Recent articles.

All articles...

Quick Links.

GP? Optician? A&E? Visit the Eye Care Wales website for advice on where to seek help with eye problems.

WCB's twitter feed
WCB twitter feed

Administrators.

street

Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

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

'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.

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

Latest issue of Roundup focuses on eye condition-specific organisations

The latest edition of WCB's Roundup magazine is now available. In addition to the usual features, we have a report on the Wales Eyecare Conference, and an update on our Storm project for vi young adults. [Full story...]

Our Voice Our Storm website now online

The website for WCB's project for young adults in Wales with sight loss is available, with information about the project, events and useful contacts. [Full story...]

WCB Perspectif launched

WCB's information portal, Perspectif, is now available. [Full story...]


Petition calls for 'Access Certificates' for Welsh businesses

The Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People has created a Welsh Government e-Petition, calling for the Welsh Government to bring in an 'Access Certificate' showing numbers from zero to five along the lines of the Food Hygiene Certificate. All buildings used by the public such as shops, food outlets, sports clubs, pubs and offices as well as public transport services should be assessed on how wheelchair accessible they are, as well as how easy it is for someone with a sensory impairment or learning disability to use. [Full story...]

Disability Wales: 'Access to Taxis' survey

If you have a disability, and use (or try to use) taxis in Wales, Disability Wales would like to hear about your experiences. [Full story...]

Could you help research into impact of visual loss on diet and appetite?

Researchers at Aston University are inviting people who are sight impaired and severely impaired in the UK, to take part in a study investigating the impact of visual loss on diet and appetite. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Big Benefits Survey 2017

The Disability Benefits Consortium has launched its annual survey, and wants to hear about the experiences of disabled people who have applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Attendance Allowance (AA) and Universal Credit (UC). [Full story...]

Have your say on the future of health and social care in Wales

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething is calling on people in Wales to have their say on the future of health and social care, as part of a major review into this important topic. [Full story...]


'Missing Voices' project produces report on findings

The 'Missing Voices' project was set up by the Electoral Reform Society Cymru to examine the reasons for the low turnout in Welsh local elections and National Assembly elections. A project report has now been produced, based on focus groups across Wales (including one with Wales Council of the Blind) and an on-line survey. [Full story...]

Guide to juvenile macular dystrophies

The Macular Society has released a new guide to juvenile macular dystrophies. The term covers a large number of rare, inherited conditions which are often not diagnosed until later life. [Full story...]

'Time to catch up' - report on TV access services

The Communications Consumer Panel (the independent policy advisory body for consumers and telecommunications and broadcasting) has a new report on access services. It looks at the availability, awareness and use of access services, including TV subtitling, signing and audio description in the UK. [Full story...]

Arriva Trains Wales produce 'Assistance Dogs Travel Guide'

Arriva Trains Wales has produced a new guide to travelling with an assistance dog, in association with five charities, including Guide Dogs. [Full story...]

New Accessible Information Standard for NHS Wales launched

An updated version of the All Wales Sensory Loss Standards has been launched by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething as part of Sensory Loss Awareness Month. [Full story...]

IGA advice on delayed glaucoma appointments

The International glaucoma Association (IGA) has published advice for people with glaucoma whose appointments have been delayed or cancelled. [Full story...]

New patient leaflets from the AOP

The Association of Optometrists (AOP) has added three new leaflets to its 'Patient Leaflet Pack', to cover allergic conjunctivitis, bacterial and viral conjunctivitis, and driving and vision standards. [Full story...]

VocalEyes report reveals that only 25% of UK theatres provide AD performances

VocalEyes, the organisation which provides opportunities for vision impaired people to experience the arts at UK’s theatres, museums, galleries and heritage sites, has conducted a review into the access information provided by 659 theatres across the UK. It found that 72% of theatres provide access information on their website, but only 25% mentioned that they provided audio-described (AD) performances and/or touch tours. The situation in Wales was slightly better, with 81% providing access information, and 26% mentioning AD performances. [Full story...]

'Your guide to Stargardt disease'

The Macular Society has produced a new leaflet on Stargardt disease, the most common form of juvenile macular dystrophy which causes a wasting of a central area of the retina. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Information Pack launched on Wobbly Wednesday

The Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics at Sheffield University has developed a Nystagmus Information Pack, with support from the Nystagmus Network (NN), and input from people attending NN events. The resource was launched on 'Wobbly Wednesday', the annual event which raises awareness of this eye condition. [Full story...]

