Latest media releases

RNIB Press Office

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Latest media releases

Blind people reveal the biggest challenge they face

16 October 2018 | Research carried out amongst blind and partially sighted people has today revealed that other people’s limited knowledge and understanding of sight loss is the biggest barrier they face in their everyday lives.

Update: RNIB in Bristol

2 October 2018 | We have issued an update on RNIB in Bristol

New patient standards to increase support for eye clinic patients

24 September 2018 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has worked in partnership with the UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA) to develop a set of patient standards designed to improve care for eye clinic patients.

RNIB launches new brand

10 September 2018 | Leading sight loss charity urges people to see differently

A message from Eleanor Southwood, our Chair

4 September 2018 | Eleanor Southwood, Chair of RNIB has issued a statement about RNIB Pears Centre.

RNIB in Bristol

23 August 2018 | We have issued an update on RNIB in Bristol

Charity film highlights dangers of shared space schemes

14 August 2018 | RNIB's latest film highlights the dangers of shared space

An update on RNIB's Independent Review

27 July 2018 | We have issued an update on RNIB's Independent Review

RNIB response to Department for Transport's Inclusive Transport Strategy

25 July 2018 | RNIB response to DfT Inclusive Transport Strategy 

RNIB and the Work and Health Programme

20 July 2018 | RNIB and the Work and Health Programme

RNIB Three Spires School

18 July 2018 | Statement about RNIB Three Spires School

RNIB joins with broadcasters to get more people using audio description

16 July 2018 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is supporting a high profile advertising campaign aimed at helping people to use audio description on their televisions.

Report warns of crisis in eye clinic capacity as cancelled appointments risks patients’ sight

6 June 2018 | The current eye health system is failing patients on a grand scale, according to a new report released today.

RNIB to exhibit community garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

6 June 2018 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) will be exhibiting at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this summer to coincide with the charity’s 150th anniversary.

RNIB appoints new Directors

6 June 2018 | Nick Apetroaie, Keith Valentine and David Clarke join leading sight loss charity

Update: Bristol premises

23 May 2018 | Update about RNIB's Bristol premises 

An update on RNIB Pears Centre from our Chair Eleanor Southwood

11 May 2018 | Eleanor Southwood, Chair of RNIB has issued an update about RNIB Pears Centre.

A message from Eleanor Southwood, our Chair

5 April 2018 | Eleanor Southwood, Chair of RNIB, has issued a statement about RNIB Pears Centre.

RNIB comment on Work and Pensions Select Committee report on PIP and ESA assessments

14 February 2018 | Fazilet Hadi, Deputy Chief Executive of RNIB, responds to the publication of today's Work and Pensions Select Committee report on PIP and ESA assessments.

RNIB urges Department for Work and Pensions to stop breaking the hearts of blind people

13 February 2018 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has issued an unconventional Valentine’s letter to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

Comment about PIP assessments from Westminster Hall debate on 31 January 2018

31 January 2018 | Fazilet Hadi, Deputy Chief Executive of RNIB, comments on PIP assessments from Westminster Hall debate.

Open letter to Jeremy Clarkson about his Sunday Times column on 7 January 2018

9 January 2018 | An open letter to Jeremy Clarkson from Sally Harvey.

RNIB announces Sally Harvey as new Chief Executive

24 October 2017 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has confirmed Sally Harvey as its new Chief Executive. Sally, who has been Acting Chief Executive since October 2016, is appointed with immediate effect.

New Chair of RNIB Launches How I See Film

16 October 2017 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has launched a new film, How I See, demonstrating modern life through the eyes of blind and partially sighted people. 

Updated legal document will help people with sight loss access support faster

17 August 2017 | Changes to the new Certificate for Vision Impairment (CVI) form will make it easier for blind and partially sighted people to access support and services in England from today. 

Blind and partially sighted people were denied right to vote independently and secretly in General Election 2017

15 August 2017 | Blind and partially sighted people were denied the right to vote independently and in secret during the General Election 2017, according to new research by Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

New research shows rehabilitation support for people with sight loss can avoid over £3million per year in local health and social care costs

8 August 2017 | Local health and social care services can avoid incurring over £3million annually by providing good quality vision rehabilitation support to people with sight loss.

All-Party Parliamentary Group to investigate NHS eye care services capacity problems

28 July 2017 | The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Eye Health and Visual Impairment launched its inquiry in to capacity problems in NHS eye care services and avoidable sight loss in England today.

RNIB appoints next Chair

25 July 2017 | Ellie Southwood, current Vice Chair of RNIB, is to become the organisation’s next Chair

RNIB appoints new Relationships Director

30 June 2017 | Sophie Castell, former Director of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising at Canal & River Trust, joins RNIB.

