Happy Centenary Ian Karten from Vision North Somerset

To celebrate the Centenary of Ian Karten’s birth, we are launching the Ian Karten Charitable Trust’s website. The website celebrates Ian’s life, vision and legacy.

Over 500 blind and partially sighted people living in North Somerset have benefitted from our own Karten Digital project funded by the Trust since 2014.

Here is a video explaining how the project has helped visually impaired people access technology training.

To find out more about the Karten Trust’s work, visit the new website: www.iankartencharitabletrust.org.uk

Want to find out more about technology? Get in touch with our Technology Officer, Jo Healy, by giving us a call: 01934 419393

Tech Ability Conference 2020

Jo Healy, our Technology Advisor, was asked to produce a short video for the conference about using technology, with sight loss, during the Pandemic. She decided to focus on Video conferencing.

Many participants at the conference come from specialist, further educational colleges, so the video was created with students in mind.

You can watch Jo’s video below.

A Big Thank You to National Lottery Players

On Thursday 19th November 2020, together with thousands of other people and organisations, Vision North Somerset posted crossed finger selfies across social media to say a massive collective thank you to the National Lottery players for their colossal contribution to good causes across the UK.

Throughout the day we shared photos of staff and quotes from service users celebrating the life changing work we are able to offer because of National Lottery funding.

Tips for Social Distancing

Our Rehabilitation Officer, Martin Rees, has put together some top tips on social distancing with sight loss. Polly runs through these tips in our video: Tips for Social Distancing

Tip 1: Let others know you can’t see how far away they are

Others may expect you to move for them. If you can’t see them, it’s likely that you won’t move. You can also ask someone how far away they are; they may get the hint and move if they’re too close. It’s still easy to forget at times. If you’re confident, you could ask the person to keep to 2m away because you cannot see to judge the distance for yourself.

Tip 2: Ensure you have everything you need before going out

If you have a cane, use it when it might be needed, e.g. in crowded areas, while crossing at pedestrian crossings, or while being guided. Keep canes / badges / ID with you even if you don’t use them. There may be an instance where you need to prove you have a visual impairment because you ‘don’t look visually impaired’. Others can then social distance appropriately.

Tip 3: Take control

Let others move out of the way of you. If you’re unsure of other people’s movements, you could also stop and let them move around you. It’s important that you keep your bearings and avoid getting disorientated.

Tip 4: Public transport

Try to ring ahead for assistance and information on their social distancing rules. Wash your hands after using any cane. Disinfect handles and tips after using them.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Vision North Somerset continues to offer support, information and advice, technology training, emotional support and socials. This is currently over the phone, online and doorstep equipment delivery and instruction.

We will resume face to face support as soon as Government Guidelines allow. Please contact us for help, advice, or information regarding sight loss and hearing loss matters.

Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As an employer, we have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others, including volunteers, from risk to their health and safety. We have thought about the risks they face and will do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising that you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Click here for tips on social distancing with a visual impairment.

Repair Work Started at Neva Road!

Rank Foundation
The Rank Foundation: a pebble in the pond.

Work has started on essential repairs at our Resource Centre in Weston thanks to a donation from the Rank Foundation and the generosity of the local people who use our services.

We still need to raise a further £4,000 – but at least our roof is fixed and we have new radiators so we can provide a warm and dry environment for our visitors. Grateful thanks to all who have donated.

Roof Repair Work
Photo of our damaged roof tiles, which are undergoing repair.

Damp-Proofing the Cellar
Photo of 3 workers damp-proofing the cellar dressed in biohazard protection clothing.

Trained to Deliver!

Did you know that a blind person can navigate an unfamiliar area independently using a special app on their iPhone?

“I can’t believe I have gained enough confidence to go shopping on my own – just using my phone to get me to the right shop – it’s changed my life”

Hanna, who is registered blind, goes on to say:

“This technology has helped me so much; I now want to volunteer and teach other people how to use it.”

Local charity Vision North Somerset has been awarded over £9,000 by the National Lottery Awards for All fund to ensure volunteers and staff are trained to deliver a range of opportunities for blind and partially sighted people in North Somerset.

Chief Executive Nina Farr said:

“Knowledgeable staff and volunteers don’t just happen; we have to invest in their training and support to enable them to deliver a high quality service that makes a difference to people who are struggling with significant sight loss.”

“We are grateful to the National Lottery and the people that play every week who have made our Trained to Deliver project possible”.

Top of the training list is information about social media and the options this provides for reducing isolation and loneliness.

The charity also plans to provide a professional functional low vision service to help people to make the most of their sight with magnifiers and good lighting.