Employment guides from Sense

Sense, the organisation for people with dual sensory loss, has carried out research into the barriers which face deafblind people who are looking for work, and produced three employment guides to help address some of the issues raised. [Full story...]

Report suggests number of children with vision impairment is rising

Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has examined the number of children in Wales and England issued with a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) and suggested that there has been an increase. [Full story...]

Resources for teachers of vi students

The Macular Society has produced a range of resources for teachers with vision impaired students which should help them to make lessons more accessible. [Full story...]

New research on transition of vi young people to adulthood

The Longitudinal Transitions Study is a research project following the experiences of young people with vision impairment during the transition from school through to employment and adulthood. The research has been carried out by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with RNIB and supported by the Thomas Pocklington Trust. A series of resources based on the project has now been published. [Full story...]

'Managing Better' - first year report

'Managing Better' is a 3-year project, funded by the Welsh Government and led by Care & Repair Cymru in partnership with RNIB Cymru, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and Care & Repair Agencies across Wales. It provides support to older people with sensory loss, enabling them to stay independent and remain in their own homes. The project has just released a report on its first year, which was launched at an event at the National Assembly in Cardiff. [Full story...]

Wales Eye Care Stats 2016-2017 released

Eye care and hearing stats for 2016-17 have been released by the Welsh Government. The report aims to provide a summary of currently provided sensory care services in the context of poor eye health and hearing loss. [Full story...]

Review of Health & Social Care in Wales - Interim report published

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government set up an expert panel to conduct a review into Health and Social Care. The panel has now produced an interim report which calls for new models of care to be trialled. [Full story...]

Housing guide for people with sight loss

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a new online guide for vision impaired people who are looking for a new home, seeking to live independently for the first time or experiencing problems in their current accommodation. [Full story...]

Practical Guidance reports from Pocklington

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has put all of its Practical Guidance reports into a new section of the website, making it easier to find information on a particular topic. [Full story...]

Guide for GP surgeries should improve accessibilty for patients with sensory loss

A new guide for GP surgeries in Wales should make their services more accessible to people with sight and/or hearing loss. 'Understanding your patients’ needs. Best-practice guide for GP surgeries - Supporting people with Sensory Loss' has been produced by RNIB Cymru and Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, and is based on feedback from people with sensory loss. [Full story...]

'Get up and go' booklet aims to prevent falls

The risk of falling increases with age, with one in three people over 65 having a fall every year. A new handbook on falls prevention is being given to patients on non-emergency transport in Wales, as part of an initiative by Public Health Wales, the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. [Full story...]

'Making sense of dance' - new resource from Sense

Dance is a powerful art form for people with sensory and communication barriers, as it enables them to express meaning physically and without the need for spoken language. Now Sense, the organisation for deafblind people, has launched a booklet and video resource to support more people to enjoy and engage in dance. [Full story...]

Importance of eye tests for people with dementia highlighted

Recent research by the College of Optometrists has revealed that the prevalence of visual impairment is higher among people with dementia, compared to the overall population. However, almost 50% of those living with dementia and VI were no longer classified as visually impaired when wearing their up-to-date spectacle prescription. [Full story...]

Commons Committee reports on disability and the built environment

The Women and Equalities Committee of the UK House of Commons has published the results of its review of accessibility of the UK’s homes, buildings and public spaces. It concludes that, although the Equality Act 2010 requires reasonable adjustments to be made so that disabled people are not excluded from workplaces, public buildings, and places that serve the public, the Act is not having the kind of impact that was expected. [Full story...]

Welsh Pathway for Children & Young People with Vision Impairment launched

VISION 2020 UK, the umbrella organisation which leads collaboration in eye health and sight loss, has launched the 'All-Wales Integrated Pathway for Children and Young People (0 to 25 years) with Vision Impairment, and their Families'. The pathway, created in collaboration with the Children’s Vision Service Advisory Group for Wales, provides an agreed provision pathway from the point of diagnosis to adulthood. [Full story...]

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

'Contact a Family' has updated its guide to holidays, play and leisure for families with a disabled child. [Full story...]

Talking to your child about sight loss - new guide from RNIB

'Tough talks: Talking to children about sight loss' is a new guide for parents which gives advice to parents and carers of children with vision impairment on ways to discuss this sensitive topic. [Full story...]

