Links – Sight Loss Resources


This page contains a variety of resources for the blind and visually impaired that you may find useful. They are divided into headings, with a clickable contents list below, to help you jump through the page.

The links are primarily UK-based, as that’s where I live. But a lot of the information may be useful wherever you are in the world. There are also a few American and international sites included, which are indicated where appropriate. If you have any links you think I should add here, feel free to contact me.

Note: I am not responsible for the content of any sites listed, so cannot guarantee the accuracy or suitability of the information they contain. I’m just providing the links in good faith. Please do your own research and seek appropriate advice before taking any actions or making any purchases.

Other pages and lists you may find useful include:

Contents

Conditions

Aniridia & Nystagmus are my eye conditions, so I’ve included lots of links for those.

Aniridia

Nystagmus

Other Conditions

  • Sight Advice FAQ – “Answers questions about living with sight loss, eye health or being newly diagnosed with a sight condition. This includes those who are supporting people through their sight loss journey, including parents, partners, carers and friends.” This site is a joint venture by RNIB, Guide Dogs, Visionary, VICTA & Fight For Sight.
  • Keratoconus Self Help And Support Association – “We work to raise awareness of Keratoconus, and provide information and support for people with Keratoconus in the UK. We hold a bi-annual conference for our members and raise money for research.”
  • Macular Society – “National charity for anyone affected by central vision loss. We provide free information and support to improve lives and ensure no one has to face macular disease alone.”
  • Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society (MACS) – “We support individuals born with Microphthalmia (small eyes), Anophthalmia (no eyes) and/or Coloboma (cleft of the eye) and their families in the UK.”
  • RP Fighting Blindness – “We exist to find a treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic disease of the eye which results in the deterioration of vision, and often complete blindness. We provide key information and support services to people with RP, their families, and anyone with an interest in the condition.”
  • UK Support Group for Stargardts and other Juvenile Macular Dystrophies – “This is a support group for anyone with Stargardts or another form of juvenile macular dystrophy in the UK, or family members of someone with a macular dystrophy. It is a place where people can come for help and support and to encourage others.”


Support Organisations

Royal National Institute For The Blind (RNIB)

  • RNIB Website – “We’re here for everyone affected by sight loss. Whether you’re losing your sight or you’re blind or partially sighted, our practical and emotional support can help you face the future with confidence.”
  • RNIB Connect Community – Bringing visually impaired and blind people together to share information and experiences, including Facebook groups and social events.
  • RNIB Connect Radio – National radio station for the visually impaired (formerly Insight Radio).
  • RNIB Helpline – Call this line for support, advice and information.
  • RNIB NB Online – News and information for eye health and sight loss professionals.
  • RNIB Newsagent – News publications in accessible formats (formerly Talking Newspapers).
  • RNIB Overdrive – Borrow books online from the RNIB. Also available as an app, although many find it easier to access the library via the Dolphin EasyReader app. You can also borrow books on Daisy CDs and USB sticks via their postal Talking Books service.
  • RNIB Shop – Products specifically designed for blind and partially sighted people.
  • RNIB Sightline – Directory of services that help blind and partially sighted people.

UK – National

  • Action For Blind People – “Provides practical and emotional advice and support across England to people who are blind or partially sighted and their friends and family.”
  • Blind Veterans UK – “We are here to support anyone who has served in the Armed Forces, or who has done National Service, and who is now living with significant sight loss.”
  • Deafblind UK – “We champion the rights and interests of all people who are deafblind or have a combined sight and hearing loss and deliver quality services to give these individuals autonomy and control over their lives.”
  • Guide Dogs – “We provide individual support that overcomes the emotional and physical challenges faced by people living with sight loss.”
  • National Federation of the Blind UK – “National membership organisation of blind and partially sighted people working and campaigning on behalf of others in the UK with similar difficulties.”
  • Reading Sight – “The one stop shop for anyone with an interest in helping people with sight loss to access reading and reading services.”
  • SeeAbility – “Specialist registered charity enriching the lives of people who have sight loss and other disabilities, including learning and physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, acquired brain injury and life limiting conditions.”
  • Sense – “National charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind or have sensory impairments.”
  • Sight Loss Council – “Sight Loss Councils are groups of volunteers representing the Voice of Blind & Partially Sighted people in their local area and across the UK.”
  • UK Vision Strategy – “Seeks a major transformation in the UK’s eye health, eye care and sight loss services. A determined and united cross-sector approach will make that change a reality.”
  • VI Talk – “Charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) supporting blind and partially sighted people, their families and friends. It is also aimed at anyone who works in the field of visual impairment.”
  • Vision 2020 – “Umbrella organisation which leads collaboration and co-operation between organisations within the UK, which focus on vision impairment and operate on a national, regional or international basis.”
  • Vision UK – “Independent partnership organisation which will work with other organisations in the eye health and sight loss sector for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people, their communities and the general population including those at risk of sight loss.”
  • Visionary – “Membership organisation for local independent charities that support blind and partially sighted people across the UK.  These independent local societies provide practical on the ground services for local people with sight loss.”

