London Visual Impairment Forum date: 25 sept 2015


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London Visual Impairment Forum

DATE: 25 SEPT 2015

9.30am for coffee and networking. 10.00am start

Room 5&6, RNIB, 105 Judd St, WC1H 9NE



Peter Corbett (PC), Thomas Pocklington Trust (Chair)

Sharon Schaffer (SS) LVIF

Richard Holmes (RH) RNIB

Jackie Venus (JV) VISOR (Vice Chair)

Pam Jarmian (PJ) Nystagmus Network

Rosa Gomez (RG) ActivEyes Redbridge

Maria Storesund (MS), Living Paintings

Ollie Natelson (ON), Barnet Borough Sight Impaired (BBSI)

Alexa Sage (AS), Thomas Pocklington Trust

Martin Sigsworth (MSig) TPT

Tracey Cross (TC), Thurrock SIT

Jo Hall (JH), Thurrock SIT

Roy Benjamin (RB), MSSC

Elaine Gardiner (EG), KAB, Bromley SIT

Miriam Osborne (MO), Kingston SIT

Roy Smith (RS) Metro Blind Sport

Mike Brace (MiB), Havering Vision Strategy Group

Mo Brace (MB), Sight Action Havering

Desen Denktash (DD), WF Vision

Lindsay Towers (LT) TPT

Tracy Banks (TB) Blind Children UK

Tommy Dean (TD) Guide Dogs

Tracey Riddell (TR) Action for Blind People

Beata Duncan-Jones (BD-J) H&F SIT

Mohammed Mohsan Ali (MMA) Transport for All

Chris Jenkins (CJ) TPT

Kendrick Morris (KM) B&D SIT

Sue Drew (SD) RP Fighting Blindness

Katy Wright (KW) SELVis

Richard Holmes (RH) RNIB

Marcia Green (MG) Haringey Phoenix

Lindsey Hollands (LH) British Blind Sport

Lily Cheung (LC) Hackney VI Group

Karl Farrell (KF) Nat Fed of the Blind/Hackney VS Group


Roger Clifton (RC), ELVis

Laurence Gardner (LG), Camden SIT

Elizabeth Jones (EJ), Islington Talking News

Toby Davey (TB), Vocal Eyes

John Harris (JH) RLSB

Mary Hynes (MH) VIC

Seema Flowers (SF) RP Fighting Blindness

Guest Speakers:

Sally Booth (SB) Extant

Paul Condon (PC) Nutritionist

TPT Employment Development : Alexa Sage

  • Alexa is overseeing TPT's new employment programme.

  • Lots of good initiatives already happening across the sector, so time has been spent identifying the gaps and where best to place TPT's programme alongside existing work.

  • TPT will be focusing on those who are looking for paid employment, wishing to progress in current employment, or looking to change their employment; anyone of working age. No need to be registered, just need to be VI.

  • The TPT Employment Programme is open to all - but is initially focusing on North and East London. There is no time limit on the support being offered - it is determined individually.

  • Martin Sigsworth, Project Coordinator, delivering 1:1 support: CV's, interviews: Please refer to:

  • Workshops will be run throughout the year: being work ready, nearly work ready, CV's, interview technique, working with a support worker, employment dynamics

  • Peer support: networking event run in Kingston in August, bringing employees together to share their stories and strategies. This type of event will be rolled out to other areas.

  • Partnerships with other organisations outside the sight loss sector, looking at employment issues, attending work fairs, etc.

  • Social barriers: VI awareness training for recruiters, training providers, etc, a Review Plan for existing employers to implement.

  • Emphasis on support, not criticism.

  • Recently ran a day long event with British Gas
  • Looking to develop relationships with other employment programmes, to ensure needs are being met, and duplication is avoided.

  • Self employment: the current focus is on PAYE opportunites, but support around self-employment can stil be accommodated, or signposted to.

  • This programme will work in partnership with TPT's research into employment for people with vision impairments.

  • This is a new programme, so is very much open to progression ideas

  • Available to speak at Local Society meetings: please contact:
RNIB Online Today: Tracey Riddell

Welcome back! Tracey used to work for ACTION and is now back as Programme Manager for Online Today.

