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.

Wales Eyecare Conference 2024

Save the date! The Annual Wales Eyecare Conference will be taking place on Thursday 7th November 2024. [Full story...]

Perspectif Social: New project to tackle loneliness

Perspectif Social is a new project to tackle loneliness in people with vision impairment. [Full story...]

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...]


Consultations and Lobbying.

Electoral Commission 2024 Accessibility and Voter ID survey

The UK's Electoral Commission is conducting a survey about the information you get before an election, registering to vote and voting, and what you think can be done to make it better. [Full story...]

Give your views on type 2 diabetes services in Cardiff and Vale

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board are seeking views on how type 2 diabetes services are delivered across Cardiff and The Vale for patients of all ages. [Full story...]

Invitation to RNIB Cymru Focus Group on Employment & Sight Loss

Senedd Cymru’s Equality and Social Justice Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the disability employment and payment gap. RNIB Cymru is running a Focus Group to get the views of people with sight loss on these topics. [Full story...]

RNIB Survey on your voting experience

RNIB is asking people with sight loss to complete a survey on their experience of voting (or trying to vote) in the UK General Election on 4th July. [Full story...]

Research into creative opportunities for vi children in Wales

UCAN Productions, the creative arts cooperative run by and for blind and visually impaired young people, are currently researching the creative opportunities available for blind and visually impaired children in Wales. They are focusing on individuals under 7 years old and their families, and also children and young adults that are Welsh speakers. [Full story...]

State of Caring Survey 2024

Carers UK is running its annual 'State of Caring' survey. The results are used by the charity in its campaigning work on behalf of unpaid carers. [Full story...]

Sense calls on the next UK Government to provide a better future for disabled people

With the UK General Election to be held on 4th July, Sense is calling on the next government to address the issues facing disabled people, and is asking people with an interest in disability issues to support its plan for change. [Full story...]

Cardiff Council launches new consultation document to tackle inequality in Cardiff

Cardiff Council has launched a consultation on its 'Draft Strategic Equality Plan 2024 to 2028'. [Full story...]

Aneurin Bevan UHB seeks views on their 10-year plan for healthcare

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is starting to develop a 10-year plan for healthcare in Gwent and is seeking the views of people in the area about what is important to them. [Full story...]

Annual Disabled Students Survey 2024

Disabled Students UK is asking students in higher education with a disability to complete its Annual Survey. The results of the survey will be used to highlight best practice and compare Higher Education Providers. [Full story...]

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. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


Reports and Publications.

Latest edition of Guide Dogs' 'Forward' magazine available.

The Spring/Summer 2024 edition of Forward, the Guide Dogs’ magazine for supporters, clients and the general public has been published. The cover star is Angharad, one of Wales’s youngest guide dog owners, and her story is told inside. [Full story...]

Transitioning to secondary school - advice from RSBC

Moving from primary to secondary school is a big change for children, particularly those with a vision impairment. The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) has some useful advice for children and their families to help them cope with the change. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru Welsh Language Scheme relaunched

RNIB Cymru has relaunched its Welsh Language Scheme, highlighting their commitment to supporting people with sight loss in Wales in both of the country's official languages. [Full story...]

Disability Wales launch 'A Social Model of Disability Toolkit'

Disability Wales has produced a new guide: 'A Social Model of Disability Toolkit', which is intended to be essential reading for anyone who wants to learn more about the social model, inclusive language and tackling disabling barriers in society. [Full story...]

Learning disability and sight loss - resources from SeeAbility

People with learning disabilities are ten times more likely to have serious sight problems. For Learning Disability Week (17th to 23rd June), we have a reminder that SeeAbility, the organisation supporting 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...]

Latest Vision Support newsletter available

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

Research report gives proposals for a mental health training curriculum for staff in the visual impairment sector

Sight impairment can have profound psychological consequences but these are not always addressed. A research report published in the British Journal of Visual Impairment contains proposals for a curriculum which would train people working in the sight loss sector to identify mental health issues in their clients, and signpost them for support. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Be Helpful Guide' for sighted people

RNIB's new 'Be Helpful Guide' is full of tips and advice on how family and friends of people with sight loss, and members of the public, can make getting around easier for vision impaired people. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru publish key priorities for new First Minister

Following the appointment of Vaughan Gething as First Minister of Wales and the formation of a new cabinet, RNIB has called on the Government to address the most urgent issues facing vision impaired people in Wales. [Full story...]

Research suggests that a quarter of people with sight loss are missing out on benefits

New research carried out by Loughborough University for RNIB has found that around one in four blind and partially sighted people are not claiming the disability benefits to which they are entitled. [Full story...]

New guide: Behçet’s and Employment

Behçet’s UK has produced a new employment guide for people with the condition and updated their guide for employers. [Full story...]