RNIB announced as Glastonbury Festival health charity partner for 2017

17 May 2017 | The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has been announced as the official health charity partner of this year’s Glastonbury Festival. 

RNIB urges Government to formulate a national eye health strategy for England

29 March 2017 | RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) is urging the Government to create an eye health strategy to bring England in line with the other countries in the UK. 

New self-advocacy pilot launches to help prevent sight loss for eye patients

14 March 2017 | Patients are being helped to take care of their sight under a new pilot scheme to end cancelled, delayed or missed eye clinic appointments.

Donate to RNIB with Apple Pay

8 March 2017 | You can now donate to RNIB using Apple Pay on your iPhone

Downton Abbey creator Lord Fellowes announced as new Vice President of RNIB

8 December 2016 | Leading sight loss charity, RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) has announced the appointment of Lord (Julian) Fellowes as one of its Vice Presidents.

An update on Vision Hotels

1 November 2016 | In August, Action for Blind People announced that after careful consideration we had made the difficult decision to stop running the three Vision Hotels. At that time, we said we were doing everything we can to ensure the hotels stay open under new management.

Two in five over 65s ignoring symptoms which could lead to permanent sight loss

13 October 2016 | RNIB and Specsavers urge over 65s this World Sight Day to get their eyes tested.

Cataract patients face postcode lottery of waiting times for NHS cataract treatment

21 September 2016 | NHS patients in England face waiting up to 15 months for desperately needed cataract treatment.

An announcement about Vision Hotels

25 August 2016 | After careful consideration, Action for Blind People has made the difficult decision to stop running the three Vision Hotels. 

RNIB comment on the death of the Duke of Westminster

10 August 2016 | “We are deeply saddened by the news that our great friend and former President The Duke of Westminster has passed away.

Blind Bangor man to embark on a trek of a lifetime across Iceland to support people living with sight loss

23 May 2016 | Ken Carson will take on the five-day challenge to help RNIB support as many blind and partially sighted people as possible

Lesley-Anne Alexander CBE to retire as RNIB Chief Executive

10 May 2016 | Following more than 12 years in the role, Alexander retires as Chief Executive at the UK’s leading sight loss charity

New Julian Fellowes book to be released simultaneously by RNIB Library

15 April 2016 | Blind and partially sighted readers can enjoy Julian Fellowes’s new book ‘Belgravia’ before it is published in hardback or paperback.

Revolutionary refreshable braille display will open up a world of reading to tens of thousands of people with sight loss

29 March 2016 | Transforming Braille Group unveils Orbit Reader which will reduce the cost of Braille displays by more than 80 per cent

RNIB partners with Benetech to deliver online resource for print disabled learners

23 March 2016 | RNIB and Benetech have announced the launch of RNIB Bookshare, an online service which delivers accessible materials to schools and colleges in the UK.

Samsung wins RNIB’s Inclusive Society Award for its Accessible Smart TV range

18 March 2016 | RNIB has presented Samsung Electronics UK with an Inclusive Society Award in recognition of its work in making smart TVs accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announcement on the results of the consultation into Personal Independence Payments

11 March 2016 | Our head of campaigns, Steve Winyard, comments on the results of the PIP consultation.

Hull City Council signs up to Street Charter to improve accessibility for disabled people

17 February 2016 | Hull City Council has pledged to work with local disabled people to tackle the growing issue of street clutter.

RNIB welcomes NHS England decision to recommend sight saving treatment to children with rare eye condition

12 November 2015 | RNIB has welcomed the decision by NHS England to publish its commissioning policy recommending the use of Humira (adalimumab) in children with severe refractory uveitis.

Charity celebrates 80 years of Talking Books by making service entirely free for people with sight loss

9 November 2015 | Talking Books, a service which provides more than one million audio books every year to people with sight loss, will be completely free for all blind and partially sighted people in the UK from today.   

Initiative to reduce diabetes-related sight loss wins Quality in Care Diabetes award

21 October 2015 | A project which is helping to reduce sight loss in Bradford has won a prestigious Quality in Care Diabetes award for the best initiative supporting self care of the disease. Learning from this project will be shared nationwide.

RNIB CEO wins ‘Most Admired Chief Executive' at industry awards event

25 September 2015 | Lesley-Anne Alexander CBE, CEO of leading sight loss charity RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), was named 'Britain's Most Admired Charities 2015: Most Admired Chief Executive' at last night's Third Sector Awards.

Audio description event celebrates progress and sets challenges for the future

23 September 2015 | Leading sight loss charity hosts industry conference to celebrate UK audio description and reveal results of MovieReading App Trial

Famous Faces Support Sight Loss Campaign

16 September 2015 | Dame Shirley Bassey, Barbara Windsor and Neil Morrissey help RNIB launch ‘See the need’

RNIB to produce entire Man Booker shortlist in accessible versions

15 September 2015 | The shortlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction has been announced today (Tuesday 15 September).

