last). [Full story...]

New Accessibility Features with Android 14 on Google Pixel

The latest version of Google's Android operating system (14) includes new accessibility features. [Full story...]

New iOS 17 accessibility features for users who are vision impaired

The new release of Apple's operating system, iOS 17, includes improvements designed to make the iPhone experience more accessible for people with vision impairments. The Guide Dogs charity has produced a useful list of the new features and how to use them. [Full story...]

Fight for Sight funds eleven new research projects

Fight for Sight, the UK charity which funds pioneering eye research, has announced funding for eleven new projects with the potential to help improve the lives of people affected by sight loss. [Full story...]


Opportunities.

Glaucoma UK Three-year fellowship opportunity

In honour of Glaucoma UK's golden jubilee, the charity has launched the Pitts Crick Career Development Fellowship. This is a new three-year post-doctoral research fellowship, for a rising star in glaucoma research. [Full story...]

VI Bowls sessions starting at Islywn Indoor Bowls Club

Weekly vision impaired bowls sessions are starting on 10th April at Islywn Indoor Bowls Club. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Sight Life - Marketing & Communications Assistant

Sight Life is recruiting for a part-time Marketing & Communications Assistant to be based at their office in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Vision Support - Vision Rehabilitation Specialist

Vision support is recruiting for a Vision Rehabilitation Specialist. [Full story...]

Enjoy a family day out at a local wild space

VICTA is encouraging families with a vision impaired child to enjoy a day out at a local wild space to identify wildlife and share nature - and the charity will reimburse the costs (limits apply). [Full story...]

Children and young people with Behçet’s wanted for research project

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the University of Liverpool are doing research to explore how Behçet’s impacts children and young people aged 8-18. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Sight Life: Fundraising Manager

Sight Life is recruiting for a Fundraising Manager to be based at their office in Cardiff. [Full story...]

VICTA & CNIB Braille Creative Writing Competition Spring 2024

VICTA and the CNIB have launched a Creative Writing Competition to celebrate braille literacy. [Full story...]

Chance to join Retina UK's Lived Experience Panel

Retina UK is inviting people who are living with inherited sight loss to join their 'Lived Experience' panel. [Full story...]

Taster Sailing Days with the Visually Impaired Sailing Association (VISA)

The Visually Impaired Sailing Association (VISA) is running three taster sails, each of 3 days, in August this year for young people with sight loss aged 18 to 25 years. [Full story...]

The Amber Trust Music Services

The Amber Trust is a charity which provides musical opportunities for blind and partially sighted children, and children with more complex needs, via its Music Awards and Music Services. Music Awards are made three times per year, and the next application deadline is 29th February. [Full story...]

Ice-skating for people with sight loss in South Wales.

IS-vid is a project that will provide free, safe, supervised on-ice experiences for members of the vision impaired and deafblind community (aged 5 years plus) in South Wales. Sessions will run at the Vindico Arena in Cardiff Bay from April 2024. [Full story...]

Bristol VI Runners 10k Challenge on 19th May

Once again, the VI Runners 10k Challenge will be held as part of the Great Bristol Run on 19th May 2024. [Full story...]

VI Sailing Association event schedule for 2024

The Visually Impaired Sailing Association has published its schedule for 2024, and it includes an event in Milford Haven, South Wales. [Full story...]

Speed of Sight Driving Experiences - 2024 schedule

Speed of Sight, the organisation that provides motor sport experiences for people with disabilities (including vision impairment), has published its schedule of events for 2024, including some in Wales. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru are looking for volunteers for their charity shop

Sight Cymru are looking for volunteers for their charity shop in Blackwood. [Full story...]

Blind Baseball Cymru to provide more sessions in Wales

Blind Baseball Cymru are pleased to announce that, with some supportive funding, they are able to provide Blind Baseball sessions farther and wider in Wales! [Full story...]

Spanish/English lessons with VICTA

VICTA is joining with Spanish sight loss organisation ONCE (Spanish National Organisation of the Blind) to give students in Spain and the UK the opportunity to practice their language skills virtually. [Full story...]