'Being disabled in Britain - a journey less equal'

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has produced a report on disability equality in Britain. It covers six areas of life, including education, work, health, justice and participation in politics, looking at where there has been progress and where there are still serious issues to be tackled. [Full story...]

'Working with blind & partially sighted colleagues' - RNIB Guide

RNIB has produced a guide for employers, managers and colleagues of staff members with vision impairment. 'Working with blind and partially sighted colleagues: an employer and staff guide' covers topics such as facts about sight loss, communication and practical support in the workplace. [Full story...]

'Filling the gap where patients used to fall": Report on the impact of ECLOs

Research conducted for RNIB by the University of South Wales and Swansea University has looked at the impact of the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) role on patients, clinics and services. It concludes that ECLOs have a positive impact in each of these areas. [Full story...]

Homes for people with learning disabilities and sight loss - new guide from RNIB Cymru

RNIB Cymru has produced a guide for housing providers on the needs of people with sight loss and learning disabilities. It explains how simple changes to accommodation can reduce the risk of falls and accidents in the home, improve wellbeing and quality of life, and support independence which will reduce the levels of care and support required. [Full story...]

BBS produce guide to vision impaired equestrian sport

British Blind Sport (BBS) has launched a new education resource, 'A Guide to Delivering Equestrian Activities for Visually Impaired People'. It has been designed to educate coaches, leaders and staff at equestrian centres across the country about sight loss and the needs of people with a visual impairment in equestrianism. It also provides recommendations on how they can adapt their equestrian opportunities to make them more suitable for VI people. [Full story...]

Eye health awareness in the black and minority ethnic communities in Wales

The results of a project which aimed to increase awareness of eye health and primary eye health care to people from at risk in black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Wales have been published. [Full story...]

Report claims that UK is failing on disability rights

A report on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in England and Wales claims that successive Governments have often failed to take account of disabled people’s rights when making policy; and have introduced some policies that actually make things much worse. The report has been produced by Disability Rights UK and Disability Wales, and is based on extensive engagement with disabled people. This included surveys and focus group meetings in venues including Cardiff, Wrexham and Llanelli. [Full story...]

RNIB Scotland updates 'Sight loss and dementia' leaflet

RNIB Scotland and the Alzheimer's Society have updated their leaflet for people with dementia. It has been produced for people with the condition, but will also be useful for carers and family members. [Full story...]

Review of opthalmology services published

The Healthcare Inspectorate Wales has published a review of ophthalmology services, following concerns about the waiting times being experienced by patients. The report found that Welsh eye care services have insufficient capacity in secondary care to meet demand. [Full story...]

Report highlights the additional costs which vision impaired pensioners face

A new report from the Thomas Pocklington Trust has reviewed the additional costs faced by pensioners who are severely sight impaired - and concluded that their daily living costs are a shocking 73% higher than those of sighted people. [Full story...]

Vision 2020's Dementia factsheets updated

Vision 2020's Dementia and Sight Loss Committee has updated their factsheets. They will be useful for people with dementia, their families, carers and professionals working with them. [Full story...]

New guides for Welsh social services professionals and housing providers

Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and RNIB Cymru have produced two new guides aimed at helping social service professionals and housing providers communicate better with people who have sensory loss. The documents were launched by the Welsh Government's Minister for Social Services and Public Health at an event in the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. [Full story...]

Wales Vision Strategy - Key achievements for 2015/16 published

The UK Vision Strategy aims to transform the UK's eye health, eye care and sight loss services. The Wales Vision Strategy Implementation Group has just published a document which reports on progress against the three outcomes in 2015/16. [Full story...]

Welsh Government publishes updated Diabetes Delivery Plan

The Diabetes Delivery Plan for Wales has been updated. In Wales, over seven per cent of the population aged 17 or over live with diabetes, and this number is predicted to rise. The plan aims to reduce this rate of increase, and also to reduce the chance of people with diabetes developing serious complications such as sight loss. [Full story...]

Patients' experience of eye care in Wales - survey results published

The Board of Community Health Councils in Wales has published the findings of a national survey asking patients about their experience of eye care. The majority of people who spoke to Community Health Council members gave a positive description of the care and treatment they had received, but the report identifies areas where further work is needed to ensure that everyone accessing ophthalmology services benefits from high standards of care and treatment. [Full story...]

Sight loss, dementia and meaningful activity

Meaningful activity is vital to wellbeing, although it can be difficult to achieve this for individuals affected by both sight loss and dementia. The Thomas Pocklington Trust has published a scoping study and research discussion paper to gain more understanding of these challenges and how they can be addressed through better information, resources and training. [Full story...]