'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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


Access.

General Election - Telephone ballot paper reading service in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan

At this year’s UK General Election taking place on Thursday 4 July all polling stations in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan will have a telephone ballot paper reading service available to support blind and partially sighted voters. [Full story...]

Accessible tour of Cardiff New Theatre

There's an enhanced description tour of Cardiff New Theatre for people with sight loss on Saturday 10th August at 10.30am. [Full story...]

'You've Got Dragons/Mae Gen Ti Ddreigiau' - audio described family show on tour across Wales

Taking Flight, the accessible theatre company, will be on tour with its family show, 'You've Got Dragons' at theatres in many parts of Wales during the summer. [Full story...]

Audio described tours at the National Museum in Cardiff

Two further audio described (AD) tours for visitors with sight loss are to be given at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff. [Full story...]

‘Meet the Weaver’ Audio Described Tour at St Fagans National Museum of History

There will an audio described tour titled ‘Meet the Weaver’ at St Fagans National Museum of History on Thursday 22nd August at 11 am. [Full story...]

Transport for Wales 'Travel Companions' to assist disabled passengers

Rail passengers with a vision impairment can travel around Wales more confidently, thanks to a new initiative by Transport for Wales. [Full story...]

Gardening when you have sight loss - Advice from Thrive

For National Gardening Week (29th April to 5th May 2024), here's a reminder that Thrive's 'Get Gardening' website has lots of tips and advice on gardening when you have sight loss. [Full story...]

RWCMD Summer Brochure in accessible formats

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD)'s Summer 2024 brochure is available in audio and large print formats. [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...]

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...]


Events.

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 autumn term. [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 10th August. [Full story...]

UCAN Summer Activities

UCAN Productions is running a range of activities for vision impaired children and young people at Sight Life in Cardiff over the summer holidays. [Full story...]

RSBC Connecting Families Online Groups

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) provides a range of groups for families and carers of vision impaired children and young people (aged 0-25 years). [Full story...]

Thomas Pocklington Trust 'Future Vision' events

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...]

VI Bowls Taster Day at Dwygyfylchi Bowls Club, Penmaenmawr

Vision Support are hosting a taster day for VI Bowls at Dwygyfylchi Bowls Club in Penmaenmawr, Conwy on 24th July from 11am - 1pm. [Full story...]

Behçet’s UK 2024 Conference and AGM

Behçet’s UK 2024 Conference and AGM will be held on Saturday 19th October. It will be a hybrid event in Liverpool and online. [Full story...]

In Tune With Success – education and professional pathways for VI musicians

LOOK is running an online event exploring the possibilities of studying music at higher education on Thursday 18th July. [Full story...]

The Macular Disease Conference 2024

This year's Macular Disease Conference, organised by the Macular Society, is on Saturday 14th September. The event is free and will be held online. [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 20th September, 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...]

UCAN Perform Festival

The free annual UCAN Perform Festival, showcasing the talents of vision impaired children and young people, will be held on Saturday 27th July from 2pm till 4:30pm. [Full story...]

Level Playing Field Welsh Forum on 30th July

Level Playing Field, the organisation that aims to create a more equitable match day experience for all disabled sports fans, is holding a Welsh Forum on Tuesday 30th July at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Retina UK Young Adults Online Summer Social

Retina UK is inviting people aged 18 to 30 and either living with an inherited retinal dystrophy, or are a friend or family member, to join their Young Adults Summer Social. [Full story...]

Macular Week 2024

This year's Macular Week runs from Monday 24th to Sunday 30th June. It is an opportunity to show the impact of macular disease and highlight why funding research to find a cure is so vital. [Full story...]

Deafblind Awareness Week 2024

Deafblind Awareness Week (24th to 30th June) is all about learning about what life is like for those who are deafblind, and celebrating the achievements of people who are deafblind. [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. [Full story...]

Glaucoma Awareness Week 2024

24th to 30th June is Glaucoma Awareness Week 2024, the annual opportunity to encourage people to talk about the condition. This year's event is focusing on the fact that glaucoma runs in families. [Full story...]

Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for July

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 July. [Full story...]

Sight Cymru Social Support Groups

Here is the current list of social support groups that are run by Sight Cymru. [Full story...]

VI Surfing Weekend in September

Surfability UK, the Community Interest Company that provides surfing lessons and experiences for people with additional needs due to disability, illness, injury or learning difficulties, is running a free, vision impaired surfing weekend on 21st - 22nd September. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Awareness Day - 20th June 2024

Nystagmus Awareness Day is the annual event that aims to spread the word about this eye condition, so that adults and children who have nystagmus will get the help, support and services they need in education, employment, health, mobility and leisure and will enjoy a better quality of life. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Family Event in Pembrokeshire

Guide Dogs is running a Family Event at Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire on Saturday 7th September. [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...]

