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Sylw - the bulletin of Wales Council of the Blind.

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Contents.

  1. WCB News
  2. Consultations and Lobbying
  3. Reports and Publications
  4. Access
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  9. Miscellaneous

WCB at the National Eisteddfod 2018

Wales Council of the Blind will be at the Wales National Eisteddfod in Cardiff Bay from 4th to 11th August 2018, located at stand 0423, close to the Norwegian Church. [Full story...]

CCD yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru 2018

Bydd Cyngor Cymru’r Deillion yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru yn Bae Caerdydd o’r 4ydd tan 11eg o Awst 2018, byddwn wedi lleoli ar stondyn 0423, yn agos i’r Eglwys Norwyaidd. [Full story...]

Bookings open for Wales Eyecare Conference 2018

You can now book your place on this year's Wales Eyecare Conference, which will be held on Monday 17th September at Cardiff University School of Optometry and Vision Sciences. [Full story...]

WCB has moved!

Wales Council for the Blind has moved to a new office in Hastings House, Cardiff. [Full story...]

Latest edition of WCB Roundup available

The latest edition of our quarterly magazine Roundup is now available, with a feature on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how it affects charities, and a Perspectif supplement on training and awareness. [Full story...]

Welsh speakers wanted!

WCB is looking for Welsh speakers to volunteer on our stand at the Eisteddfod this summer. [Full story...]

WCB Perspectif launched

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


RNIB Survey on experiences of education

RNIB want to hear from blind and partially sighted children and young people, or parents, about your recent experiences of education – what support you did or didn’t receive, what helped and what hindered you. [Full story...]

Leonard Cheshire Disability campaigns for better train travel

Leonard Cheshire Disability has launched a campaign to improve train transport for disabled people. This follows research conducted by the charity which showed that more than a third of disabled people of working age have experienced problems using trains in the last year as a result of their disability. [Full story...]

Welsh Government Consultations

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

Views of families & young people affected by CVI wanted

The University of Bristol wants to speak with children and young people with cerebral visual impairment (CVI) and their families (parents/carers/siblings) about their experiences and daily life for an important research study. [Full story...]

'Take the Lead' campaign aims to reduce attacks on guide dogs

Dog owners are being urged to keep their animals on the lead, following news that an average of 12 guide dogs are attacked each month, with nearly 60% of the aggressor dogs being off the lead. [Full story...]


VI children more likely to develop mental health problems

Research presented at a recent conference at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health suggests that children aged between eight and 11 years old who live with a vision impairment are three times more likely to develop a mental health problem than children with no vision impairment. [Full story...]

'Unpacking Diversity' - report looks at barriers to standing as candidate for Welsh Assembly

As part of a drive to make the Welsh Assembly Government more representative of the community it serves, Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre has produced a report: 'Unpacking diversity: Barriers and incentives to standing for election to the National Assembly for Wales'. [Full story...]

Holidays, play & leisure guide for parents of disabled children

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

'Matching income with needs' - New research from TPT

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced new research on the implications of living on a low income for people with a vision impairment in the UK. It has been conducted in the light of changes to disability benefits and cuts to services. [Full story...]

New resource - 'Understanding Albinism'

The Albinism Fellowship has produced a new information resource for anyone affected by the condition and professionals working with them. [Full story...]

Housing and disabled people: Wales's hidden crisis

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published the results of its enquiry into housing and disabled people. They found that there is a significant shortage of accessible homes and that many disabled people are frustrated by the housing system. For people with sensory loss, obtaining information in an accessible format was highlighted as a major issue. [Full story...]

Personal Independence Payment - a guide to making a claim

Disability Rights UK has updated its guide to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the benefit which replaces disability living allowance for people between the ages of 16 and 64. [Full story...]

Disability Wales reports on access to taxis

Disability Wales has published the results of its recent survey on the problems facing disabled people in Wales who want to access taxis and private hire vehicles. 64% of those who responded to the online survey stated they had experienced problems. [Full story...]

Sight Loss, Home and the Built Environment

The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), a leading ‘knowledge hub’ on specialist housing, has published a series of resources related to housing and sight loss. The information has been provided in association with the Thomas Pocklington Trust. [Full story...]

New guide for higher education professionals

'Supporting the achievement of learners with vision impairment in Higher Education' is new guide produced by the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR), University of Birmingham with support from the RNIB, the Thomas Pocklington Trust and the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP). [Full story...]

New lighting guide from Thomas Pocklington Trust

The Thomas Pocklington Trust has produced a revised and updated version of its guide to lighting for vision impaired people. 'Lighting in and around the home: A guide to better lighting for people with sight loss' takes into account advances in light sources, mainly Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), since the previous edition, and looks at how new technology can help to improve lighting. [Full story...]

