Wales Council of the Blind

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Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

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  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.

Annual Wales Eyecare Conference on 22nd November

The Annual Wales Eyecare Conference on 22nd November 2023 is now fully booked. [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...]

WCB's Director talks about current projects

You can hear Wales Council of the Blind's Director, Owen Williams, and Fiona Sandford, CEO of Visionary talk about about their recent projects in a short interview on RNIB Connect. [Full story...]

Latest edition of Roundup looks at 'Perspectif', our on-line portal

The latest edition of Roundup, Wales Council of the Blind's quarterly magazine, is now available. The main feature in this edition is our on-line portal Perspectif, the online database to help people in Wales with sight loss and support workers find services. [Full story...]

Consultations and Lobbying.

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...]

Sight Life Survey on social activity

Sight Life would like to know about how important it is to you to take part in social activity, and is running a short survey. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Transport for Wales consultation on proposals for Wrexham Gateway Transport Hub

Transport for Wales has launched a public consultation on plans to transform the area around Wrexham General station into a local transport hub . This includes a series of drop-in events during November to allow members of the public opportunities to find out more. [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...]

Transport for Wales consultation on new railway stations in South East Wales

Transport for Wales has launched a public consultation on designs for five new railway stations in South East Wales and new train services. This includes a series of drop-in events to allow members of the public opportunities to discuss the designs and service proposals with the project teams behind them. [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...]

User research request: Help improve the passenger safety of taxis and private hire vehicles in Wales

Welsh Government and the Centre for Digital Public Services (CDPS) are running a research project to understand how to improve passenger safety in taxis and private hire vehicles in Wales. They are looking for people to take part in interviews or face to face research to understand passengers' current experiences, and how to make improvements to make sure taxi experiences are safe and inclusive of everyone. [Full story...]

Older People’s Experiences of Digital Exclusion

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales wants to hear from older people and their families how they are being affected by digital exclusion when trying to access information and services. [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.

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...]

Nystagmus Network documents updated

Nystagmus Network has updated all of their information documents. [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...]

New research report: Visual impairment and minority ethnic communities

Research and innovation charity BRAVO VICTOR has produced a new research report on mental and emotional well-being and perceptions of prejudice and discrimination in members of the minority ethnic communities with vision impairment. [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...]

Latest issue of Retina UK's newsletter available

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

RNIB Everyday Living Catalogue 2023 available

RNIB's Everyday Living Catalogue 2023 is now available, featuring a wide selection of essential everyday items for people living with sight loss. [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 to Work isn't working - RNIB calls for action

RNIB is calling on the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to take urgent action to tackle delays in dealing with claims for the Access to Work (ATW) scheme, which provides financial and practical support with the extra employment costs resulting from a disability or long term health condition. [Full story...]

New research raises concerns about motor development in children and young people with a vision impairment

New research, carried out by British Blind Sport and the University of Central Lancashire, and supported by the Thomas Pocklington Trust, has looked at the motor competence, physical activity, and wellbeing in children and young people with visual impairment in England. It found that these children did not meet recommended daily physical activity thresholds and are less likely to be as physically active than their sighted peers. [Full story...]

'Turned Out': RNIB Report on voting in 2022 local elections

RNIB has published the results of its survey on the experiences of vision impaired voters in the UK's local elections in May 2022. [Full story...]

RNIB publishes Annual Report for 2021/22 and Strategy Summary

RNIB has published its Annual Report and Accounts for 2021/22, and also produced a Strategy Summary. [Full story...]


Christmas gift ideas for children with sight loss

The Sense website has a list of gift suggestions for children who have sensory impairments such as sight loss or deafblindness. [Full story...]

Audio Described Christmas shows in Wales

Booking is open for pantomimes and Christmas shows in Wales with audio description. [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...]

Letter from Santa for vision impaired children

Once again this Christmas, RNIB is arranging for children with a vision impairment to receive a letter from Santa in their preferred accessible format, and in English or Welsh. [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...]