Vision Support are seeking volunteers for their telephone support service

Vision Support are looking for volunteers to make monthly reminder calls to their social group members. [Full story...]

A volunteer role is available with RNIB’s Customer Voice team

RNIB are seeking volunteer WhatsApp Communication Assistants [Full story...]

Vision Impaired Tennis in Wrexham

Wrexham Tennis Centre is running weekly vision impaired tennis sessions [Full story...]

'Working Sense' employment project

Working Sense is a project that will enhance the employability of people over 25 with sensory loss or disability, by providing specialist support to enable the target group to enter/re-enter and remain in employment, or move closer towards employment using a holistic one to one approach utilising designated project staff. [Full story...]

Could you help glaucoma research?

As well as providing information and support to people with the condition, Glaucoma UK funds research into glaucoma. They are always interested in hearing from glaucoma patients who would like to help research, for example, by participating in clinical trials or completing surveys. [Full story...]

New UCAN Project - Then and Now: Exploring the Lives of Blind People in Wales

UCAN Productions is launching a new project, ' Then and Now: Exploring the Lives of Blind People in Wales', supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK Social Group in Cardiff

Deafblind UK is starting a new social group for people with sight and hearing loss in Cardiff. It will meet monthly in Cardiff Central Library. [Full story...]

Ospreys VI Rugby sessions

The Ospreys have started vision impaired rugby sessions for over-16s. [Full story...]

Free 'Capacity Building Training' from RSBC

As part of its 'Access Unlimited For Families in Wales' service, The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) is running free online training to providers of services such as local youth clubs, activities and sports sessions to enable them to include blind & partially sighted children & young people. [Full story...]

Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowls Club

Pembrokeshire Disabled Bowls Club is a pan-disability club where players are taught to have a fun game of bowls. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK Social Group in Bridgend

Deafblind UK have recently started a Social Group in Bridgend. The group meets on the second Friday of the month at St. Marys Hall Norton Bridgend CF31 3NH from 11am -1pm. [Full story...]


Other resources.

RNIB's Children and Family Services Team in Wales

RNIB's Children and Family Services Team provide a range of support, information and activities for families with a vision impaired child and professionals working with them. [Full story...]

'Bitesize Benefits' - New podcast series from the Macular Society

The Macular Society is launching a new podcast mini-series to provide information to people with sight loss about the benefits that they may be entitled to claim. [Full story...]

Visionary launches Making Lived Experience Matter podcasts

Visionary has launched a new podcast to highlight the importance and value of lived experience in organisations, at leadership level. [Full story...]

New resource for current and future guide dog owners

Guide Dogs has produced a new online resource, exclusively for guide dog owners and those in the process of applying for a dog. [Full story...]

Applying for a guide dog - a personal story

Vision impaired blogger Holly (@lifeofablindgirl) has written a post about her experience of applying for a guide dog. [Full story...]

New website for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome UK

Bardet-Biedl Syndrome UK, the only registered UK charity supporting people with Laurence-Moon-Bardet-Biedl (LMBB) Syndrome, their families and carers, has a new website. [Full story...]

Eye health and the menopause

Most women going through the menopause will suffer poor eye health. To mark World Menopause Day on 18th October, the Vision Matters website has published a blog about how hormonal changes during the menopause can affect your eyes. [Full story...]

A roadmap to university for VI young people from LOOK

LOOK's Student Mentor Project Officer has produced a useful roadmap to university for young people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Talking about your diagnosis - advice from the Macular Society

A diagnosis of macular disease can be overwhelming, but many people struggle to speak openly about what they are going through. The Macular Society’s counselling service has some tips on how you can talk more openly to friends and family. [Full story...]

Eyecare Advice from Eye Health Week 2023

During National Eye Health Week (18th - 24th September), several organisations in the sector gave advice on different aspects of looking after your eyes. [Full story...]