Torch Trust starts Zoom Coffee Mornings

Torch Trust, the Christian sight loss charity, has started to run a monthly, online coffee morning for those who are unable to visit its in-person event. The sessions will be held on the fourth Thursday of the month. [Full story...]

Sight Life activities in Cardiff, Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and RCT

Sight Life runs a wide range of activities, in person and via the telephone, for people with sight loss in Cardiff, Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and RCT. [Full story...]

Para Sport Festival returns to Swansea Bay

The Para Sport Festival returns to Swansea this summer, comprising a mixture of 'take part' events open to participants of all skill levels and competitive events which showcase elite level para sport. The festival will be held from 8th -14th July. [Full story...]

International Behçet’s Awareness Day

Monday 20th May 2024 was International Behçet’s Awareness Day, the event that raises awareness of this rare condition which can affect the eyes, and also raises funds for research. [Full story...]

World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week - 12th to 18th May 2024

World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week is the event that spreads the word about retinoblastoma (childhood eye cancer), and raises funds to support families affected by the condition. This year's event starts on Sunday 12th May. [Full story...]

Booking open for Retina UK conferences

Bookings can now be made for Retina UK's Professionals' Conference on Friday 27th September and the Annual conference on Saturday 28th September. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Parent Pathways: First Steps' course

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...]

Online event for 'Adults with Albinism'

The Albinism Fellowship is running a series of online zoom sessions, giving an opportunity for adults with albinism (aged 18+) to meet, chat and share experiences in a friendly and safe environment. [Full story...]

Goalball taster sessions in Wrexham

There's an opportunity to try the accessible sport of goalball with the launch of a new club in Wrexham. [Full story...]

Vika’s FUN-tastic Friday - new online club for young people

New College Worcester is launching a new, online youth club for young people aged between 9 and 15 years old with a vision impairment - Vika's FUN-tastic Friday. [Full story...]

Short online sessions for professionals from RNIB

RNIB runs a programme of short online sessions for professionals working with people who have a vision impairment. [Full story...]

Wrexham VI Voices group meetings

Vision Support's VI Voices groups are informal, supportive and friendly groups who are passionate about raising awareness of the issues and barriers people living with vision impairment face by sharing their experiences to make a difference in the local community. Dates of meetings for the Wrexham group are available. [Full story...]

RNIB 'Shape and Share' virtual events for families

RNIB run a series of virtual 'Shape and Share' events for children and young people with a vision impairment and their families. A schedule of events for the rest of 2024 and 2025 has been published. [Full story...]

Virtual Monthly Chats for adults with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome

BBS UK is to lead virtual monthly chats for adults with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome, a rare, genetic disorder, which affects approximately 1 in 100,000 babies born.! The first chat will be on 16 May at 7pm! [Full story...]

Vision Support Tech Forum

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, 19th June at 10.30 am. You can join in person in Chester or via Microsoft Teams online. [Full story...]

Vision Support launch new social group in Flintshire: Mold Visionaires

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

Retina UK peer support group - 'Talking Travel'

The next meeting of Retina UK's monthly peer support group 'Talking Travel' is on Thursday 25th July. [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...]

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 ‘Talking’ Tech Peer Support Group Meeting

The next meeting of Retina UK's ‘Talking’ Tech Peer Support Group is on 11th June. The group provides a welcoming, safe and friendly opportunity for people to meet up from across the UK to share experiences, tips and information. [Full story...]

Pickleball sessions in Swansea

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

RNIB Connect Cymru Telephone Groups

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

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...]

'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 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 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...]

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...]


Technology.

Guide Dogs 'Tech Selector'

Guide Dogs 'Tech Selector' is a resource to help you identify the right mainstream and assistive tech for you. [Full story...]

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...]

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...]


Opportunities.

Job opportunity with RNIB Cymru: Vision Friends Project Engagement and Training officer

RNIB Cymru is recruiting for a part-time Vision Friends Project Engagement and Training officer. The successful candidate will be in charge of delivering and monitoring the Vision Friends project, which aims to increase knowledge and awareness of sight loss and hidden sight loss in older people across all tenures from general needs housing to supported housing, sheltered, extra care housing, care homes and nursing homes. [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Glaucoma UK: Training and Engagement Officer (Wales)

Glaucoma UK is recruiting for a part-time Training and Engagement Officer (Wales) to deliver Glaucoma UK’s outreach, training and engagement strategy in the Wales of service, including raising awareness among the general public, providing services for people affected by glaucoma and delivering training to health care professionals. [Full story...]

Nominations open for Sense Awards 2024

Nominations have opened for the Sense Awards 2024, which celebrate the achievements of people with complex disabilities and those who support them. [Full story...]