UK – London

  • BlindAid – “Has over 175 years of experience of delivering emotional and practical support to blind and visually impaired people living in the 12 inner London Boroughs and the City of London.”
  • Croydon Vision – “We provide information, advice and advocacy and a wide range of services to help those who are blind or partially sighted to live as independent, confident and fulfilled lives as possible. There is much encouragement, much to learn and a lot of fun to be had.”
  • Greater London Fund For The Blind – “Raises vital funds to support a wide range of services – delivered at the local level by our member charities.”
  • London Vision – “Supports blind and partially sighted people who live, work and study in London. Our vision is that blind and partially sighted people in London have increased opportunities to achieve whatever they wish to achieve.”
  • London Visual Impairment Forum – “Brings together organisations working with, and on behalf of, blind and partially sighted people throughout London.”
  • Thomas Pocklington Trust – “We are committed to increasing awareness and understanding of the needs of people with sight loss and to developing and implementing services which meet their needs and improves lives.”

UK – Other Localities

  • Beacon Centre (West Midlands) – “Our mission is to help people with sight loss live fuller and more independent lives by offering them the finest facilities and support.”
  • Birmingham Vision – “Our aim is to ensure that people living with a visual impairment in Birmingham can lead active and fulfilled lives.”
  • Camsight – “Local charity embedded in the community, working with people living with low vision and blindness in Cambridgeshire.”
  • N-Vision – “Local independent charity providing services and support to anyone with reduced vision living in the Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre area regardless of age or means.”
  • Sight For Surrey – “An ambitious charity offering a lifetime of support for people who are blind or partially sighted, deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing.”
  • Support 4 Sight Essex – “Assists people in maintaining their independence and quality of life. Our aim is to support local people throughout Essex to cope positively with their sight loss.”
  • Visibility – “A charity supporting children and adults who are blind or partially sighted in the west of Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway. “
  • Warwickshire Vision Support – “Provides both statutory rehabilitation services and voluntary support services to blind and partially sighted people in Warwickshire.”
  • Wilberforce Trust – “York based charity supporting people with sight and hearing loss.”

USA

  • American Council Of The Blind – “Strives to increase the independence, security, equality of opportunity, and quality of life for all blind and visually impaired people.”
  • American Foundation For The Blind – “The mission is to create a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. We mobilize leaders, advance understanding, and champion impactful policies and practices using research and data.”
  • Lighthouse For The Visually Impaired & Blind – “Our mission is to provide people who are visually impaired and blind with the skills needed to achieve their maximum independence. We have provided residents of Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties with no cost vision rehabilitation since 1983.”
  • National Federation Of The Blind – “The ultimate purpose of the National Federation of the Blind is the complete integration of the blind into society on a basis of equality.”
  • Ophthalmic Edge – “Useful courses for physicians and ophthalmic professionals, plus practical tips and encouraging advice for patients living with vision loss.”
  • San Diego Center For The Blind – “Our mission is to help any adult with blindness or vision impairment to reach their highest level of independence. This is achieved by offering psychological counseling, training and rehabilitation, and community education and outreach programs.”
  • Utah Council Of The Blind – “Membership organization made up primarily of blind and visually impaired individuals who seek to improve the lives of people with various degrees of vision loss. We are a state affiliate of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).”

Other Countries

  • International Agency For The Prevention Of Blindness – The IAPB is an alliance of civil society organisations, corporates and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships. IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.”
  • Noisy Vision (Italy) – “Our mission is building a network of people who want to share their skills, resources, stories and experiences to improve the life of people with visual and/or hearing impairments, and to let others better understand them.”