Driving down the extra costs disabled people face - final report

An independent inquiry exploring the extra costs faced by disabled people and families with disabled children in England and Wales has produced its final report. 'Driving down the extra costs disabled people face' makes a series of recommendations for disabled people and their families; disability organisations; businesses; and regulators and government. [Full story...]

How Accessible is Access to Work in Wales?

A report has been published by RNIB Cymru and Wales Council of the Blind highlighting disabled peoples' experiences of the Access to Work service. [Full story...]

RNIB publishes latest evidence-based reviews

The latest set of RNIB's annual evidence-based reviews has been published, giving a picture of the experiences of vision impaired people in different age groups: children and young people, working age and later life. The reports on later life cover the whole of the UK, but there are separate reports for Wales in the other two categories. [Full story...]

Sense report on equal access to healthcare

Sense, the organisation for deafblind people, has produced a report on the personal experiences that people who are deafblind face when accessing healthcare, from the positives to the negatives. Although written within the context of the accessible information standards recently introduced by the NHS in England, much of the report is equally relevant to people in Wales. [Full story...]

New eye drop fact sheet produced

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and Seeability have produced an easy to read factsheet which shows how to put eye drops in correctly. Difficulty in administering eye drops is one of the main reasons for people defaulting in glaucoma treatment, so it is hoped that this guidance will help. [Full story...]

10 principles of good practice in vision rehabilitation

RNIB has produced a guide which tells people with sight loss what they should expect from rehabilitation services. '10 Principles of Good Practice in Vision Rehabilitation' covers aspects such as the right to a specialist assessment, and to provision of aids and adaptations. [Full story...]

Parents guide to vision impairment from RNIB

RNIB has produced a new edition of its resource 'Information about vision impairment: Guide for parents'. The document gives information on what vision impairments is, how it affects your child, and sources of support. [Full story...]

People with sight loss have an increased risk of depression

New research findings issued by the Thomas Pocklington Trust show that there is a 'clear association between visual impairment and increased risk of depression', and that this is linked to the extent to which the person is able to carry out daily living activities. [Full story...]

Management of glaucoma patients in care homes: new research

Research funded by the International Glaucoma Association and the Royal College of Nursing has found that nurses working in care homes need more support and education in order to effectively manage glaucoma and the effects the condition has on the health and wellbeing of older people. [Full story...]

Retinoblastoma information for children and young people

The Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) has produced a useful resource for children and young people (and their parents) affected by retinoblastoma. [Full story...]

Lords report on Equality Act find that needs of disabled people are ignored

The House of Lords has produced a report on the way that the Equality Act 2010 is working in practice, and has found that much more needs to be done. Transport, inaccessible buildings and communications are all areas which need to improve. [Full story...]

Improving later life for people with sight loss

The prevalence of sight loss increases with age: currently there are almost 2 million people aged 65 and over living with sight loss in the UK. Now Age UK and RNIB have produced a new report which looks at how the UK can respond to the challenge that this represents. [Full story...]

Disability discrimination - key points for the workplace

ACAS, the organisation which provides information, advice, training, conciliation and other services for employers and employees, has produced a new guide to help employers and managers identify, tackle and prevent disability discrimination in the workplace. [Full story...]

How can care homes support people with sight loss?

It is thought that one in two people living in the 18,000 care homes in the UK has a degree of sight loss that affects their daily life (around 200,000 people). Now the Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a discussion paper which considers how care home staff can best support these people. [Full story...]

Sensory Loss: Know your healthcare rights

A guide has been produced to help people with sensory loss understand, and make use of, their rights to accessible communication when using hospitals, GP services, ambulances and dentists surgeries in Wales. 'Sensory Loss: know your healthcare rights' has been produced by Sense Cymru, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and RNIB Cymru. [Full story...]


Cold weather advice from RNIB

As the first cold weather of winter arrives, RNIB has some advice for children and young people with vision impairment. [Full story...]

Audio Described pantomimes this Christmas

Several venues in Wales are providing audio description for some performances of their family shows this Christmas. [Full story...]

Letter from Santa for vi children

This Christmas, RNIB will be arranging for children with vision impairment to receive a letter from Santa in an accessible format. [Full story...]

