Wales Council of the Blind

Wales Council of the Blind logo Wales Council of the Blind logo

Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

To subscribe to our fortnightly email bulletin, please go to our Mailchimp subscription page at http://eepurl.com/dE3CJj

'I always enjoy your bulletins and found them to be interesting and relevant.' - Specialist Social Worker for VI.

'These bulletins are excellent' - Rehabilitation Officer for VI.

'This is awesome! I love it!' - Guide dog user.

'I enjoy reading the Sylw newsletter - I find it really informative and useful.' - Sector professional.

Sylw is also issued as a two-weekly email bulletin. Please contact bec@wcb-ccd.org.uk if you would like to receive this.

If you would like to submit an article to Sylw, please email ann@wcb-ccd.org.uk.

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.

Have your say on the Eye Care Support Pathway for Wales

WCB has been commissioned to ask the sight loss sector what they think the RNIB Eye Care Support Pathway should look like in Wales, and is asking for the views of service users, eye health professionals and organisations. [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...]

Wales Eyecare Conference - Presentations available

Copies of presentations made at the Wales Eyecare Conference in November 2023 are now available on the conference website. [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.

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Help wanted to test NHS Wales questionnaire

A Welsh Government project is looking at how to improve the way that service user / patient feedback is collected in NHS Wales. They are asking people to complete a test version of a Patient-Reported Experience Measures (PREMs) questionnaire to see if it is fit for purpose. [Full story...]

Sense 'Potential and Possibility' survey

Sense is asking people with complex disabilities to complete a survey about what needs to change in their lives. The results will be used in the charity's campaigning work with government. [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...]

APPG Inquiry on employer attitudes to and the employment of blind and partially sighted people

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Eye Health and VI is launching an inquiry on employer attitudes & the employment of blind & partially sighted people. The group is encouraging businesses, charities, DPOs & blind & partially sighted people to respond. [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...]

Views of young people with sight and hearing loss wanted to help Deafblind UK research

Deafblind UK is working with Anglia University on research to assess the impact of deafblindness on academic and social success for young people. [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...]

ASSIST project survey

A study being organised by Cardiff University and funded by Health and Care Research Wales wants to find out about what helps people with sight loss to navigate and access the support they need. [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...]

NHS Experiences of older people in Wales - Survey

A recent survey by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales has found that 4 in 10 older people were less likely to contact their GP, contact an out of hours GP service or visit A&E due to reported pressures on the NHS. Now they want to find out more about experiences of accessing health services in the last few months. [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.

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...]

Latest issue of Retina UK's newsletter available

The Winter 2023 issue of 'Look Forward', the newsletter of Retina UK, is available. [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...]

Latest Strive Newsletter available

VICTA's Young Ambassadors produce an E-magazine, Strive, for young people with a vision impairment. The latest issue is now available, with a theme of 'Acceptance and Growth'. [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...]

Guide Dogs provide update on their recovery

The Guide Dogs charity has produced an update on how their recovery programme, which was put in place following problems with the breeding and training of dogs caused by the pandemic, is progressing. [Full story...]

Results of RCOphth Workforce Census cause concerns

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) has published the results from its 2022 workforce census, which reveal significant staff shortages in NHS ophthalmology services across the UK, which will continue to worsen in coming years without immediate action. [Full story...]

Disability Rights Taskforce - update

The Disability Rights Taskforce was set up by the Welsh Government to respond to the impact of the pandemic on disabled people in Wales. Its output will be a new Disability Rights Action Plan, expected to be published in Spring 2024. They have produced a progress update on the work so far. [Full story...]

'Reading Sight Resource Pack' for people working in libraries

'Share the Vision', a coalition of UK organisations that work together to improve the quality, availability and accessibility of library services for visually impaired people, has launched a new resource pack for people working in libraries. The pack is intended to provide them with the information they need to provide support to blind and partially sighted library users (and others with a print impairment). [Full story...]

Fight for Sight's 'Time to Focus' report shows the impact and costs of sight loss, and the need for more research funding

Fight for Sight, the UK charity which funds pioneering eye research, has produced a produced a report which looks at the scale of sight loss in the UK, its impact on the people affected, and the cost to the economy, and the need for a significant increase in research funding. [Full story...]


Access.

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...]