News & Information

UK

USA

  • Choice Magazine Listening – “A nonprofit organization that provides audio recordings of memorable articles, stories, interviews, essays and poems from outstanding current magazines, completely free of charge, to blind, visually impaired, physically disabled or dyslexic adults.”
  • Low Vision Internet Gateway – “Your starting point to access information on the World Wide Web related to the fields of low vision rehabilitation and blindness.”
  • Newsreel Magazine – “A monthly audio magazine offering three hours of helpful info and inspiration in the voices of its members. Topics include technology, travel tips, books, recipes, personal experiences, sports and more.”
  • Telephone Reader Program App – “Allows qualified patrons who are blind or visually impaired in the Southern California area to sign up for free telephone access to national and local news, advertisements, magazines, Old Time Radio Shows and so much more in both English and Spanish.”

Other Countries

  • Accessible Media Inc. – “Not-for-profit media company that entertains, informs and empowers Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s vision is to establish and support a voice for Canadians with disabilities.”

Facebook Groups

If a group is public, anybody can view its posts, even if they’re not logged into Facebook. If a group is closed, posts can only be viewed by approved group members. For aniridia and nystagmus groups, see the lists at the top of this page.

The above is based on lists by Blind Awareness & Live Accessible, with a few additions of my own.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Access Escape – “London’s first blind and partially sighted accessible escape room.”
  • Clear Voice Enterprises – “A user led, not-for-profit organisation whose core aim is to improve access to literature and information for the print disabled community.”
  • Extant Drama Group – “Britain’s leading professional performing arts company of visually impaired people.  Extant has become an innovation in arts management and creative practice, bringing a unique cultural perspective of visual impairment to broaden employment, training and consultancy through the arts.”
  • Mind’s Eye – “Operates throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, to provide audio description, descriptive tours, touch tours and handling sessions, audio guides and audio brochures for Theatres, Galleries, Museums, Conferences, Film Festivals and other Cultural Institutions.”
  • Museum Access Network for Sensory Impairments in London (MANSIL) – “Established by Ellen Adams, King’s College London. Her research investigates how Humanities scholars might engage with Disability Studies. Access staff from over 20 London-based museums and art galleries have registered interest, in order to share practice, information and ideas.”
  • Official London Theatre Access – “At Society of London Theatre, we are committed to making your theatre experience as accessible as possible. The Access London Theatre brochure is produced four times a year and is available in print, Braille and downloadable MP3 format.”
  • Scene And Sound – “Making arts accessible to all. Providing information about arts organisations for people who are blind or partially sighted; Deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL),  hard of hearing and deafened people; and people with complex communication needs.”
  • Sightlines – Sightlines Audio Description Services has audio-described over a thousand theatre performances, ranging from children’s theatre and pantomimes, musical theatre, through classic and modern drama, to ballet, contemporary dance and opera.”
  • VocalEyes – “Blind and partially sighted people should have the best possible opportunities to experience and enjoy art and heritage.”

Business & Employment

  • Blind In Business – “Helps people who are blind or have partial sight into work. We offer help and support with finding work, the interview process, and obtaining equipment to help you succeed. We also support employers in hiring and working with people with visual impairments.”
  • Clarity – Clarity Employment For Blind People is a registered charity and one of the UK’s foremost social enterprises, employing, training and supporting people with disabilities to create high-quality toiletries, soap and cleaning products.

Children & Families

  • Amber Trust – “Amber’s vision is to give blind and partially sighted children the best possible chance to fulfil their musical aspiration. We believe that visual impairment and other disabilities should not prevent children and young people accessing appropriate musical opportunities.”
  • Blind Children UK – “Blind Children UK makes a difference in children and young people’s lives through family support, rehabilitation, education and access technology.”
  • Blind Mums Connect – “Links blind and partially sighted mums to share information and support one another. We are a rapidly growing national organisation, run by mums for mums.”
  • ClearVision – “UK postal lending library of mainstream children’s books with added braille.”
  • Living Paintings – “Free library of Touch to See books bringing pictures and reading to life for blind children and adults.”
  • Look UK – “Help, support and services for visually impaired children and their parents or carers.”
  • Royal Society For Blind Children (RSBC) – “We provide a range of services in London and across England and Wales for blind and partially sighted children and young people, their families, and the professionals who work alongside them.”
  • Through Scarlett’s Eyes – “Dedicated to supporting parents and families of visually impaired children.”
  • VICTA – “Supports children and young people who are blind or partially sighted and their families across the UK. If you are the parent of a blind or partially sighted child or young person, or you are visually impaired yourself and under the age of 29, then VICTA can help.”
  • Wonder Baby – “Dedicated to helping parents of young children with visual impairments as well as children with multiple disabilities. Here you’ll find a database of articles written by parents who want to share with others what they’ve learned about playing with and teaching a blind child, as well as links to meaningful resources and ways to connect with other families.”.