Concert in the dark raises awareness of sight loss

10 September 2015 | Westlife star Markus Feehily, and Babyshambles’ Drew McConnell amongst line-up at Sound for Sight concert

RNIB encourages 'civic minded' blind and partially sighted people to sign up to new leadership programme

7 August 2015 | Leading sight loss charity RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) is launching a free Civic Leadership Programme and the application process is now open.

RNIB considers legal action as patients in England denied sight saving treatment available in Scotland

24 July 2015 | Adults and children with a rare eye condition may have to move to Scotland to save their sight, warns RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People).

£430k Heritage Lottery funding to open up museums and culture to people with sight loss

16 July 2015 | A new project which will enable blind and partially sighted people to increase their independence when visiting heritage sites and museums has been awarded £438,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). 

RNIB launches fully accessible ‘ready to go’ computer range

13 July 2015 | Blind and partially sighted people can now buy from a range of new accessible computers, products which comes ready loaded with either JAWS or MAGic magnification software.

Blind and partially sighted campaigners take to the streets for 'fortnight of action'

06 July 2015 | Local campaigners across England are taking part in a 'fortnight of action' to highlight the growing problem of street obstacles; bollards, advertising boards, bins, cars parked on pavements, and 'shared space' schemes.

RNIB urges MPs to consider ‘serious impact’ of taxing disability benefits

26 June 2015 | Ahead of the July Budget, the UK’s leading sight loss charity, RNIB, is urging MPs to consider the very serious consequences of taxing disability benefits.

RNIB welcomes High Court ruling that PIP delays were 'unlawful'

5 June 2015 | Today's ruling by the High Court that a delay in paying welfare benefits to two disabled people was 'unlawful' and 'unacceptable' has been welcomed by RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People).

Insight Radio becomes first UK station to broadcast celebrity storytelling show The Moth

21 May 2015 | An ‘edgy, exhilarating and sometimes terrifying’ programme from America is coming to RNIB’s Insight Radio. It is the first station in the UK to broadcast The Moth series of celebrity-read stories.

Sight loss advisers play key role in supporting patients and staff say ophthalmologists

19 May 2015 | A new RNIB report highlights the difference that sight loss advisers can make to a busy eye department, freeing up clinician's time and acting as a bridge between health and social care.

RNIB launches UK-wide scheme to get people with sensory loss online

13 May 2015 | 125,000 people with sight or hearing loss set to benefit from Online Today

Our response to today's article in the BMJ

2 April 2015 | Today The British Medical Journal published an editorial which suggests that RNIB was put under pressure by pharmaceutical company Novartis to challenge a clinical trial called Tandem. Here is our response.

London based bus company Metroline sign up to RNIB's accessibility Charter

19 March 2015 | Metroline has signed up to RNIB’s (Royal National Institute of Blind People) bus Charter to ensure services are accessible for customers with sight loss.

New app brings video on demand to blind and partially sighted people

10 March 2015 | Sight loss charity RNIB trials pioneering audio description app.

Motorists go the 'extra mile' in bid to raise £1 million for sight loss charity

2 March 2015 | National sight loss charity RNIB could receive up to £1 million after being chosen as the first ever Charity of the Year by petrol forecourt retailers Shop’ N Drive. The money will be raised by customers, in an innovative scheme which allows them to ‘top up’ their credit or debit card transaction.

Daughter’s blindness motivates Kirkcaldy man to run Edinburgh Marathon Festival race for sight loss charity RNIB

20 February 2015 | A Kirkcaldy man is gearing up to run the Edinburgh Marathon Festival Full Marathon race in aid of RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind people) after being spurred on by his own daughter’s blindness. 

Daily assault course of street obstacles and dangerous crossings injuring blind people

10 February 2015 | Thousands of blind and partially sighted people are beig injured as they walk around their local streets, leaving many of them without the confidence to get out and about.

RNIB responds to latest 'Voter Engagement in the UK' report

5 February 2015 | Following the publication of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s 'Voter Engagement in the UK' report, RNIB is calling on the Government to publish their proposals for making registration and voting accessible to disabled people.

RNIB and British Gas work together to make the Hive Active Heating app accessible for people with sight loss

21 January 2015 | Working in partnership with RNIB, British Gas has ensured that its Hive Active Heating app for Android phones is fully accessibility for people with sight loss. It is the first app to receive RNIB's 'App Accreditation' for accessibility.