Online Today:

  • Programme being led by RNIB, funded by Big Lottery til Dec 2017

  • Working in partnership with other organisations (sensory loss, not just VI)

  • Aimed at people with little or no experience of being online, or whose access needs have changed or are out of date

  • Not aimed at those using advanced techniques

  • Being delivered and led by RNIB in Scotland, Action in England, as well as Guide Dogs

  • Sense and Action on Hearing Loss are also engaged

  • Target to provide 1:1 support for 125,000 people by Dec 2017, in partnership with local societies, support groups, etc.

  • Looking to engage with Rehab colleagues

  • Looking to develop peer support opportunities: both online forums and face to face

  • Learning project - what works and doesn't work, for each individual - developing a culture of learning, which will be collected and disseminated into a working legacy after Dec 2017
  • Delivery: group sessions (from 5-15 participants) Overall introduction to tablets, smart phones, assistive technology - functionality, magnification, speech software - each session is tailored to the client group.

  • Looking to be running 2 sessions per month from January 2016 at Judd St.

  • Working in partnership with Volunteering Team at RNIB - to train existing team to enable them to go into people's homes and enable them to get online.

  • Contact: via RNIB Helpline: 0303 123 9999 from Monday to Friday 8.45am to 5.30pm.

  • Events Calendar is on RNIB Website:

  • Available to speak at Local Society meetings: please contact:

E: M: 07802 865592
Extant: Spirit of Resistance Intergenerational Project: Sally Booth

  • Extant are the leading performing arts company of and for visually impaired people. They run participation projects that engage young and older visually impaired people to build confidence and self-expression, dispelling myths about what can be achieved.

  • Extant are looking for visually impaired people, aged 18+, to take part in this exciting intergenerational creative project exploring the life and legacy of WWII blind French Resistance leader, Jacques Lusseyran. The life and work of this unique figure was celebrated in Extant's groundbreaking play, Resistance, and this project marks its tenth anniversary.
  • The project will bring together young and older people, including those with their own experience or memories of conflict. Participants will work together in a series of 4-10 workshops over the period January to March 2016. Participants will be given the opportunity to work with a variety of art forms, which may include recorded interviews, drama, creative writing and film, to make their own creative work inspired by Jacques’ story and the themes of resistance and resilience. The work, Spirit of Resistance, will be showcased in June 2016.

  • If anyone knows of a suitable venue, please let Sally know!

  • Extant are also interested in hearing from any social/support groups who might want to take part as a group.

  • They are looking for 32 participants..... including older people who might have first hand experience of this conflict.

  • Anybody interested can contact project manager Sally Booth on 07921 809 688 or by email at

Nutrition and Eye Health: Paul Condon

Former - Optom, Lecturer, Dispensing optician, Lewisham Talking News


Currently : Diploma in Nutrition

Specialised interest in nutrition and the eye
Today's talk focussed on Dry Macular Degeneration

  • Nutrition is the only current way of stabilising this condition and slowing down deterioration

  • Dry AMD is most prevalent in people of white ethnic origin, women are more at risk than than men, particularly if they have had HRT.

  • Protect the retina from damage:

    • Free radicals are bad - unstable molecules

    • Anti-oxidents are good (Vitamin A, C, E,zinc, copper)

  • Therefore, a good supply of anti-oxidants is essential on a daily basis

  • Beta Karotine (vegatable version of Vitamin A) is a good anti oxidant BUT not on its own!

  • Difficult to identify what combination of supplements are necessary, but combining vitamins is the key

  • AREDS1 and AREDS2 were both key research studies
  • The extreme end of ultra-violet spectrum is damaging, this can be filtered by Lutein & Zeaxanthin

  • Current best thought on supplements for Dry AMD are combinations of vitamins C,E, zinc, copper - no beta karotin

  • Lutein - dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, brocolli, greens), oily fish

  • Zeaxanthin - eggs

  • Fruit and nuts are good on a daily basis

  • Essential fatty acids - Omega 3 (oily fish)

  • Organic, locally produced, fruit and veg have more nutrients (due to the soil in which they are grown and the transportation of the products).