Education

  • Paths To Literacy – “Online hub for information related to literacy for students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with additional disabilities or deafblindness. It includes original content, as well as links to other sites and resources available on the web.”
  • Positive Eye – “An award-winning training company. We deliver dedicated courses about teaching and supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs. We specialise in training on supporting the needs of children with vision impairment.”
  • New College Worcester – “National residential school and college for young people aged 11 to 19 who are blind or visually impaired.”
  • Queen Alexandra College – “Our original purpose was to provide education for young people who were blind or visually impaired. Today, in addition, we now offer support and guidance for students on the Autistic Spectrum, those with moderate to severe learning difficulties, students with physical disabilities and those with other needs. “
  • Royal National College For The Blind – “Further Education College for those aged 16 plus with visual impairments in the UK.”
  • WESC Foundation – This is the the school for visually impaired children that I went to in the Westcountry, and I’m very grateful for everything they did for me, so I personally recommend them. These days the children they look after often have more complex disabilities as well, but visual impairment is always at the heart of what they do, and the staff are very friendly, specialised and knowledgeable.

Healthcare & Research

  • Moorfields Eye Hospital – “We are a world class centre of excellence for eye health services, research & education.”
  • Moorfields Eye Charity – “We help bring new treatments to patients with eye diseases faster than ever by raising funds for research, education & patient care at Moorfields Eye Hospital & UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.”
  • Friends Of Moorfields – “We raise funds for Moorfields, helping improve patients’ time at the hospital.”
  • UCL Institute of Ophthalmology – “We conduct cutting-edge science, attracting research workers of the highest international caliber.”
  • Fight For Sight – “Our mission is to stop sight loss in its tracks. By funding pioneering eye research, we’re creating a future everyone can see.”
  • Federation Of Manufacturing Opticians – “Our mission is to provide a national platform for optical manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and business service providers to communicate, educate and innovate. FMO plays a key role in educating the public about the importance of looking after their sight.”
  • Sight Care – “Marketing and business support group for independent opticians and optometrists.”

Holidays

  • Seable Holidays – “Your visual impairment no longer means you have to travel accompanied by your family members or carers. You can simply choose a date and book your holiday – we will take care of the rest. You will receive assistance from the time you reach the destination, to the time you depart.”
  • Traveleyes – “We are the world’s first commercial tour operator providing independent travel for people who are blind or partially sighted. Blind travellers can simply choose a holiday then just book, and go! Sighted travellers help by guiding and describing the sights, and in return benefit from a discount of up to 50%.”
  • Vision Hotels – “We have a unique proposition and it all centres around people, community and providing choice in abundance. The Vision Hotels experience can range from a winter break whiling the hours away relaxing by the fire or a summer holiday trekking in the mountains. The choice is yours.”
  • Resources for Travellers With a Vision Impairment – An American site giving a comprehensive list of resources to help visually impaired travellers and their companions with planning travel, understanding your rights, travel tips, etc.

Sport

UK National Sport

  • British Blind Sport – “We help blind and partially sighted people get active and play sport. We encourage adults and children to participate in activities at all levels, from grassroots to the Paralympic Games.”
  • England & Wales Blind Golf – “Provides registered blind people with the opportunity to participate and compete in golf. Blind Golf is played strictly to the Royal & Ancient Rules of Golf with the exception that players are allowed to ground their club in a hazard.  They also require the assistance of a sighted caddie or guide.”
  • Goalball UK – “National governing body for Goalball in the UK. The company’s purpose is to promote and facilitate the playing of Goalball as an amateur sport in all parts of the UK for the purpose of recreation, physical exercise and competition.”
  • Vision Of Adventure – “We are a charity based in the Lake District which offers outdoor activities to visually impaired adults. Activities include rock climbing, caving, tandem cycling, canoeing and triathlon.”

London Sport

  • Aquabats Sports & Social Club – “Mixed ability club meeting in and around London for a variety of sports and social events.”
  • London Sports Club For The Blind – “We aim to promote and provide visually impaired people with the opportunity to participate in sporting, recreational and social activities. This am extends to all blind and partially sighted adults and children regardless of their level of vision. We want all visually impaired people to have opportunities to experience and develop an active sporting and social life.”
  • Metro Blind Sport – “A London based Charity, our aim is to open doors to sport for all vision impaired people, regardless of age or sporting ability. Our aim is to encourage participation and to create opportunities to take part in a wide range of activities.”

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