Monmouthshire CC launches 'Safe Spaces' scheme for disabled people

Monmouthshire County Council has launched a 'Safe Spaces' scheme for disabled people. Around 90 participating businesses in the county will offer help and support to disabled people who experience difficulties while out and about, for example by giving them directions or making a phone call. [Full story...]

Accessible Banking

A member of RNIB’s ‘Connect’ group has produced a brief survey of how UK banks make their services accessible to vision impaired people. This was based on visits to local branches, and enquiries to bank’s head offices. [Full story...]

All Party Group for Assistive Technology launched

A Parliamentary Group has been set up which is dedicated to innovative technology that helps people learn, live and communicate. The All Party Group for Assistive Technology (APPGAT) aims to disseminate knowledge, generate debate and facilitate engagement on assistive technology amongst Members of both Houses of Parliament. [Full story...]

Activities for vi people with Disability Sport Conwy

Disability Sport Conwy provide a wide range of sporting opportunities for people in the area. [Full story...]

Disabled access facilities at football stadia criticised in new report

A report by the UK Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee has criticised the 'shocking lack of provision for supporters with disabilities of all kinds, including in some cases a failure even to train staff in basic disability awareness'. [Full story...]

Access2books: children’s stories in 75 point print & braille together

Assess2books is a charity which produces and publishes high quality early years’ books in dual format - giant print (75pt) & braille - with illustrations. The design enables braille or large print readers to read without obscuring the text or illustrations, giving children and adults the opportunity to read together. [Full story...]

'Good Food Talks' makes restaurant menus accessible

A smartphone app called 'Good Food Talks' is designed to make eating out easier for people with vision impairments. Using the accessibility features on your phone or tablet, you can control the font size, change the colours, or have menus spoken out loud when dining in participating restaurants. [Full story...]

Hynt - single national access scheme for disabled customers and their carers in Wales

Hynt is a national scheme that works with theatres and arts centres across Wales to make things clear and consistent for people with an impairment or specific access requirements. Its also a resource for anyone who needs specific access information to plan a trip to the theatre. [Full story...]

'UCAN Go' indoor navigation app is now available

A new, free App which can help vision impaired people navigate their way around theatres and museums is now available from the Apple store. It has been developed by UCAN Productions, in collaboration with app developers Calvium. At present, it can help users find their way around the Millennium Centre in Cardiff and the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven, but it is hoped that other venues will arrange for it to be tailored to their own buildings. [Full story...]


Cornea to Cortex - School of Optometry and Vision Sciences Research Seminar Program

Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences organise research seminars entitled 'Cornea to Cortex' and have hosted UK-based and international researchers from a wide range of vision-related disciplines. Academic staff from the School also showcase the world-class research being undertaken at Cardiff University. The schedule for Spring 2018 is now available. [Full story...]

Bus Users Cymru 'Your Bus Matters' event in Aberystwyth

Bus Users Cymru works with partners including Welsh government, local authorities and bus companies across the country, to drive up standards in bus travel and put the needs of bus passengers at the heart of transport policy. Bus Users Cymru run surgeries around Wales which are open to the public, and are an opportunity for bus passengers to raise concerns with whoever runs their local bus service. These events may be of particular interest to blind and partially sighted people, as they often find it hard to use some of the complaints mechanisms, and would generally, like most of us, prefer to talk to somebody about any issues. [Full story...]

VICTA activity programme for 2018 available

VICTA, the organisation for children and young people with sight loss, has published its programme of activities for next year. [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for December

Vision Support's mobile information unit will be out and about in North Wales during December, giving people who are unable to visit their resource centre in Prestatyn the chance to find out about services and equipment which could help them. [Full story...]

'Applying to University' Course

New College Worcester (NCW), in association with VICTA, is running a course for young people with a vision impairment who are applying to attend University in 2019, and their parents. The free, residential event will be held on 28th and 29th March 2018. [Full story...]

Diary marker – Specialist Workers Meeting

Sight Cymru is arranging a Specialist Workers Meeting at the Masonic Lodge, Masonic Hall, Cardiff on Friday 23rd March 2018. [Full story...]


Guide Dogs 'Access and Technology' Grants

Guide Dogs' Children and Young People's Services offer grants towards the purchase of assistive or adaptive technology and sensory toys for those aged 18 years and under with vision impairment. [Full story...]

Magnetic implant used to treat nystagmus

Researchers at Oxford University and University College London have developed a set of magnetic implants to treat the eye condition nystagmus. [Full story...]

