Charities join force with blind & partially sighted people to produce a guide for those newly diagnosed with sight loss

25 May 2016 15:43

A group of leading sight loss organisations are today (25/05) launching a trial of a new, free information booklet to help those newly diagnosed with sight loss.

The booklet, Sight Loss: What we needed to know, has been co-produced with 12 people who are living with sight loss and four carers, with the goal of answering the questions, and addressing the concerns, that they felt they had when first coming to terms with their sight loss.

Blind veteran Cedric Hollands

It also offers practical advice about the type of help and support that is out there for those who have lost or are losing their sight.

"I was diagnosed with macular degeneration. It was a trying and frightening time for me. I was not given any information and what I needed was a guide to where to find answers to my questions. If I'd had this booklet at the time, it would have helped me. I hope it helps you to find the support you need."

Co-producer, Isa

Every day 100 people in the UK are told they're losing their sight, many of whom have to manage for years without any help or support. This booklet provides information about the specialist organisations who can provide the necessary practical and emotional support to promote independence and help people with sight loss face the future with confidence.

The information booklet was launched at The Royal College of Ophthalmologists' Annual Congress 2016 at the ICC in Birmingham and is being piloted in Whipps Cross, York and Moorfields hospitals later this year. It is also available on-line now.

Professor Caroline MacEwen, President of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, said: "This information booklet has been written by those who are best qualified to do so - people who have experienced visual loss. It contains information that they collectively agree will be helpful for anyone who is experiencing a new diagnosis of sight loss.

"Currently a comprehensive guide has been lacking and this booklet is much needed and will be appreciated for its supportive and practical advice."

Lara King at Action for Blind event 2016
Lara King, Blind Veterans UK (right), Philippa Simkiss, RNIB (left)

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Blind Veterans UK, Guide Dogs, RNIB, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, VISION 2020 UK and Visionary teamed up to produce Sight Loss: What we needed to know, in collaboration with blind and partially sighted people. The team has been shortlisted for a Vision Pioneer Award 2016 in the category of 'Team of the Year'.

You can download a copy via at
Ophthalmologists and other eye health professionals are encouraged to send their feedback on the booklet toinfo@ukvisionstrategy

Find out how we can help you

Blind veteran Simon Brown holding his medal Did you serve in the Armed Forces or do National Service?

Find out more about the support that we provide to vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Donald & Josie Solway Are you a family member of a vision-impaired veteran?

We know sight loss affects the whole family so we provide support to family members too.

Blind veteran Cedric Hollands Are you working with veterans or people with vision-impairments?

Can you refer vision-impaired veterans to our support and services?