As part of the health board’s work to develop the awareness and understanding of the different communication and information needs of people with sensory loss, please see below some information on new sight testing for children, the promotion of eye health during National Eye Health Week, some advice about working with those with a sensory loss (and other disabilities), and an opportunity to become a trustee for the Cardiff Institute for the Blind.
A B See is a new campaign launched by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) which aims to help children reach their full potential through regular sight testing.
This follows recent research by the AOP which found that three quarters of optometrists had seen a child, in the past year, with a condition that could have been treated more successfully had it been identified earlier. Inconsistency and lack of understanding of school vision screening was also a reoccurring theme.
Sight tests are free for children aged 16 and under, and for those aged 16 to 18 who are in full time education. More information about the 'A B See' campaign, including advice on children's eye health, common myths about children's vision and other resources is available here.
The BBC News also reported on the campaign, and included some personal stories.
This year's National Eye Health Week (NEHW) will take place from 24 to 30 September 2018, promoting the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all.
The Vision Matters website will have information about the event, and electronic resources will be available from 31 August.
Wales Council of the Blind will also provide more information as it becomes available. If you are planning events as part of your sensory loss work to promote eye health during the week, let me know and I will arrange to publicise them for you via the Wales Council of the Blind newsletter and Twitter. I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Amy Kavanagh, a vision impaired activist and campaigner who has ocular albinism, has launched the #JustAskDontGrab campaign to help change the way people interact with those with disabilities.
Although people with sight loss (and other disabilities) sometimes need and appreciate help from members of the public, this is not always given in the most appropriate way, with the disabled person being grabbed or pulled without warning. The campaign gives advice on the best way of offering assistance, encapsulated in the golden rule - 'Just ask'.
To find out more about the campaign, visit Dr Kavanagh's website, or follow #JustAskDontGrab on twitter.
British Blind Sport (BBS) is holding a 'Have a Go' day in Cardiff on Saturday 29 September. This free event offers vision impaired children (aged 5 years and over) and adults the chance to try a range of sports including judo, football and tennis.
To find out more and book your place, visit the BBS website.
Cardiff Institute for the Blind (CIB), an organisation the health board works with, is seeking new trustees with a background in one or more of the following areas: commercial business set-up / management, income generation and / or fundraising, charity and / or corporate governance, safeguarding and information governance. More information is available here.