New eye examination may enable earlier detection of glaucoma

Researchers at University College London have developed an eye test which could enable glaucoma to be detected (and treated) much earlier, and before sight loss begins. [Full story...]

Welsh Ambulance Service launches app to help patients with additional communication needs

The Welsh Ambulance Service has launched an app to help frontline staff to interact with patients who have additional communication needs. The bilingual Pre-Hospital Communication Guide App is a useful tool to assist those who are deaf, hard of hearing, don't speak English as their first language, have learning difficulties, or whose illness or injury affects their communication. [Full story...]


New VI Bowling Club

A new VI/Para bowls club has been established at Bro Myrddin Indoor Bowls Club, Carmarthen. [Full story...]

Mentoring opportunities for vi children from LOOK UK

LOOK UK, the organisation which provides help, support and services for vision impaired children and their families, is offering a mentoring service to vi children. [Full story...]

Part-time computer courses

Coleg y Cymoedd are running a computer course for people with varying degrees of sight loss. [Full story...]

Guide Dogs Cymru 'Pathway to Participation' project

The Guide Dogs Cymru 'Pathway to Participation' project opens up access to sporting, social/leisure activities and clubs for children and young people with a visual impairment aged between 10-18 years in Wales, supporting them to expand existing interests, explore new opportunities and develop new social networks. The project is supported by Children in Need Cymru. [Full story...]

Opportunity to try vi bowling in Llanelli

Llanelli's Vision Impaired Bowling Club is looking for new members. [Full story...]

Opportunity to help nystagmus research

The University of Southampton is doing research on the support and information available to people with nystagmus, and is asking people with the condition, their families and teachers to complete a short questionnaire. [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire launches ‘Change 100’ scheme for disabled students

Once again, Leonard Cheshire Disability is running its ‘Change 100’ scheme, which offers work placement opportunities with top UK businesses to students with a disability. To date the charity has placed over 250 interns with over 90 employers across the UK and is looking forward to partnering with even more organisations next summer. [Full story...]

The Office for National Statistics are seeking volunteers

The Office for National Statistics are seeking volunteers [Full story...]

Vision impaired tennis in Swansea

Vision Impaired Tennis Sessions are held at Swansea Tennis Centre every Thursday throughout the year, from 12 midday to 1pm. All ages and abilities are welcomed, and equipment can be supplied. There is a charge of £3 per session. [Full story...]

Employment Support at RNC - free places available

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) in Hereford provide employment focussed training, funded through the Department for Work and Pensions, tailored to remove barriers to employment for people with a visual impairment. Places are still available for free employment training. [Full story...]

Opportunity to try para-swimming with South Wales Titans

South Wales Titans is a Competitive Para Swim Club designated for those with a physical or visual impairment, enabling them to compete at a national level and beyond. They have training sessions at Barry Leisure Centre (Tuesdays/Thursdays), Pyle Swimming Pool (Wednesdays) and Western Leisure Centre Cardiff on Sundays. [Full story...]

Scarborough holiday flat for families with a vision impaired child

Do you and your family love the seaside? Would you like an inexpensive break at any time of the year just two minutes from the sea? LOOK, the National Federation of Families with Visually Impaired Children, has a holiday flat in the lovely seaside town of Scarborough, a traditional Victorian town and the largest holiday resort on the North Yorkshire Coast. [Full story...]

Children with nystagmus wanted for research study

A study by the Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit and Research Unit for Nystagmus (RUN), School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University is looking to recruit children aged between 6 months and 5 years to take part in a research study. [Full story...]

RNIB's Connect Project

RNIB Connect is a growing community of blind and partially sighted people and their families, friends, carers and supporters. [Full story...]

Listening Books Groups in Anglesey

Listening Books, the charity which provides audiobooks to some 50,000 people across the UK who find it difficult to read due to an illness, disability, learning or mental health difficulty, runs two reading groups in Anglesey. [Full story...]

'Exploring Music' at RWCMD

Are you interested in music? Exploring Music is a series of classes run at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD)in Cardiff for VI people of any age and ability. All kinds and aspects of music are explored. Classes are free although there is a £5 admin fee per year. [Full story...]


'A new way of making Sense'

Following a review of its role, Sense, the organisation which is known for its support of deafblind people, is introducing a new umbrella term, ‘complex communication needs’, as the best way of introducing who it supports. The phrase puts the focus on Sense’s expertise in communication and puts the person’s needs first. The idea of ‘Connecting differently’ will be used to capture the essence of Sense’s view on life. [Full story...]