'Visibly Better' award for Barry housing scheme

A housing scheme in Barry has received a 'Visibly Better' award from RNIB Cymru after making design changes to their homes to support people with sight loss. [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...]

Gardening when you have sight loss - Advice from Thrive

For National Gardening Week (1st to 7th May), 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...]

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...]

New app from Estée Lauder helps visually impaired users apply makeup

Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has launched an app to try to make the process of applying make-up easier for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Accessible In-Home Display for Smart meters

If you are vision impaired and have a Smart meter, an accessible in-home display (AIHD) with additional features could make tracking your energy usage easier. [Full story...]


Rare Disease Patient Network Meeting 2023

There is a virtual meeting of the Welsh Rare Disease Patient Network on Wednesday 29th November at 10:00 AM. [Full story...]

Vision Support Community Information Unit schedule for December

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 December. [Full story...]

Digital Glaucoma Support Group meeting

Glaucoma UK has scheduled another online support group meeting. [Full story...]

Opportunity for Wales Local Authority and Health Officials to visit RNC

Officials working for Welsh Local authorities and health services are invited to an event at Royal National College of the Blind (RNC) where they can find out about the specialist further education that they provide. [Full story...]

RNIB Connect Cymru Telephone Groups

RNIB Connect Cymru's telephone groups continue to meet. [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...]

Rebound Festival at Wrexham Tennis Centre

The Rebound Festival is an inclusive event based around active tennis therapy , open to anyone who may have mental health issues, physical impairments or a long-term illness. It takes place at Wrexham Tennis Centre on 29th November and will include VI tennis sessions. [Full story...]

Blind in Business Alumni Careers Panel

Blind in Business is running an Alumni Careers Panel on Thursday 30th November from 4pm to 5pm on Teams. [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 13th December, via Zoom. The guest speaker will be Jon Hignett, Growing Support Consultant for the National Trust in Wales. [Full story...]

UCAN Celebrates The Lord Mayor's Concert

The talents of members of UCAN Productions will be showcased at the Lord Mayor of Cardiff's concert on 19th December at the The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. [Full story...]

Torfaen Access Forum meeting on 24th November

The next Torfaen Access Forum meeting will be held on Friday, 24th November, from 10am - 12noon, via Zoom. [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...]

Sense Mini-Golf session in Cardiff

Sense has organised a free mini-golf session for people with complex disabilities aged 18+ in Cardiff city centre on 29th November. [Full story...]

Retina UK launch The Blind Lads Loch Inn – Gents Peer Support Group

Retina UK is launching a new Peer Support Group - The Blind Lads Loch Inn for Gents. The first meeting is on Tuesday 7th November. [Full story...]

Retina UK ‘Talking’ Tech Peer Support Group Meeting

The next meeting of Retina UK's ‘Talking’ Tech Peer Support Group is on 16th November. 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...]

Sensory Walks in Tredegar and Monmouthshire

Sensory walks allow you to use your senses to connect with your surroundings whilst being active. Sense, the organisation for people with complex disabilities including deafblindness, is organising walks in Tredegar and Magor. [Full story...]

Torch Trust virtual meetings

Torch Trust, the Christian sight loss charity, runs several virtual meetings each month. [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 8th December, 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...]

Retina UK Webinar - 'Artificial Intelligence'

Retina UK is holding a webinar on Thursday 7th December: 'AI (Artificial Intelligence)'. [Full story...]

Vision Support Tech Forum meeting

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

National Eye Health Week - 18th to 24th September 2023

This year's National Eye Health Week is 18th to 24th September, The event promotes the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all. Each day will have a theme, to raise awareness of different aspects of eye care. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

The Royal Society for Blind Children - Calendar of Activities

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) run a programme of activities for children and their families. [Full story...]