  • STOP smoking

Paul Condon will email resource sheets which will be put on the LVIF website resources page.

The Accessible Information Standard: Richard Holmes (RNIB)
The Accessible Information Standard – known officially as SCCI1605 Accessible Information – has now been approved and published (since July 2015).
Further information is available from the NHS England website – at – in a range of alternative formats.
By 31 July 2016 all organisations that provide NHS or publicly funded adult social care must have fully implemented and conform to the Accessible information Standard.
Practices are supposed to have an implementation action plan in place by end of Sept 2015.
Awareness needs to be raised on this deadline with all providers!
ACTION - Contact your practice manager today!

  • Identify and celebrate good practice

  • Identify and challenge bad practice

  • Ask if their implementation action plan is in place
  • a short pro-forma letter and details of who best to contact will be available from RNIB (and posted on LVIF website) as soon as it ready.

Care Act Update/ FOI Rehab findings: Richard Holmes, RNIB
We are 6 months into The Care Act implementation....

RNIB's focus has been on how Rehab has been affected

Causes of concern:

  • clear stipulations in the Act for Deafblind specialists - are these being met, and if so is this diminishing resources elsewhere?

  • are boroughs merging services (eg Rehab and OT), and if so, are specialised services (eg. mobility training) being run by non specialists?

FOI requests have been received by nearly all local authorities to chart the level of current rehab provision (the reality against the statutory) - a table of the results is underway
Campaign Actions:

  • Reminding boroughs of their legal obligations

  • Updated briefing on the Care Act is available on the RNIB website (and hardcopies can be ordered from RNIB).

A picture of good practice, best practice, and optimum services is needed.

A small working group is being set up, led by Tara Chattaway and Peter Corbett to identify -

  1. Definition of what good looks like (Vision 2020 Rehab and Low Vision Group are in the process of producing this)

  2. Who are the best and worst performers (a league table ideally)

  3. A structured approach to what the process of challenging the 'worst' should be (involving local people through to national organisations)

This needs to be a major, coordinated campaign to produce a tipping point towards

best practice.

ACTION - Feedback needed from all about good practice examples that we should champion and promote and bad practice examples to be challenged.

Email SS with feedback.
Accessible Navigation:

Understanding Tactile Paving at Pedestrian Crossings – support material for tactile paving providers: Beata Duncan-Jones (Hammersmith & Fulham SIT)
Beata will send link to this document once it is available online (via LB Hammersmith and Fulham website) - hardcopies are also avaibale, and can be photocopied and cascaded (copyright free).

A copy is available via TPT

The document explains all aspects of tactile paving, and why it is as it is (it also looks at streetscapes and related hazards).
Consultation on proposed changes to Tactile Paving
Consultation being run by DoT until 13 Nov 2015
Link to consultation:
NB: Beata's response to the consultation will be circulated, FYI, with these minutes.
The department is looking to improve the guidance on tactile paving surfaces. Making them easier to use as a navigational tool and warning system. Ensuring designs are safer and comfortable for mobility impaired people.
Views on the following changes:

  1. Relaxation of the requirement for the back edge of an area of blister paving to be horizontal to the crossing direction with 2 options

  2. Replacement of the requirement for blister paving at a controlled crossing to be red with a requirement for at least a 50% contrast ratio with the surrounding paving

  3. Introduce a universal requirement for the boundary between carriageway and footway to be marked with tactile paving wherever they are at the same level
  4. Suggestions for crossing improvements

Thanks extended to Beata for producing this Guideline, and raising the issues

contained in the Consultation.

  • Awareness raising with Highway Engineers in local authorities also needs to be made.

  • These proposals have been developed by DoT to hopefully, address issues sympathetically

  • A consensus of expert information needs to be identified (Beata's Guideline, Guide Dogs, Lord Chris Holmes,etc)

  • A different approach by each local authority is to be avoided

RNIB is holding a consultation event with Dept. of Transport on this Tactile

Paving Consultation at

  • RNIB, Judd St: October 29th 2-4pm

  • Dept. of Transport, Great Minster House 2nd Nov 10.30-12.30

  • Need to clarify if tactile models will be available at these meetings

  • Will models be available to inform interested groups wishing to submit a response??