VisionUK website launched

VisionUK will be launched in 2018. The new organisation brings together VISION 2020 UK, the UK Vision Strategy and the England Vision Strategy. Preparatory work is underway, and the new organisation's website was launched on World Sight Day. [Full story...]

New look for NHS Direct Wales website

The NHS Direct Website has been given a new look. The site includes a wide range of information such as healthy living advice, symptom checker and an encyclopedia. You can also use the site to find your nearest local services (including eye care). [Full story...]

New animation launched to raise awareness of Alström Syndrome

Alström Syndrome is an ultra rare, recessively inherited genetic disorder, which means that both parents will carry the gene although probably be unaffected themselves. It can affect many aspects of health including vision and hearing. Now Alström Syndrome UK, the organisation which supports families affected by the condition, has produced a short animation to raise awareness. [Full story...]

Young children with sight loss wanted to help research

The DAiSY project (Development and Assessment of Social Interaction for children with visual impairment) is designed to learn more about the social development of vision impaired children, and the project is now looking for 4-7 year olds with visual impairment in Wales and England to help with their research. [Full story...]

Eye tests at home

A recent news item on the BBC website featured an optician who carries out eye tests in people's homes, and raised awareness that anyone who is eligible for an NHS sight test, but cannot get to a high street practice unaccompanied because of a mental or physical disability, is entitled to a domiciliary sight test funded by the NHS. [Full story...]

Sense launch 'Play toolkits' for children

Sense, the organisation for deafblind children and adults, has launched brand new ‘Play Toolkits’ aimed at mainstream play settings and parents of children with sensory impairments and multiple needs. The aim is to make play opportunities accessible and inclusive for all children. [Full story...]

'How I see' - RNIB film dispels the myths

RNIB has produced a short film which aims to dispel some of the misconceptions about how sight loss affects what people can see. [Full story...]

RNIB updates the Sight Loss Data Tool

RNIB has released a new version of its Sight Loss Data Tool, which provides information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss at a local level throughout the UK. The information will be of interest to any organisations responsible for planning services for vision impaired people. [Full story...]

SchoolScreener EZ will detect eye problems amongst children

The opticians SpecSavers has funded the development of vision screening software in order to detect eye problems in children. 'SchoolScreener EZ' was developed after research found that nearly four million children in the UK have never had their eyes tested at school. [Full story...]

The Accessible Friends Network

The Accessible Friends Network (TAFN) is a national independent UK charity providing realtime social networking, computer technical support, training and entertainment via the internet. It is run by and for vision impaired people. It is a user-led voluntary group which uses email, the internet, voice conferencing and other resources to improve the quality of life for V I people and their partners by networking. TAFN provides support, raises funds and organises activities online. [Full story...]


National Lottery to fund development of Wayfindr

The Big Lottery Fund has made an award of £300,000 to Wayfindr, a partnership between the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) and digital product company ustwo. It will be used in an innovation to help vision impaired people navigate indoor environments independently using audio navigation. [Full story...]

Cardiff University School of Optometry wins prestigious award for work on vision and Downs syndrome

Congratulations to Cardiff University’s Down’s Syndrome Vision Research Unit, which has been awarded the UK’s most prestigious academic award – a Queen’s Anniversary Prize – for its pioneering research and treatment of vision problems in children with Down’s syndrome. [Full story...]

Para athlete Julie Thomas selected for Commonwealth Games 2018

Congratulations to vision impaired bowler (and WCB trustee) Julie Thomas from Bridgend who has been selected to represent Wales in next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia. [Full story...]

'My Winter Health Plan' for people with long term conditions

NHS Wales has launched a scheme for older people and those with long term conditions and their carers to help them keep safe and well over the winter period. 'My Winter Health Plan' will share information with healthcare professionals making a home visit about their condition and other useful information. It is hoped that this will allow more people to be seen and treated at home and avoid unnecessary trips to A&E. [Full story...]

RNIB Cymru wins 'Get Creative' funding from Welsh Government

RNIB Cymru has been awarded £19,954 by Welsh Government as part of the Get Creative project, which promotes Welsh in the community and Welsh language technology. [Full story...]

Cardiff University School of Optometry wins award

Congratulations to Cardiff University School of Optometry & Vision Sciences which has been named 'School of the Year' in Cardiff University's 'Celebrating Excellence' awards. [Full story...]

