Here, we’ve collated some useful resources and information on activities and help for people with disabilities.
@Home Healthcare is a home-based service providing eye examinations, low vision services, and care home visits across South Wales to those who are unable to make it out to see an optician. The handy eligibility checker will establish whether you are eligible for a free home visit and help with the cost of glasses. Contact them on 0333 335 0068.
ABLEIZE is an online disability directory of UK needs and services With 10,000,000 unique hits and counting, it’s the UK’s most popular disability directory. Run by disabled people for disabled people, it includes access, news, recreation and sports, arts and education, and information on specific disabilities.
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime. You should contact Action Fraud and report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cyber crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can call them on 0300 123 2040 (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm). You can contact them by textphone if you are deaf or hard of hearing on 0300 123 2050. You can report an incident online 24 hours a day by clicking here
Age Connects Wales is a social enterprise made up of six local, independent Age Connects organisations with over 40 years’ experience supporting older people and their carers in Wales. Together, our member organisations support around 45,000 clients within 11 of the 22 local authority areas in Wales. Contact them on 029 2068 3600 or email on [email protected]
Age Cymru is the national charity for older people in Wales providing confidential impartial, simple information and advice on a variety of areas ranging from money matters to health and wellbeing. Age Cymru also provides practical services to help people stay independent at home, tackle isolation and sustain good health. To find out more about how Age Cymru may be able to help call 08000 223 444
Blind Veterans UK supports anyone who has served in the Armed Forces, or who has done National Service, and who is now living with significant sight loss. It helps blind ex-Service men and women lead independent and fulfilling lives by supporting them with its in-depth expertise, experience and full range of services. It gives veterans much-needed support to adjust to sight loss, overcome the challenges of blindness and enjoy daily life.
Blue Badge Scheme helps those with severe mobility problems who have difficulty using public transport to park close to where they need to go. Badges are awarded to individuals for use in vehicles. In Wales, there is no charge for a Blue Badge. You can apply for or renew a Blue Badge here
Cardiff Community Transport Ring & Ride is a dedicated service for older and disabled residents in Cardiff. The buses will take you anywhere in Cardiff between 9.30am and 4.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am to 3.30pm on Friday – to your doctor’s surgery, to see friends of go shopping (anywhere other than NHS hospitals as the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust will do this free of charge). To find out how to register for services, or if you have any questions, please phone on 029 2049 0335.
Cardiff Library Service has launched an extension to their Click and Collect service, which may be useful for those of you who like talking books from the library. As part of the new Cardiff Library Service Click and Collect Library Service, home delivery is available for housebound customers, and those shielding or self-isolating who can’t get to a hub for collection. Call the library line on 029 2087 1071, option 2 for information. You can look at the library catalogue on www.cardiff.gov.uk/libraries
Care and Repair Cymru helps older people in Wales live independently in their own homes delivering practical help to create safe, warm and accessible homes. This help can range from delivering major modifications for people most in need, to offering advice and recommendations to people who need reliable professionals to carry out work. Its Managing Better Project (a partnership between Care and Repair, RNIB Cymru, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, Stroke Association Cymru and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru) helps to reduce easily preventable falls and poor health, increasing people’s personal safety, confidence, independence and well-being at home. Call 0300 111 3333 or email [email protected]
Dewis Cymru is THE place to go if you want information or advice about your well-being – or want to know how you can help somebody else.
ELITE Supported Employment is a registered charity empowering people with disabilities or those at a disadvantage across South, Mid and West Wales. ELITE supports hundreds of people every year with vocational opportunities, training and employment through to independence. We help people with disabilities and disadvantages get jobs. We believe that anyone can work, irrespective of their disability, given the right training and support.
Enhanced Vision has an extensive line of low vision aids that have helped thousands of people regain their visual independence by providing the ability to read, write, see loved ones, or enjoy the outdoors. Enhanced Vision has developed leading assistive technology to create a full line of superior, easy-to-use low vision aids at affordable prices.
Equality Act 2010 – resources explain that you are disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative affect on your ability to do normal daily activities. There are special rules about recurring or fluctuating conditions, such as arthritis. You can find more information at Gov.uk.
Esme’s Umbrella is a campaign group working towards a greater awareness of Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). There is a CBS helpline – calls are answered by the professional Eye Health Team at the RNIB in conjunction with Esme’s Umbrella. The helpline number is 020 7391 3299.
Fix the Web is a website that allows you to report problems with accessibility, or specific failures of websites to accommodate your needs. You can report problems in less than a minute. One of their thousand-strong team of volunteers will then follow up with the website owner and ask them to resolve the issue.
Google Accessibility, previously known as Accessible Google, is the hub of Google’s commitment to making the internet accessible to everyone. It includes a collection of tools and resources for disabled users, education and advice for developers looking to build accessible products, and information about Google’s own accessibility research initiatives.
Help for hidden disabilities – the hidden disabilities lanyard is also called the “sunflower lanyard” because of its appearance (a strip of green with a pattern of yellow sunflowers). It indicates that an individual may need additional assistance or support. The scheme is recognised by many retailers and travel providers across the UK. The initiative is supported by RNIB and other charities including Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society and Action on Hearing Loss. You should be able to get a free sunflower lanyard from the customer services desk at Tesco and Sainsburys. For more information about the sunflower lanyard (including where it is recognised in your area) click here.