'InfoShorts' - a weekly news bulletin from InfoSounds

InfoSounds, the charity providing free and impartial public service information, in audio, for vision-impaired people, produce a short weekly briefing of news and information about products, services and support, called Infoshorts. It also includes hints and tips for living with sight loss as well as shared advice and experiences. [Full story...]

VICTA Parent Portal - a one-stop shop for supporting your vi child

VICTA's Parent Portal contains a wealth of advice for parents of a vision impaired child. [Full story...]

Cooking with a vision impairment - videos from Henshaws

Henshaws has produced a series of short videos giving advice and tips on cooking, to help people with a vision impairment cook or prepare food independently. [Full story...]

Review of Care and Repair Cymru's 'Managing Better' service

Care and Repair Cymru has published a review of its 'Managing Better' service, and reports that in the last year it has helped 2,757 older people, including 2,150 people with sight loss or hearing loss. [Full story...]

'Journey of a Guide Dog' - From genetics to retirement

Guide Dogs has produced an eleven-part series of films telling the story of these life-changing animals from breeding through to retirement. [Full story...]

Welsh Water/Dwr Cymru - WaterSure Wales tariff

Welsh Water's WaterSure Wales tariff puts a cap on the amount you have to pay for your water if you are on a water meter or pending water meter, are in receipt of certain benefits and have three children (under 19) living at home, and/or households that have someone living with a chronic illness or condition requiring an increased use of water. [Full story...]

June is Cataract Awareness Month

For Cataract Awareness Month, sight loss organisations provide patients, care partners and professionals with information on topics related to types of cataract, risk factors, symptoms and cataract surgery. [Full story...]

New tool to help explain accessibility needs from Dolphin

'Be My Best Self' is a new tool from Dolphin which enables a person with sight loss explain to employers, teachers, family and friends what adjustments can help them. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport and RNIB launch 'See Sport Differently' hub

British Blind Sport and RNIB have joined forces to encourage vision impaired people to participate in sport and become more active. The 'See Sport Differently' campaign also aims to tackle the barriers that people with sight loss face when trying to exercise. [Full story...]

Social tariffs: Cheaper broadband and phone packages for people on certain benefits

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. However, take-up of these packages is very low, at around 5% of those eligible. [Full story...]

Mental Health Awareness Week 2023

For Mental Health Awareness Week (15th to 21st May), we have a summary of some of the resources and support that are available to help people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Tips for saving money from Blind Veterans UK and Independent Age

Blind Veterans UK has joined forces with older people's charity Independent Age to produce tips for saving money. [Full story...]


Miscellaneous.

Interview with Optometry Wales chair.

Craig MacKenzie, the Chair of Optometry Wales, has given an interview to Optometry Today, in which he talks about how the introduction of the new optometry contract in Wales is transforming services. [Full story...]

Macular Society partners with UK’s largest health research programme

The Macular Society has announced a new partnership with the health research programme 'Our Future Health'. [Full story...]

Voter Identification in UK Elections

As a result of the Elections Act 2022, voters are now required to bring photo ID to polling stations in order to vote in some elections. The Electoral Commission has produced a booklet giving information on what this means for voters. [Full story...]

New Chief Executive for Optometry Wales

Judy Misra will be joining Optometry Wales as chief executive officer from 1st April 2024. [Full story...]

'What is it like being a vision impaired parent?' - A personal story

In a blog on the Vision Support website, the charity's North Wales Services Manager Nia writes about her personal experience of being a parent to twin boys. [Full story...]

Disability Wales to represent concerns of disabled people's organisations at Covid-19 Inquiry

The UK Public Enquiry will be in Cardiff from the week commencing 26th February for hearings about decision-making in Wales during the pandemic. Disability Wales will be giving evidence on the devastating impact of Covid-19 on disabled people. [Full story...]

Interview with Wales' Chief Optometric Advisor

Following the announcement that David O'Sullivan, Chief Optometric Advisor to the Welsh Government, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours for services to eye care, he has given a short interview to Optometry Today.. [Full story...]

