November Newsletter 298.
Groundbreaking stem cell research could restore sight to people with macular diseases
Eye research charity Fight for Sight has announced funding for a ground-breaking stem cell research study which could reverse sight loss for people with macular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and juvenile macular dystrophies. A team at King’s College London, led by Professor Rachael Pearson, are using mini retinas (retinal organoids), which are grown from stem cellsin the lab, to develop patches that could recreate a functioning macula. The macula is a small region within the retina at the back of the eye and contains lots of light-sensitive cells called cone photoreceptors. These patches could then be transplanted into the retinas of people with macular disease, to grow and restore macula function.
Support for people with sight loss issues in the Western Isles Scotland
Living with Sight Loss’ is a programme being run by the charity RNIB Scotland over four Thursdays starting on November 26 until December 17. All sessions will take place from 10.30-11.30am.
“If you’re living with sight loss in the Western Isles, this course can help provide the practical and emotional support you need to face the future with confidence,” says Richard Craig, RNIB confidence building co-ordinator.
‘Living with Sight Loss’ offers a combination of facilitated online sessions and talks about what help and support is available and how it can be accessed.
Northern Ireland: Young people with sight loss to be supported by new RNIB project
RNIB and partner charity Guide Dogs NI have been awarded £332,848 through the National Lottery Community Fund for the ‘Our Futures’ project. Over the next four years the project will support young people aged eight to 25 through key transition stages of their lives and encourage them to advocate for improvements in local services.
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Letters from Santa are available in accessible formats
To make sure that every child can read a reply from Santa, the Royal National Institute of Blind (RNIB) will make sure his letters are available in accessible formats including braille, audio and large print!
Sight loss charities publish guidance for local authorities and e-scooter operators
A number of sight loss charities, including the Thomas Pocklington Trust, a UK charity for blind and partially sighted people (TPT), have produced guidance for both local authorities considering hosting e-scooter trials and e-scooter operators.
Advanced assistive technology device to support 2m people in the UK with sight loss
eSight has announced that its newest vision enhancement technology, eSight 4, is now available in the UK. eSight 4 works by combining a best-match camera and lens technology with advanced sensors and proprietary algorithms to maximise the quality of information sent to the brain, which, in turn, augments sight.