Home Fire Safety Check is a free initiative run by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that every home has been checked and has a smoke alarm. Home visits are not available at the moment. A Home Safety Practitioner can contact you by telephone email or text to carry out an assessment. Ken Ralph from South Wales Fire and Rescue said: “The scheme allows you to have expert advice from your local fire station. It’s all free! All you need is a pair of lungs to qualify.” For more information call 0800 3281 830
Humanware For over 30 years, HumanWare’s inspirational vision has resulted in a range of highly intuitive and intelligent solutions that empower people who are blind or with low vision by giving them the independence to participate effectively within a sighted world. Contact Humanware on 01933 415800 for information. Please tell them that Sight Life (Cardiff Institute for the Blind) introduced you to them.
Hynt is a new national access scheme that works with theatres and arts centres in Wales to make sure there is a consistent offer available for visitors with an impairment or specific access requirement, and their Carers or Personal Assistants. The Arts Council for Wales has decided that Hynt cards no longer need to have an expiry date. You don’t need to do anything as venues that accept the Hynt cards know about the change and will now accept cards even if the expiry date on them has now passed.
Independent Age is an organisation which matches older people with volunteers to have a chat either face to face or over the telephone – proving it’s never too late to make a new friend. Call them on 0800 319 6789.
JobSense is a Welsh European funded project, working with individuals with sensory impairment who are over 25, economically inactive or long term unemployed located in Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan, Newport, Monmouthshire and South Powys. In Cardiff, Elite’s employment advisers work closely with Sight Life and RNIB to support people with visual impairment holistically. The project aims to progress an Individual’s skills and confidence towards employment; this can include travel training, computer skills, budgeting, there is also a Certificated unit on ‘Safe Practice during Covid 19’, and on ‘Applying for a Job’. The advisers try to make courses fun, and they are useful for building confidence as well. They work in groups and individually to meet people’s individual needs, to gain more confidence and skills to enable them to improve their lives, and to start looking for opportunities such as volunteering, placements, and ultimately a job if appropriate to that person. A lot of work has also been around reducing social isolation during this time. If anyone is interested in the programme, or may benefit from this project then an adviser will be happy to to have an informal chat in the first instance.
Low Vision Service Wales helps you make the most of your sight by providing specialist visual aids, magnifiers, lamps and advice, free of charge, to those who struggle to see clearly when using prescribed glasses or contact lenses. Accredited Low Vision opticians provide this free NHS service in your community. For more information call 01267 248793
Macular Society supports people with Macular disease, the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK. It produces a quarterly magazine called Sideview. For Macular Society information on macular disease click here. For advice and information call 0300 3030 111.
Meals on Wheels Cardiff delivers hot, nutritious meals to customers across the city. You can now self-refer to the service or be referred by family, friends, and neighbours without the need to contact Social Services. This affordable service caters for people of all ages and you can order meals as a one-off, temporarily, or for often as you would like them.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service can offer Safe and Well Visits, which include home fire safety checks and other safety messages that may be relevant to the people living in the property. The five main additional topics will cover smoking cessation, home security, falls prevention, scamming awareness and tackling loneliness and isolation. If you would like some more advice call them on 0800 169 1234 to talk about the possibility of a Safe and Well Visit by Fire and Rescue Service personnel. Alternatively complete the online Request a Safe and Well Visit form. If you have a defective alarm which was installed by the Fire and Rescue Service, please contact 0800 169 1234 for a replacement or email [email protected].
nPower’s Health Through Warmth offers help to people who have long term illnesses and are finding it hard to fully fund heating systems/repairs and insulation in their homes. Any help offered will depend on your circumstances. Health Through Warmth is a scheme run by nPower, but you don’t need to be an nPower customer to apply for help. You can contact nPower to find out if you qualify for help. Call 0800 022 220 (select the energy efficiency option) or email [email protected]
Nest the Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest scheme is working to make Welsh homes warmer and more energy-efficient places to live. You could qualify for a free replacement boiler, new central heating system or other energy efficiency home improvements if you own or privately rent your home, you or someone you live with receives a means tested benefit. Nest also provides advice on saving energy, energy tariffs and benefit entitlement to help reduce the cost of energy bills. Contact Nest on Freephone 0808 808 2244 or visit nest.gov.wales for more information.
Non-Emergency Patient Transport Service (NEPTS) takes patients from across Wales who are unable, for medical reasons, to make their own way to and from their medical appointments at clinics, hospitals and day centres. For more information call 0300 123 2303.
Optelec has a simple mission: “Improving the quality of life of visually impaired and dyslexic people – reaching out with simple and effective solutions.” Its aim is to help anyone with a sight difficulty, whether they are totally blind or have a degree of vision impairment or dyslexia, by offering simple to use and intuitive solutions.
