November Newsletter No. 342

Nicola Stanley-Dickinson, the National Involvement Engagement Officer at the RNIB

Nicola Stanley-Dickinson works with RNIB’s Insight and Customer Voice Team.  Her role is to reach out to blind and partially sighted people to encourage them to share their experience of living with sight loss to help shape our work.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People are driving long term change to build a society where people with sight loss can participate equally.  To be able to do that, they must first listen to blind and partially sighted people to understand where to focus its efforts.  They are keen to listen to a wide range of people regardless of their age, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or geographic location.

There are monthly discussion groups and quarterly surveys that people can get involved with.  There is always a topic for the discussion, and this changes every three months. The survey is over the telephone.  People will receive a call from one of their advisors, who will ask the questions and record the customers responses.

It is for anyone aged 18 or over

Libraries can help by promoting discussion groups and surveys so people can decide if they want to participate.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected].  If any of your customers may benefit from support at RNIB, please encourage them to call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999


Mixmups series for children with a visually impaired character

Mixmups follows three friends – Pockets, Giggles and Spin – who live in a helter-skelter house in Mixington Valley, which Rebecca says was inspired by Great Yarmouth. Pockets is visually impaired and uses a guide dog called Yapette. She’s called Pockets because when Rebecca started losing her own vision she realised “you have to know where stuff is”.

Full details:

Extending diabetic eye screening to two years could risk sight loss, study finds

Extending eye screening for diabetic people from every year to every two years could heighten the risk of blindness, researchers have said. They also suggest the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) could help the NHS keep up with demand. Eye problems – known as diabetic retinopathy – are a complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, caused by high blood sugars damaging the back of the eye.

Early intervention is vital to ensure there is no sight loss. Since 2003, diabetics aged 12 or over in England have been invited for eye screening. In October the guidance was updated, meaning those with no sign of diabetic retinopathy for two consecutive tests will be invited back every two years, while those at a higher risk will be screened more regularly. However, a team led by researchers from Moorfields Eye Hospital said it is “not clear what clinical and other impacts this change might have”.

Full details:

Be My Eyes App

The app enables visually impaired people to connect with sighted volunteers and seek assistance in completing daily tasks. It establishes a video call connection between the visually impaired person and sighted volunteer with the press of a button.

As soon as a user login to the app(Android / iPhone), a button appears on the main screen which connects a user to the first volunteer. Thereafter, if the user needs visual assistance, he simply needs to press that button. This app connects user and volunteer who speak the same language. The sighted volunteer will tell the details of everything which user shows through a video call. The app calls random volunteers by considering time-zone and language so hesitate before calling someone.

Be My Eyes has a huge network of volunteers so, most calls are answered within 45 seconds, 24 hours a day.

Online optical services make eye care more accessible in the UK

Eye examinations, prescription eyewear ordered online and remote consultations for urgent care and monitoring are all available online in the UK. Full details at the link below:

Disabled Poets Prize

Entries are accepted from Deaf, deaf and hard-of-hearing people, blind and visually impaired people, people with mobility and physical impairments, people with chronic illnesses and long-term health conditions, people with mental health conditions or experience of mental distress and neurodivergent people and people with cognitive impairments and learning disabilities.

Further info about the Disabled Poets Prize at:

RNIB campaign answers common questions about sight loss

A Day in the life of someone visually impaired

Pringles sets its sights on groundbreaking tech that helps people with sight loss

NaviLens technology is being added to the iconic cans of the Kellogg’s-owned brand to make them more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.