North Wales VI Voices groups - 2023 Schedule

Vision Support has relaunched its VI Voices campaigning groups in North Wales. The groups are for people living with a vision impairment who want to not only raise awareness about the barriers facing people with a vision impairment but also make a difference in their local communities. Each group will campaign on issues that are important to them, with the aim of making changes within their local community. [Full story...]

Macular Society Virtual Clinics - an opportunity to hear from the experts

The Macular Society runs two 'Virtual Clinics' 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 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...]

RNIB Technology Grants Scheme

RNIB has a technology grants scheme for people in the UK with sight loss who meet certain criteria. The grants can be used to pay for technology to help with independent living. [Full story...]


RSBC Creative Christmas Competition

Boys and Girls Club and Young Bristol in collaboration with RSBC present their Creative Christmas Competition for Blind and partially sighted children and young people under 25: [Full story...]

Job opportunity with Royal Society for Blind Children: Family Practitioner – South Wales

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) is recruiting for a Family Practitioner – South Wales (maternity cover). [Full story...]

Creative Christmas Competition for blind and partially sighted children and young people in Wales

The Royal Society for Blind Children is running a Creative Christmas Competition for blind and partially sighted children and young people under 25. [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...]

LOOK is recruiting mentors - deadline extended

LOOK is recruiting mentors to be paired with a younger VI peer to listen and share their lived experience and life hacks. They also seeking University Mentors who are currently at university or who have graduated within the past two years. [Full story...]

Child ticket offer to Christmas event from VICTA

VICTA is offering to cover the cost of your VI child’s ticket to a Christmas event of your choice, up to the value of £30 - but you must check with VICTA before making a purchase. [Full story...]

VRS Job Opportunity - Sight Cymru

Sight Cymru is advertising for a Relief Vision Rehabilitation Officer (VRO/ ROVI). [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...]

The Royal Society for Blind Children are seeking a Welsh member to join their youth forum

The Royal Society for Blind Children is seeking a Welsh member to join their youth forum. [Full story...]

Blind Baseball Cymru looking for new teams

Blind Baseball Cymru is looking to give vision impaired people in Wales the opportunity to try this sport. It's fun, it's warm and welcoming, and it's a good reason to get out and about! [Full story...]

Discover your Paralympic potential

Paralympics GB is inviting people with sight loss to discover their Paralympic potential at a 'come and try' day in Autumn 2023. [Full story...]

Want to try blind baseball or pickle ball?

Sight Life is wanting to develop Blind Base Ball throughout Wales, and to introduce an accessible version of Pickle Ball as a new sport for blind and partially sighted people. [Full story...]

Nominations open for Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards 2024

Nominations are now open for Glaucoma UK's 'Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards 2024', which recognise individuals or teams from any field of glaucoma care who have made a difference to patients. [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...]

Volunteering opportunities

Sight loss charities across Wales are looking for volunteers. [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...]

Swansea City AFC start vision impaired football sessions

Swansea City AFC Foundation have started weekly football sessions for young people with a vision impairment. [Full story...]

Tennis clubs across Wales are offering open court sessions for vision impaired people

Whether you're looking to try something new, meet great people, or develop a new skill, these sessions provide the perfect opportunity. [Full story...]

Opportunity to help nystagmus research

The Nystagmus Network works closely with the six centres for research into the condition in the UK, providing regular opportunities to take part and help advance clinical knowledge and understanding of the condition. [Full story...]

Cardiff VI Bowls Club - Change of day

Following a taster session in January, a new Cardiff VI Bowling Club has started at Cardiff Indoor Bowls Club, Sophia Gardens. [Full story...]

VICTA Young Achievers Award

Children with a vision impairment aged 10 years and under are invited to take part in VICTA's Young Achievers Award scheme, which is broken down into four different themes to be completed at certain times of the year. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Cymru seek volunteer puppy raisers

Guide dog breeding and training was halted during the pandemic, leading to a shortage of dogs for people who need them. Now Guide Dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers (formerly called puppy walkers) and there are opportunities in many parts of Wales. [Full story...]