Audio described opera at Wales Millennium Centre

The performance of Mozart's opera 'Cosi fan Tutte' at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on Friday 8th March will be audio described. [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...]

Your A-Z guide for social media accessibility

Vision impaired blogger Holly has produced a useful guide for anyone who uses social media: 'Your A-Z guide for social media accessibility'. [Full story...]

Accessible Screenings UK - Resource for disabled cinema-goers

If you are thinking of going to the cinema over the Easter holidays, the Accessible Screenings UK website allows you to find out about accessible screenings in UK cinemas. [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...]

Network Rail to install tactile paving at all rail stations by 2025

Following campaigning by sight loss charities, Network Rail has confirmed that tactile paving will be installed on all railway platforms in Britain, and that it has funding to complete installation by 2025. [Full story...]


Events.

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...]

Digital Glaucoma Support Group meetings for World Glaucoma Week

To mark World Glaucoma Week Glaucoma UK is running a series of digital support group meetings to show how the condition is treated across the world. [Full story...]

Insport event in Colwyn Bay on 1st March

There will be an Insport event in Colwyn Bay on Friday 1st March, offering disabled people with physical and sensory impairments the chance to try a range of accessible sports. [Full story...]

Sense Seated Multi-sports activities in Cardiff

Sense, the organisation for people with complex disabilities including deafblindness, is organising seated activities in Cardiff adults aged 18+. [Full story...]

BAME Vision webinar: Understanding your Genetics, What Genetic Testing and Counselling is

BAME Vision is marking World Rare Disease Day on 29th February with a webinar, 'Understanding your Genetics, What Genetic Testing and Counselling is'. [Full story...]

Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for March

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 March. [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...]

Sensory Walk in Pontypool, Torfaen

Sense, the organisation for people with complex disabilities including deafblindness, is organising a walk in Pontypool, Torfaen. [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...]

Vision Support - Vision Impairment Awareness Training for the Youth Sector **Change of date**

Vision Support are delivering a FREE two hour online training course for organisations providing groups/services to children and young people living with a vision impairment. The training aims to help you ensure your provision is inclusive and accessible as well as providing some top tips such as adjustments and communication tips. [Full story...]

New Retina UK peer support group - 'Talking Travel'

Retina UK is launching a new bi-monthly peer support group, 'Talking Travel'. [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...]

RNIB Training for 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...]

Glaucoma Support Group Meeting in Wrexham

There will be a face-to-face Glaucoma Support Group meeting in Wrexham on Monday 11th March. [Full story...]

Goalball session in Carmarthen

After the success of the taster session in January, there will be another goalball session for people with sight loss at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Carmarthen SA32 8DN on 17th February from 2pm - to 4pm. [Full story...]

Blind Ambition Employment Webinars

Blind Ambition is running several 'Looking for Work' webinars during February. [Full story...]

Insport events during February and March

Disability Sport Wales is running a series of Insport events for disabled adults and young people across Wales during February and March. [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...]

Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for February

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 February. [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...]

Vision Support Tech Forum on 20th March

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, 20th March at 10.30 am. You can join in person in Wrexham or via Microsoft Teams online. [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...]

Vision Zone event in Llandudno

There's an opportunity to find out about low vision solutions at a Vision Zone event in Llandudno on Wednesday 13th March. [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...]

RNIB are holding group discussions about how sight loss has impacted social relationships

RNIB are running online group discussions to talk about how sight loss has impacted your social relationships. [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...]

Blind in Business Employability Workshops

Blind in Business are running a series of employability workshops for young people with vision impairment aged 13 to 19 years. The sessions start on Monday 8th January, and will run weekly for five weeks, from 4:30-5:30 pm. [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...]

Deafblind UK TalkTech webinars

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

Retina UK - Wrexham & Wales local peer support group

The next meeting of Retina UK's Wrexham and Wales Local Peer Support Group is on Wednesday 28th February, via Zoom. The guest speaker will be Lucy Ashton, Business Development at Seable Holidays. [Full story...]

Macular Society's weekly 'Winter Warmer' calls return

With the return of darker and colder evenings, the Macular Society's programme of Winter Warmer calls is restarting, and the first session is on Wednesday 1st November. [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...]

Sense Cymru activities

Sense Cymru is running a series of free activities to support people with complex disabilities (including deaf blindness). They are delivered online, via the phone and face-to-face. [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...]