Orcam Orcam’s mission is to harness the power of artificial vision by incorporating pioneering technology into a wearable platform which improves the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, and have reading difficulties. The original OrCam MyEye device was launched in 2015, and the next generation OrCam MyEye 2.0 was launched in 2017.
Oxsight began in the research laboratories of the University of Oxford, with a core team of scientists and clinicians working with the low vision community to develop solutions for sight degeneration. Today, Oxsight produces patented, smart glasses that address visual impairment caused by various conditions such as myopic degeneration, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity and other degenerative eye diseases. Through visionary technology, Oxsight increases the field of vision and transforms lives, one pair of glasses at a time.
Power Up! Energy Advice is a partnership between Western Power Distribution, your electricity network, and the Energy Saving Trust. Its main aim is to help those who could be potentially vulnerable in the event of a power cut across South and Mid Wales to save money and keep warm. It can offer a range of income, tariff and energy efficiency support and advice to help you save energy and money off your energy bills. Power Up! can be contacted on 0808 808 2274 or via email at [email protected]
Sherman 5 is all about breaking down barriers and making sure that the Sherman Theatre is as accessible as possible. Although the theatre is currently closed, Claire Bottomley is still working hard to generate workshops and activities for members (and non members) to be involved in. You can apply to become Sherman 5 members. Membership is free and offers lots of great benefits such as free training and skills opportunities, Sherman 5 activities, tickets at Sherman 5 prices (£5 or £2.50 if under 25) for selected shows and regular updates about events and opportunities. To find out more or to join please contact Claire Bottomley, the Sherman 5 coordinator by phone on 029 2064 6911 or by email on [email protected] For information on special Christmas activities from Sherman 5, click here.
South Wales Talking Magazine Association is located within the Sight Life and RNIB Cymru headquarters in Cardiff. Two audio publications are produced on USB memory sticks. The Cardiff Talking Newspaper contains local Cardiff news and features edited from the South Wales Echo (courtesy of Media Wales). The South Wales Talking Magazine is all original material, with items of particular interest to people with a visual impairment and people who live in South Wales. They’re free of charge to anyone who’s blind or visually-impaired. Until South Wales Talking Magazine can get back to the office and start sending out their USBs in the usual way, they are giving access to an Archive of the Month online via their website or via the Talking Newspaper app (which can be downloaded on your smart phone or tablet device). This link will take you directly to the current archive of the month page, with a play button that you need to select.
The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. It also offers telephone friendship where it matches volunteers with older people based on their interests, facilitated group calls, and help to connect people with local services in their area. Call them on 0800 4 70 80 90.
Synapptic produces innovative technology for people with sight loss, designed for Android smartphones and tablets.
Telecare Cardiff provides customers with a pendant alarm and a response unit which you can use if you find yourself in difficulty. It provides many couples, and those that live alone, with someone to call for help allowing customers across Cardiff to remain confident and secure in their homes. For more information call 029 2053 7080.
The British Red Cross provides a wide range of services throughout the Wales area. The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies, it helps vulnerable people in the UK and abroad prepare for, withstand and recover from emergencies in their own communities. Contact them on 029 2069 5740 or via email on [email protected]
The Web Accessibility Initiative is an arm of the World Wide Web Consortium, also called W3C. W3C is a standards organisation for the internet. The Web Accessibility Initiative develops guidelines that are widely acknowledged as the international standard of web accessibility. They welcome participation and feedback from around the world.
Torch Trust is a Christian charity working together to enable people with sight loss to have fulfilling Christian lives by offering services and resources to people with sight loss. For more informtaion on what Torch Trust can provide click here.
Traveleyes is the unique travel company founded by Amar Latif (who you may have seen on Celebrity Masterchef 2020). Launched in 2004, Traveleyes holidays focus on experiencing the world with all five senses to make travel more accessible for people with sight loss.
Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through partner organisations. Call them on 0808 802 2000 (lines open 9am – 5.30pm Mondays-Fridays).
TV Help, a website full of resources for increasing accessibility to TV.
TV Help’s Audio Description schedule is a vital aid for anyone with restricted vision who’s watching television, film, theatre and sports. It provides an additional narrative that fits between dialogue, describing the significant aspects of the visual content, describing who, where, what, when and why the actions on screen are happening. Actions, facial expressions, clothing, scenery – anything important to convey the plot of the story. In theatre, the action is usually described live, to respond to what’s happening with the actors live on stage.
Volunteer Cardiff signposts Cardiff residents to all the opportunities, organisations and support available to enable volunteering in the city. If you need help with shopping, transport, medication, befriending and much more, you can search for help by area.
Wiltshire Farm Foods delivers tasty meals that can be microwaved straight from the freezer. There are more than 300 delicious meals to choose from, including options to suit a range of appetites and dietary needs. The friendly drivers are local so you’ll see a familiar face regularly and they deliver to your door. The Cardiff depot can be contacted on 029 2034 2008 or via email at [email protected].
Useful telephone numbers:
||029 2039 8900
||0303 123 9999
|Smell Gas? Wales & West Utilities
||0800 111 999
|Power cut? Western Power Distribution
||0800 6783 105
|Care & Repair, Managing Better
||0300 111 3333