UCAN receives Atsain Music funding

UCAN has been awarded an £8,400 'Atsain' grant by Anthem Music Fund Wales [Full story...]

Other resources.

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...]

A-Level Results - Advice from Thomas Pocklington Trust

With A-Level results due this week, the Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT) has timely advice to vision impaired students - whether their results have exceeded expectations, or been lower than expected. [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...]

Information on Cost of Living support from Disability Wales

The website of Disability Wales includes a page giving information on potential sources of help and support to disabled people affected by the cost of living crisis. [Full story...]

Contact is 'Busting the myths about DLA'

Contact, the UK charity for families with disabled children, wants to dispel some of the many common myths about Disability Living Allowance (DLA) that can sadly discourage parent/carers from applying. The need to have a formal diagnosis is just one of them. For their '#WeLoveDLA ' month, they are setting the record straight on six top myths. [Full story...]

Care and Repair Cymru 'Managing Better' service

If you are over 50 and have sight loss, Care and Repair’s ‘Managing Better’ service can visit you and provide free advice and practical support to help you live as independently as possible. The service also helps people with hearing loss, dementia and stroke, and is a collaboration between five Welsh charities, all committed to helping older people in different ways: Care & Repair Cymru, RNIB Cymru, Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and the Stroke Association. [Full story...]

BBC Wales 'Talk Disability' programmes

BBC Wales has launched ‘Talk Disability’, twelve months of programmes, initiatives and content designed to inspire conversations about disability across Wales. It will also include new BBC Wales traineeships specifically for people with disabilities, created in partnership with Disability Wales. [Full story...]

Treatment delays - Advice from The Macular Society

The Macular Society has produced some useful advice for people affected by macular disease who are concerned about delays to their treatment. [Full story...]

RSBC launches 'Access Unlimited For Families in Wales'

'Access Unlimited For Families in Wales' is a new service from the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) to provide a range of support for vision impaired children, young people and their families. [Full story...]

Support from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water

If you get the Winter Fuel Payment and receive a means tested benefit, you may also be eligible to save up to £230 off your annual water bill or access other support from Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water: [Full story...]

Where to get help with money matters - advice for families with a disabled child

The website of the Family Fund has a section called 'Get help with money matters', which has information on sources of support for families with a disabled child. [Full story...]


Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day - 16th November

Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day 2023 is on Thursday 16th November. To mark the occasion, Esme's Umbrella is asking people to contact their general practitioner and other health professionals to raise awareness of the condition. [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...]

Act Now To Save People's Sight - Plaid Cymru

Following the recent report on BBC Wales about delays to vital sight saving treatment, Plaid Cymru has called for action. [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...]

BBC investigates unproven treatments for RP

A programme on the BBC World Service reports on an investigation into unproven treatments for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). 'Blind faith: Do genetic eye disease ‘treatments' work?' and shows that the new treatments do not work, and can cause harm. [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...]

Children's VI Rugby event featured on BBC Wales

BBC Wales Today showed a report on the recent Children's VI Rugby event held at Cardiff Arms Park, the first event of its kind. [Full story...]

Action needed to ensure older people don't miss out on Pension Credit

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales is calling for action to ensure that pensioners in Wales don't miss out on Pension Credit, the benefit that provides extra money to help with living costs to people over State Pension age on low incomes, topping up a single person’s weekly income to £182.60 (£278.70 for couples). [Full story...]

Energy Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a free support service which makes sure extra help is available from energy suppliers to people in vulnerable situations. This includes people with a sight or hearing condition. [Full story...]

New research funding for diabetic eye disease

Diabetes UK, Fight for Sight, Moorfields Eye Charity and the Macular Society have joined forces to fund new research to reduce the risk of sight loss for people living with diabetes. [Full story...]