Accessing Public Services Toolkit

Cerebra, the organisation for families where a child has a brain condition, has produced an 'Accessing Public Services Toolkit', which aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of health, social care and education support services. [Full story...]

Public Health Wales publishes Annual Equality Report

Public Health Wales has published its Annual Equality Report for 2016-2017. It details the work that the organisation has done relating to equality during that time, as well as looking at some of the health inequities that have been addressed. [Full story...]

Review of Eye Health Week 2017 published

A summary of the key activities and outcomes of last year's National Eye Health Week has been published. It was the most successful event to date, with 3.8 million people saying that what they saw, read or heard during the event had inspired them to book an eye test for themselves or a loved one. [Full story...]

Registering as sight impaired

The Macular Society has produced a leaflet which summarises the benefits of registering as sight impaired or severely sight impaired. [Full story...]

Inaccessible gym equipment is a barrier to fitness for vi people

A new report from the Thomas Pocklington Trust and consumer research charity RICA has looked at the accessibility of equipment in gyms, and concluded that the inaccessibility of machines such as treadmills and cross-trainers is preventing people with sight loss from getting the benefits of exercise. [Full story...]

NICE issues new clinical guidance for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued revised guidance on the diagnosis and management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), following a consultation exercise conducted during 2017. The guidance has been welcomed by the Macular Society, as it will allow the condition to be treated at an earlier stage. [Full story...]

Report recommends new model of care for Wales

The expert panel which was set up to undertake a review of health and social care in Wales has produced its final report. It recommends new models of care, with services organised around the individual and their family, as close to home as possible. [Full story...]

New publication: Nystagmus and Driving

Nystagmus Network has produced a new publication which tackles a subject of major concern to people with the condition. 'Nystagmus and Driving' addresses the issues, answers your questions and points to free and concessionary alternatives to driving. [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...]

'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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


RSS news reader for people with macular degeneration launched

A news feed for people with macular disease has been developed by Royal Holloway, University of London, to enable them to keep up with the news. It is designed to support the use of reading with the ‘eccentric viewing’ technique, whereby the individual holds their gaze slightly away from the text that scrolls from right-to-left like a news ticker. [Full story...]

Electronic Programme Guides to be made more accessible

OfCom, the UK's communications regulator, has announced changes to TV broadcasters' on screen guides which should make them more accessible to people with vision impairments. [Full story...]

RNIB launch new bilingual personal transcription service

RNIB's Personal Transcription Portal can take your printed material (books, letters etc.) and convert it into your preferred accessible format in English or Welsh. [Full story...]

Gardening tips for people with sight loss

If the arrival of warmer weather has made you want to get out into the garden, Thrive's 'Carry on Gardening' website has lots of tips and advice on gardening when you have sight loss. [Full story...]

Culverhouse Cross Shopper service

A community bus service from Barry or Wenvoe to Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff. Shop at Marks and Spencer, TK Maxx, Tesco and Aldi. Drivers will carry your shopping into your house. Door to door service. [Full story...]

MEPs vote to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty

Members of the European Parliament have voted to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty, which will oblige EU countries to allow accessible books – such as those in Braille – to be made available to authorised organisations without permission from the rights-holders. [Full story...]

Hints and tips for people with sight loss

Several useful hints and tips for people with sight loss have been published recently. [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...]

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...]

'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...]


North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for August

Vision Support's Mobile Information Unit will be out and about in North Wales during August, 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...]

Macular Society Professional Conference 2018

The Macular Society's annual conference for professionals working in the eye care sector will be held on Tuesday 16th October at Aston University, Birmingham. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network Open Day 2018

This year's Nystagmus Network Open Day will be held on Saturday 29th September in Birmingham. It is an opportunity to find out the latest research news, take part in activities and workshops, and meet people affected by the condition. [Full story...]

Sight Loss Information Sessions for Professionals in Powys

RNIB are running free sight loss information mornings in Powys for professionals. The sessions are aimed at professionals in Powys working in non-sight loss specific roles who would like to receive up to date information on local and national sight loss services with a view to increasing awareness of sight loss and strengthening links between services. [Full story...]

Living with Sight Loss courses in Welshpool and Brecon

This autumn, RNIB is running free, 2 day information courses in Welshpool (26th September and 3rd October) and Brecon (24th and 31st October). [Full story...]

North Wales Mobile Information Unit Schedule for July

Vision Support's Mobile Information Unit will be out and about in North Wales during July, 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...]

Insport Event in Cardiff on 7th/8th September

Disability Sport Wales is organising an Insport event in Cardiff, giving people with disabilities the chance to try a range of accessible sports. [Full story...]