LOOK Creative Writing Course

LOOK is running a free, six-week Creative Writing course over the summer holiday period starting on 23rd July. [Full story...]

VICTA 'Get Workplace Ready' course

VICTA is running a three-month 'Get Workplace Ready' course for young adults with sight loss aged 18-29 who are not in education, employment or training and looking to enter the workplace. [Full story...]

Sighted Guide Training from Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs runs free, online courses that will teach you how to guide an adult with sight loss with confidence, skill and empathy. This year, the charity putting more resources into these sessions, with the aim of making sighted guiding skills as widespread and well-known as first aid. [Full story...]

Healthy Parent Carer Course starting in Autumn 2024

LOOK will be delivering a course for parent carers of vision impaired children and young people in the autumn (exact dates to be confirmed). The Healthy Parent Carers programme improves the health and well-being by promoting empowerment, confidence, and buoyancy. [Full story...]

'Partners in Learning' course for education professionals

Partners in Learning is an in depth training course for teaching assistants and other education professionals working with learners with vision impairment from 0 to 25 years, run by VIEW, the professional association for the vision impairment education workforce. The next course starts in September 2024, and applications can be made now. [Full story...]

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. [Full story...]

Vision Support new accessible taster sessions in North Wales

Vision Support has been awarded a grant from the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust to be able to deliver cycling and climbing taster sessions in North Wales with the first sessions planned for the coming months. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


Other resources.

Understanding the the role of the ECLO

In a recent Macular Society webinar, Ruth Rhydderch, an eye clinic liaison officer (ECLO) at the University Hospital of Wales, explains her role, and how it helps patients understand their eye condition and the support that's available. The session is available to watch on the Macular Society website. [Full story...]

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 a guide which provides information for blind and partially sighted voters in Wales. [Full story...]

Grants for Holidays and Day Trips

With summer holidays approaching, Alström Syndrome UK has produced a useful list of organisations that provide grants or other resources for to help families with a disabled child with the cost of holidays and days out. [Full story...]

British Blind Sport launches new podcast

'Let's Talk VI Sport' is a new podcast series from British Blind Sport. [Full story...]

Alström Syndrome UK to pilot a Wellbeing Service

Alström Syndrome UK is piloting a Wellbeing Service. This follows research which revealed the impact that a diagnosis of a rare condition can have on the physical, mental and emotional health of the person with the condition, and their family. [Full story...]

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. [Full story...]

Care and Repair Cymru launch 'Older not Colder' service

'Older not colder' is a new service from Care and Repair Cymru which aims to help people aged over 60, who own their home or privately rent, to keep their homes warm and energy efficient. [Full story...]

Sight Loss resources from Blind Veterans UK

The website of Blind Veterans UK includes a wide range of sight loss resources, to help you with daily living tasks, hobbies and money matters. [Full story...]

Benefits and Finance - tips for parents from LOOK

LOOK has some advice on finance and benefits for the parents of children with a vision impairment, based on information provided at a meeting of their Parent Support Group. [Full story...]

Latest episodes of The Macular Society's Bitesize Benefits available.

In January 2024, The Macular Society launched a new podcast mini-series to provide information to people with sight loss about the benefits that they may be entitled to claim. Five episodes are now available, covering Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the Spring budget and what it means for people with sight loss, and the first of two episodes on Attendance Allowance. [Full story...]

Vision Support to start counselling service

Vision Support has a new counselling service starting this summer. [Full story...]

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...]

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...]


Miscellaneous.

New Macular Society Group Launch in the Rhondda

The Macular Society has launched a new face-to-face peer support group at Treorchy Library. [Full story...]

Advice for eye injections from the Macular Society

Being told that you need to have an eye injection as part of your treatment can be worrying, but an article on the Macular Society website has some useful advice. [Full story...]

Contact Wales launches three year Building Resilience project

Contact Wales, the organisation for families with disabled children, has been given a half-million-pound award from the National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a new project, Building Resilience. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK expands services for people with Usher Syndrome

Deafblind UK has announced that it is expanding its services for people impacted by Usher syndrome, including those who have previously been supported by Sense. As part of this expansion, the Sense Usher team and their service users, have transferred to Deafblind UK. [Full story...]

Wales Low Vision Service change of phone number

If you already have a vision impairment or low vision, an optometrist can help you make the best use of the sight you have. [Full story...]

Diabetes Week 2024: 10th to 16th June

Diabetes Week (10th-16th June) is the event which raises awareness of the condition, which can lead to sight loss. This year, Diabetes UK is highlighting how important it is for people to get all their diabetes health checks, including diabetic eye checks. [Full story...]

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. [Full story...]

Bronze medal succes for South Wales Goalball team

Congratulations to South Wales Goalball Club on winning a bronze medal at a novice tournament on Saturday 20th April. [Full story...]

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...]

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...]