If you wish to attend contact:

  • RNIB


RNIB's briefing on tactile paving is attached.
Taking this issue forward:

  • Need to decide who are the people/organisations best placed to deal with this

  • What our consensus of opinion is regarding these proposed changes

  • Once identified, this organisation needs to produce a definitve response to the consultation, that can then be submitted to the DoT by as many people and organisations as possible (ensuring that they are all speaking with one voice)... a flood of cohesive responses.

  • RH nominated, and agreed, to act as point of contact for this response.

ACTION: RH to liaise with BB-J and KF to produce a pro-forma response. SS to distribute to LVIF membership

News, Events & Good Practice: A Round Robin of member organisations’ news and activities
WFV - AGM on 12th Oct, followed by Viison Strategy Service user Consultation

Metro - 18th Oct FREE swimming sessions. Lawn Tennis Assoc, 30th Oct. Multi- Sports Day in Brent, 21st Nov.

Havering Vision Strategy - running stands in Queens Hospital and Yew Tree Resource Centre for Nat Eye Health Week. Perhaps LVIF could think about galvanising activities for next year. Materials from Vision Matters were late, or non existent!

Thurrock SIT: 2 day course 6&7 Oct for those newly registered in asoc with TPT. Eye Event on 30th Oct at South Essex College, 10am-4pm. Also Audio Book Club being launched in November (in assoc. with TPT) Working with RNIB Online Today. An app is being developed for traffic crossings.

TPT: Employment Project will have a calendar of events available shortly. Balham Resource Centre:Open Day 16th October from 2pm-6pm

Exhibition by Art Class at Balham Resource Centre opens on 6 Oct at Balham Library

Living Paintings: Thank you for having me :-)

RP Fighting Blindness: new CEO now in post. Everything is currently under review with plans in place for growth. RP wil be at Sight Village, Kensington on Nov 3rd & 4th. Retina Day 10th October at Moorfields.

KAB (Kent): Assistive Technology suite now available to neighbouring boroughs

Nat Fed of Blind - monthly branch meeting on 30th Sept, speaker form Blind In Business

Hackney VI Group and Vision Strategy - undertook various activities across the borough in the Health Hubs. Vision Stratgey Consultation taking place on Oct 13th.

ActivEyes Redbridge: New activity in Dance Exercise workshops at Redbridge Town Hall on Tuesdays. Details available on

TPT - new twitter account @tptgeneral

Ollie Natelson - IVI Iatrogenic Vision Impaired (medicaly induced VI). Be aware of being presecribed the wrong drugs, working on carryig a card detailing drug history

Nystagmus Network: 4th Nov is Wobbly Wednesday

TPT/MAB: Mobile Advice Unit is now on the road offering resources, advice, leaflets, rehab advice and signposting (wheelchair accessible). 14th October, 12-2pm Willsden Bus Graage - Swap With Me Day (organised by RNIB).

SELVis: covering 6 south east London boroughs. Starting to deliver events and activities across the region, and linking with local organisations. Please let Katy know if you would like to be on the mailing list.

Haringey Phoenix: starting second set of 1:1 and small group computer tuition (following Enitan's presentation to the LVIF). AGM being held on 24th Nov.

Enfield Vision: Focus Day is being held on 15th October

B&D SIT: Barking Superstore 8th Oct World Sight day

VISOR - had the RNIB Eye Pod for NEHW (though uptake was quite limited). Bingo Bonanza being held on Oct 13th - looking for speaker on hate crime and fraud, please contact Jackie Venus.

Blind Children UK: Lots of referrals to their Child Support service. Currently looking at mapping and gapping current provision across London .23rd Nov Parents Day at Judd St

Visionary: TPT have concluded and announced its strategic alliance with

Visionary. New Chief Exec is Alison Oliver.

AOB: None
Next Meeting: Dec 11th 10am-3pm


  • Extended Seasonal Lunch

  • Seasonal Musical Interlude: Rosie Glass, flautist



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