Bookings open for VICTA's Early Years Weekend 2018

VICTA's Early Years Weekend for the families of babies and toddlers aged 0 to 4 years with sight loss will be held on Saturday 27 October to Sunday 28 October 2018 at New College Worcester, and bookings are now being taken. [Full story...]

Living with Sight Loss course in Llandrindod Wells

RNIB is running a free, 2 day information course in Llandrindod Wells on Wednesdays 18th and 25th July 2018 from 10.30am – 3.30pm. [Full story...]

Ceredigion Disability Forum meetings

Ceredigion Disability Forum has arranged a series of meetings for disabled people in the county, and support workers, carers or representatives working with them. [Full story...]

North Wales Social Groups

Vision Support organises five social groups in North Wales. [Full story...]

LOOK forum for young people with sight loss

LOOK invites people with sight loss 14 years old and up to their Hereford Youth Forum. [Full story...]


Research could see the end of eye injections for wet AMD patients

Eye research charity Fight for Sight has announced that it will fund a project which could lead to the end of the need for eye injections for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). [Full story...]

VICTA/RNIB Grant for Apple iPad Air

RNIB and VICTA are offering a grant to young people with a vision impairment to enable them to study independently. If you are aged between 11 and 25 years and a UK resident, you may be eligible for an Apple iPad Air 2 and case. [Full story...]

UK Government announces new Tech Fund for employers of disabled people

The Department of Work and Pensions has launched a new 'Tech Fund' as part of its Access to Work (ATW) scheme. The fund will offer savings on the cost of assistive technology to employers. [Full story...]

Stem cell treatment restores sight of AMD patients

The first patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to receive a new treatment derived from stem cells have regained enough vision to be able to read, in what has been described as 'a major milestone in the London Project to Cure Blindness', which was funded by the Macular Society. [Full story...]

'Soundscape' app to open up towns & cities to people with sight loss

Microsoft have launched Soundscape, an app that makes it easier for people with sight loss to explore our towns and cities. The App is a result of a collaboration between Guide Dogs and Microsoft. People with sight loss were at the heart of the development of the technology, influencing its design and testing the product. [Full story...]

Clinical trial to test a new type of therapy to treat retinitis pigmentosa.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency has accepted an application from GenSight to run the first clinical trial in the UK to test a new type of therapy with the potential to treat all forms of retinitis pigmentosa. [Full story...]

Best apps for vision impaired people

The Macular Society has produced a list of smartphone apps which can help vision impaired people to be more independent. Most of them are available free of charge. [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...]


Applications open for this year's Stelios Award

Leonard Cheshire Disability and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou have launched this year's Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs in the UK. The award recognises the exceptional spirit and business ability of disabled entrepreneurs. [Full story...]

Musicians Workshop at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) is running a three day workshop for people of all ages with a vision impairment who would like to develop their musical skills, as part of their series of Summer Schools. [Full story...]

Family social and support group in Bridgend

Anita Davies, the parent of a child with sight loss who also has sight loss herself, is looking to set up a local family social and support group in Bridgend, in partnership with a qualified teacher of vision impaired children. [Full story...]

Alström Syndrome UK 's Big Activity Challenge

Alström Syndrome UK (ASUK) is offering adults with the condition (aged 18 years and over) funding to try a new activity and then write about the experience. [Full story...]

Share your glaucoma story

The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is asking people with the condition to share their story in an online book. The book will be used to help others with glaucoma, raise awareness, and also raise funds. [Full story...]

Macular Society Support Group - Llandrindod Wells

On the 26th June 2018, the Macular Society hosted their first Support Group meeting in Llandrindod Wells [Full story...]

Research participants wanted for Neurological Vision Loss Database

Researchers at Cardiff University are looking for potential research participants for studies of neurological vision loss (NVL). [Full story...]

Active Inclusion – VI Volunteer Mentoring Project

Vision Support are currently working on an ‘Active Inclusion’ project aiming to support people over the age of 25 who live in Conwy or Denbighshire and are long-term unemployed or economically active. The “VI Volunteer Mentoring Project” will provide training and support to individuals over a period of ten weeks in order to increase confidence and skills related to employability. [Full story...]

Smart devices survey

The University of Manchester wants your views on smart devices. [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...]

Volunteer drivers needed

The Royal National Institute for the Blind are seeking volunteer drivers in the Swansea/Neath area. [Full story...]

'Can Do' volunteering scheme for young people with disabilities

Leonard Cheshire Disability's 'Can Do' scheme offers disabled people aged 16 to 35 years the opportunity to volunteer in their community. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


A helping hand with taxes from RNIB

Did you know that RNIB has a tax team that supports blind and partially sighted people with tax, tax credits and HMRC issues across the UK? The team, based in Liverpool, is supported by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). [Full story...]