New funding awarded for research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome

Fight for Sight, the UK charity which funds pioneering eye research, has partnered with Thomas Pocklington Trust and Esme’s Umbrella to award a £15,000 grant to fund research into Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS), the condition which causes visual hallucinations. The funding was announced on 16th November - the first ever 'Charles Bonnet Awareness Day'. [Full story...]

‘It makes sense’ – November is Sensory Loss Awareness Month

The ‘It Makes Sense’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the different communication and information needs of the 600,000 people in Wales living with sensory loss. The key messages of the campaign are aimed at the NHS Wales Workforce and also, to remind patients of their rights to accessible communication and information when they need healthcare. [Full story...]

Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness day - 16th November

The first Charles Bonnet Syndrome Awareness Day was held on Thursday 16th November. The condition causes visual hallucinations. [Full story...]

'Rethinking Veterans': New campaign for Remembrance Day 2017

During the annual period of remembrance, Blind Veterans UK launched a campaign asking the public to rethink who they consider to be a veteran, in a bid to reach the 59,000 people living with sight loss who could be eligible for the organisation's support. [Full story...]

Sally Harvey is new Chief Executive of RNIB

RNIB has announced the appointment of Sally Harvey as its new Chief Executive. Ms Harvey has been acting Chief Executive since October 2016. [Full story...]

BBC Wales reports on problem of taxi access refusals

The problems experienced by assistance dog users and wheelchair users when trying to access taxis was highlighted in a report on BBC Wales Today, made with Disability Wales. [Full story...]

Time to talk about Charles Bonnet

The Macular Society has launched a campaign to raise awareness of visual hallucinations caused by sight loss, known as Charles Bonnet Syndrome. They want to make people aware that these hallucinations are a natural experience and not a sign of mental illness, and are encouraging people to talk more about their hallucinations. [Full story...]

Family Fund to help more families in Wales

Family Fund has received an additional £100,000 of funding for grants for families on low incomes raising disabled or seriously ill children in Wales from the Garfield Weston Foundation. [Full story...]

Call to end the ‘stigma’ of albinism

Albinism is a rare genetic condition, which affects about 175 people in Wales. It limits the body's production of melanin (the pigment which gives hair, skin and eyes their colour) and can result in significant vision impairment. People with the condition in Wales claim that "negative portrayals", including in films, has a detrimental impact on the way that they are perceived. [Full story...]

Chief Optometric Adviser to Welsh Government appointed

David O’Sullivan has been appointed as Chief Optometric Adviser to the Welsh Government. [Full story...]

Diabetes Week 2017 - Know diabetes, fight diabetes

Diabetes Week 2017 was 11th to 17th June, and the theme this year was 'Know Diabetes, fight diabetes' where people with the condition were encouraged to find out more about the life-changing complications that could have been avoided or delayed if they'd had the right knowledge and support to manage their diabetes. One of these is sight loss. [Full story...]

New eye department at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital to provide increased capacity

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, which serves people in mid Wales as well as those in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire, has announced the creation of a new Eye Department. This is expected to bring a number of benefits to patients including modern facilities, new equipment and increased capacity, meaning that more patients will be able to be treated each year. [Full story...]

Giant cell arteritis - know the signs

A report on BBC2's programme 'Trust me, I'm a doctor' raised awareness of the condition giant cell arteritis (GCA) which can develop very quickly, and lead to sight loss. [Full story...]

Innovative ophthalmic diagnostic treatment centre opens in Newport

Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health, Wellbeing and Sport in the Welsh Government, has carried out the official opening of an innovative ophthalmic diagnostic treatment centre in Newport. [Full story...]

Pilot project will provide wet AMD treatment closer to home

The Welsh Government has announced that four pilot projects are being set up to provide treatment for people with wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in local communities, where they will be delivered by optometrists and nurses, overseen by an ophthalmologist. The pilot areas are Gwent, Cwm Taf, West Wales and Powys. [Full story...]

Dont get bitten by loan sharks

The Wales Illegal Money Lending unit is working to rid Wales of unlicensed money lenders and they are aware that loan sharks frequently target families which include a disabled child or adult. Borrowing even a small amount from a loan shark could mean paying back thousands of pounds in interest. The unit has set up a 24-hour confidential hotline where people in Wales can report loan sharks in their area, and receive assistance and protection. [Full story...]