Updated information for Macular Society's South Wales groups

Information about meetings of the Macular Society's many local support groups across South Wales has been updated. [Full story...]

All Wales Macular Telephone Support Group Calls

The Macular Society in Wales runs telephone support meetings to help those who are unable to make it to meetings in person. [Full story...]


Technology.

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.

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...]

Job Opportunities with Vision Support

Vision support is recruiting for a Vision Rehabilitation Specialist and a Trainee Vision Rehabilitation Specialist. [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...]

VICTA Science Fair 2024

VICTA's Science Fair 2024 is a programme of activities, opportunities and competitions in connection with British Science Week (8th to 17 March). [Full story...]

Find out more about the National Open Youth Orchestra in Cardiff

The National Open Youth Orchestra is inviting 11 to 25 year-old disabled and non-disabled musicians to apply to join one of their five regional ensembles, including one based in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Job Opportunity: 2 x Specialist Vision Impairment Teaching Assistants (Welsh Medium)

SenCom Vision Impairment Service is looking for two Specialist Vision Impairment Teaching Assistants - Welsh Medium. [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...]

Volunteers needed to test new app

Could you help test a new app which will allow people to monitor their vision from the comfort of their own home? [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...]

'Climbing Out' events

'Climbing Out' do 5 day residential programmes that combine outdoor activities with mental resilience coaching where participants can build a long term network of friendships and support. [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...]

'My Voice, My Choice' coming to Pembrokeshire

Leonard Cheshire Disability's 'My Voice, My Choice' programme, which is designed to develop your campaigning and advocacy skills so you will be able to make a difference in your local community, is coming to Pembrokeshire.</p> [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...]

Volunteer wanted to support Retina UK support group in Cardiff

Retina UK is starting a new Local Peer Support Group in Cardiff for anyone living with inherited sight loss, and is looking for a local group facilitator to help organise and run the group. [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...]

Eye2Eye - Social club for visually impaired people

Eye2Eye is a social group for visually impaired people based in Flintshire. [Full story...]

Opportunity to help RNIB's campaign for accessible gaming

RNIB's 'Design for every gamer' campaign aims to make gaming more accessible to people with sight loss. The charity is looking for blind and partially sighted people who love gaming to join their user testing panel. [Full story...]

Vision impaired rugby sessions for children at Risca RFC

Risca RFC is running free rugby sessions for children with a vision impairment aged between 8 and 16 years. [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...]

Recordings from Macular Society Conference available

Recordings from the Macular Society's Annual Conference on 16th September are now available. [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...]

Recordings of Retina UK's conferences available

Recordings of Retina UK's recent conferences are now available. [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...]

Revision tips for vision impaired students from TPT

With the exam season approaching, the Thomas Pocklington Trust has tips to help vision impaired students revise for exams and assessments. [Full story...]

Deafblind UK Reconnections project for people in South Wales

Deafblind UK's Reconnections project, which was launched last autumn, is providing free, specialist support to people with sight and hearing loss in South Wales. [Full story...]


Miscellaneous.

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...]

Ramadan advice from Glaucoma UK and Diabetes UK

The holy month of Ramadan starts on Sunday 10th March 2024, and Glaucoma UK and Diabetes UK have advice on use of eye drops and fasting for people with sight loss at this time [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...]

Supply of Fixapost eyedrops

Glaucoma UK is advising that there is currently an interruption to the supply of Fixapost eye drops. [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...]

Nystagmus Friendly Practice project

Nystagmus Network (NN) is to introduce a 'Nystagmus Friendly Practice' project, to ensure that high street optical practices are able to provide support to people affected by the condition. [Full story...]

AOP 'Excellence in Eye Care' award' for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board glaucoma teams

Congratulations to Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Primary Care Optometry and Secondary Care Glaucoma Teams who have won the Association of Optometrist's award for excellence in community-led care for efforts taken to improve eye care for patients across Wales. [Full story...]

Rare Disease Day 2023

Tuesday 28th February is Rare Disease Day 2023, an event celebrated in over 85 countries worldwide to raise awareness and generate change for people living with a rare condition, and their families and carers. A disease or condition is rare if it affects fewer than one in 2,000 people within the general population - and several eye conditions meet this definition. [Full story...]