New film released for Macular Week

Macular Week 2018 has now finished. As part of the event, the Macular Society released a short film which showed the impact that the disease has had over five years for a young mother. [Full story...]

New technical support service from The Macular Society

The Macular Society has launched a new technical support service, to help people affected by macular disease to get the most out of gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. [Full story...]

Macular Society launches free on-line training for professionals

The Macular Society has launched the first of a series of free on-line training modules which will give healthcare professionals a greater understanding of central vision loss. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Network launches new information and support line

The Nystagmus Network can now offer information and support over the phone. [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...]

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...]

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...]


WCVA Award for RNIB Cymru volunteer

Congratulations to Fay Jones from Holyhead, who was a winner in Wales Council for Voluntary Action's Volunteer of the Year Awards for her 'exceptional voluntary contribution' to helping vision impaired people in North Wales. [Full story...]

Welsh successes at UK VI Bowling Championships

Wales hosted the UK VI Bowling Championship at Llandrindod Wells recently, and finished as runners up to England. There were five medals for the Welsh team. [Full story...]

MBE for vision impaired skier

Congratulations to Vision impaired paralympic skier Menna Fitzpatrick, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. [Full story...]

Nystagmus Awareness Day 2018

Nystagmus Awareness Day has moved to a new date - 20th June 2018, with 18th-24th June being designated 'Wobbly Week'. This year, the theme is 'nystagmus in the open', and people with the condition are being asked to share their stories. [Full story...]

Diabetes Week 2018 - Talk about diabetes

Diabetes Week 2018 started on 11th June, and this year, Diabetes UK encouraged people to discuss the condition via their website, or using #TalkAboutDiabetes. [Full story...]

National Glaucoma Awareness Week puts the focus on dry eye

National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2018 is 4th to 10th June, and this year, the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is using the event to raise awareness of dry eye syndrome, which affects 50% to 60% of people with glaucoma. [Full story...]

NHS Wales communications still not accessible to vision impaired people

Although the Welsh Government introduced a requirement for the NHS to provide accessible communications for people with sensory loss in 2013, RNIB Cymru say that this remains a problem for people with sight loss. [Full story...]

Squint can be a symptom of eye cancer in children

For World Retinoblastoma Week 2018, CHECT UK is warning parents that a squint or lazy eye can be a symptom of an aggressive eye cancer in children. This is the second most common symptom after a white glow in the child's eye. [Full story...]

Could you help research into albinism and macular degeneration?

If you have albinism and are aged over 60 years, you may be able to help the vision research team at 'Gift of Sight', which is managed by the University of Southampton. [Full story...]

RP Fighting Blindness to become Retina UK

RP Fighting Blindness, the organisation for people with retinitis pigmentosa, is to change its name to Retina UK. The new name does not involve any change to the charity's remit: funding medical research into inherited retinal dystrophies and supporting those affected. [Full story...]

Macular Society warns of delays to eye treatment at at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

Delays to vital eye treatment at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which serves nearly half a million people in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid-Wales, are risking the sight of patients, the Macular Society has warned. [Full story...]

Commonwealth Bronze medal for Welsh VI bowlers

Many congratulations to Julie Thomas (who is a WCB Trustee), Gilbert Miles, John Wilson and John Byron who won bronze in the lawn bowls mixed B2/B3 pairs at the Commonwealth Games. [Full story...]

Personal story of sight loss and Charles Bonnet Syndrome featured on BBC programme

BBC TV's 'Victoria Derbyshire' programme has produced a feature on a young woman's experience of losing her sight, and experience of visual hallucinations. [Full story...]

'Access to Work' funding increased

The maximum amount disabled people can claim to help them access employment is set to increase to £57,000 a year, which represents a £15,000 - or 38% - rise from the current cap on Access to Work funding. [Full story...]

Driving when you have cataracts: new guidance from DVLA

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued new guidance for drivers who have cataracts. Car and motorcycle drivers now only need to tell the DVLA about their cataract if they do not meet the relevant visual standards for driving. [Full story...]

Volunteers wanted in Bridgend

BridgeVis are seeking volunteers to help with their monthly coffee morning. [Full story...]

RNIB - The future of service delivery

There's an article about changes to the way that RNIB delivers services on their website. This will be based around twelve networks, grouped into four areas. One of these areas will cover Wales, South West England and the West Midlands. [Full story...]

New funding for research into nystagmus announced

Fight for Sight and Nystagmus Network have announced two funding awards for research into this eye condition. [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]