New Macular Society Support Group for carers

The Macular Society is to set up a new online support group for caregivers and those supporting people living with macular disease. [Full story...]

England footballer raises awareness of Stargardt's disease

A recent edition of 'Access All', the BBC podcast about disability issues, features an interview with former England footballer Michael Owen and his son James who has Stargardt's disease. [Full story...]

The evolution of eye care delivery across Wales

In an interview on the Optometry Today website, Sharon Beatty, Clinical Adviser to Optometry Wales, reflects on changes to eye care services in Wales over the past 30 years, culminating in the introduction of Optometry Contract Reform in 2023/24. [Full story...]

Warm Welcome Spaces in venues across Wales

If you are struggling to heat your home this winter, Warm Welcome Spaces open their doors to their local communities, offering everyone a free, warm, welcoming and friendly space, and can be found in locations across Wales. [Full story...]

Optometry Wales awards ceremony

Optometry Wales has held its first awards ceremony, to recognise the work of the optometry workforce. [Full story...]

RNIB #BeforeYouAsk campaign

RNIB has launched a campaign that aims to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about sight loss, and provide answers to some of the annoying questions that vision impaired people are regularly asked. [Full story...]

Increase representation of disabled people by joining BBC's 50:50 Contributors database

The BBC wants to increase the number of disabled people featured in their news reports and programmes, as they feel that such incidental representation of disability is key. [Full story...]

Bafta Cymru award for Mared Jarman

Many congratulations to Mared Jarman, winner of the Breakthrough Cymru category at the BAFTA Cymru awards. [Full story...]

First Minister visits School of Optometry at Cardiff University

Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, has visited the School of Optometry at Cardiff University's ‘Teach and Treat’ Eye Care Centre. [Full story...]

Blind Verterans Llandudno Centre gets 'Excellent' rating.

Congratulations to Blind Veterans UK's Centre of Wellbeing in Llandudno, which has been given the highest possible rating of 'Excellent', following an unannounced inspection by Care Inspectorate Wales in August. [Full story...]

EHEW accreditation to be required for all NHS optometry services in Wales

Eye Health Examination Wales (EHEW) accreditation will be required for all optometrists and other medical practitioners practising in Wales once the new optometry contract is implemented. [Full story...]

Wales faces a 'tidal wave of blindness' unless urgent improvements are made

BBC Wales has reported on concerns that the country faces a 'tidal wave of blindness' due to delays in providing sight-saving treatment to those at the greatest risk of serious eye harm. [Full story...]

Primary Care Optometry - Eye Health Simulation Suite

The Welsh Government's Minister for Health and Social Services has awarded £760k of funding for the development of an ophthalmology simulation suite in Wales. [Full story...]

Sight Life starts young people's project

Sight Life has announced that it is starting a new project for people with sight loss between the ages of 18 and 25 across Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea. [Full story...]

UK Parliament group discusses sight loss and mental health

A recent meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment discussed the emotional impact of sight loss. [Full story...]

National Lottery funding for Macular Society's work in Wales

The National Lottery Community Fund Wales has awarded a grant of £28,486 to support the work of the Macular Society in Wales. [Full story...]

Changes to Diabetic Eye Screening in Wales

Diabetic Eye Screening in Wales is changing for people who are at low risk of diabetic eye disease with effect from 26th June 2023. [Full story...]

Award for VI Educator Sarah Hughes

Congratulations to Sarah Hughes, the Head of Vision Impairment Service, South East Wales who has won an award from the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at Birmingham University. [Full story...]

Diabetes Week: 12th - 18th June 2023

Diabetes Week (12th-18th June) is the event which raises awareness of the condition, which can lead to sight loss. This year, Diabetes UK is using the event to call for everyone to have access to the diabetes technology that they are eligible for, no matter who they are or where they live. [Full story...]

Treatment delays - the importance of speaking out

The Macular Society is encouraging patients who are experiencing delays in their treatment to speak out about it, following the example of a patient from Pembrokeshire with dry age-related macular degeneration, who found that the gap between her vital injections kept increasing. [Full story...]