RNIB appoints new Group Director of Resources

13 January 2015 | Rohan Hewavisenti, Director of Finance and Business Development at British Red Cross joins RNIB.

RNIB and Samsung work together on making TVs more accessible

22 December 2014 | RNIB and Samsung have collaborated to work towards improving the accessibility of the electronic giant's TVs.

Help RNIB deliver 'first-class' services for blind and partially sighted people this Christmas

5 December 2014 | Charity launches annual Christmas Stamp Appeal to raise much-needed funds to help blind and partially sighted people.

New technology to help blind and partially sighted children to keep up with their peers

3 December 2014 | Advances in mainstream technology are providing a level playing field for blind and partially sighted children, according to new research carried out by leading sight loss charities.

Blind and partially sighted 11 year olds twice as likely to be bullied at school

3 December 2014 | Children with vision impairment are at increased risk of bullying warn two leading sight loss charities.

Blindness feared more than Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and heart disease

26 November 2014 | New research by RNIB reveals 44 per cent of UK adults said they feared losing their sight more than any other long-term health condition.

Blind opera singer releases album to help raise money for sight loss charity

17 November 2014 | Elizabeth Capener, 33, a blind soprano from London has released her first opera album and will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

RNIB response to Voter Engagement in the UK report

14 November 2014 | RNIB welcomes the recommendations around disabled people contained in the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee's 'Voter Engagement in the UK' report.

Find the perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones

12 November 2014 | Finding thoughtful and appropriate gifts for elderly relatives or those with a disability can be tricky. RNIB’s online shop has a wide range of fun gifts and practical gadgets for people of all ages.

Celebrities get behind #loveyoureyes campaign to raise awareness of sight loss

3 November 2014 | Celebrities including Amy Childs, Stephanie Pratt, Vicky Pattison, Jasmin Walia and Maria Fowler have given their support to a brand new campaign which aims to make sure young people are looking after their eyes properly.

The Book People raise £13,000 to support blind and partially sighted people

31st October 2014 | Four new Talking Books for blind and partially sighted children and young people have been produced by RNIB thanks to a donation of more than £13,000 from independent bookseller The Book People.

Rachel Riley wears dots to raise lots

1st October 2014 | Countdown star, Rachel Riley, launches RNIB Readto help make more books accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

RNIB and Oxford University project wins Google's UK Impact Challenge

14 August 2014 | Smart glasses which help blind and partially sighted people to 'see' have been chosen by the public as one of the winners at the final of the Google Impact Challenge 2014.

Channel 4 Dispatches

11 August 2014 | Our statement regarding the Channel 4’s Dispatches programme which looked at the topic of telephone fundraising at telephone fundraising agency Pell and Bales.

RNIB and Oxford University 'smart glasses' shortlisted in Google's £3.2million UK Impact Challenge

18 July 2014 | Public urged to vote for the glasses to win the people's choice award. A project to develop smart glasses which help blind and partially sighted people to 'see' shapes and obstacles has been revealed as one of the 10 finalists of the 2014 Google Impact Challenge.

Dolly Parton presents braille book to blind child

11 June 2014 | Music legend Dolly Parton took time out of her UK tour to present a braille book to 5-year-old Dylan Manifold from Liverpool to mark the new partnership between RNIB and Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The 'Mind's Eye' Garden wins the BBC/RHS People's Choice Award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

23 May 2014 | RNIB and leading residential property developer Countryside are delighted to have received the BBC/RHS People's  Choice Award following their earlier accolades of Gold Medal and the award for Best Fresh Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Newly blind left to cope alone

14 April 2014 | Tens of thousands of people in the UK are not being offered the vital emotional and practical support they need when they start to go blind. Research by RNIB has found that only 218 of more than 400 eye clinics and hospitals in the UK (53 per cent) have any support staff available to patients to talk to after their diagnosis.
A new report released by RNIB, 'Hanging by a thread', also reveals just how precarious funding is for existing sight loss adviser roles as many of the services have no guaranteed funding after April 2015.

Shake off the winter blues by going dotty for a good cause

28 January 2014 | The joy and over-indulgence of Christmas may feel like a distant memory, and winter seems like it's stretching ahead like an interminable blur of short days and frosty mornings but here's a great excuse to shake off the January blues for a good cause. To celebrate Louis Braille's revolutionary communication system for blind and partially sighted people, which uses a series of raised dots, RNIB, the leading sight loss charity, is encouraging people to go dotty to help support people with sight loss in the area.

Steve McCabe MP gets a glimpse of the difficulties blind people face every day

28 January 2014 | Steve McCabe MP met with local blind and partially sighted campaigners in Birmingham to understand the challenges people with sight loss face in their daily lives. Mr McCabe visited Focus Birmingham, a local society for people with sight loss, and was challenged to try certain aids and adaptations which help blind and partially sighted people remain independent.