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The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) will sponsor Naidex Vision for the 43rd edition of the most esteemed event in the disability, independent living and care sectors. The RNIB Vision Zone will provide a strong focus on the assistive technology, support services, decision makers, and products that are working to improve the lives of over two million people who are living with sight loss in the UK.

Not everyone with an eye condition will experience sight loss, however the risk of sight loss increases if not managed correctly. Over 600,000 people are living with one or more cataract and almost 600,000 people are living with glaucoma (RNIB, 2017). 

The impact of technological advancements is evident the world over, and assistive technology for the blind and partially sighted is no different. In fact it can be said that this is an area where the most progress is being made. This is undoubtedly supported by the calibre of exhibitors and speakers at Naidex this year.

GiveVision, a London based startup, will be exhibiting at this year’s show as part of the RNIB Vision Zone. GiveVision have created a device that combines AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) to assist those with partial sight to utilize their remaining vision. The hands free goggles are called SightPlus and work like an advanced magnifier that helps increase vision up close and at a distance.

Naidex and the RNIB are proud and excited to also have the CEO and Co-Founder of GiveVision, Stan Karpenko speaking on the Naidex Professional Stage as well as at the Next Generation Assistive Technology Summit (NGAT), which will also be taking place at Naidex 2017, providing a detailed out-look into the future of assistive tech.

Umesh Pandya, CEO and Co-Founder of the revolutionary Wayfindr, will also be breaking ground in assistive tech in his NGAT seminar in which he will explore their progressive Audio Based Navigation System for the visually impaired.

OrCam will be presenting MyEye in their seminar and at their stand in the RNIB Vision Zone. The MyEye is incredibly advanced wearable assistive technology designed to assist the partially sighted. The MyEye attaches to the wearer’s glasses and works through recognition software to speak to the reader! The MyEye can recognise when printed words are being pointed to by the reader and will then translate them verbally into their ear. It can also announce when recognised faces are approaching and can identify different monetary values and credit cards.

Mark Swain from OrCam will be speaking at Naidex and giving “A day in the life” break down of a MyEye wearer to demonstrate the advantages of such an impressive piece of adaptive technology.

The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) is a partner of Naidex 2017, and will be hosting a fitness session in the Sports Demo ArenaAaron Ford (GB Women’s Goalball coach and RNC sports academy teacher) will also be providing a seminar where he will discuss the health benefits and importance of inclusive sports.

Linda Cruickshank, Community Vision Support Officer VILD and member of the Complex Needs team at the RNIB will also be speaking about hidden sight loss in dementia and its impact on occupation. Linda’s seminar will focus on recognising and identifying hidden sight loss, with particular attention to reducing its impact through environmental adaptations, daily living aids and practical tips.

This is a truly inclusive event that is set to smash all expectations and push the boundaries of technology, education, research and inspiration. Visit the most cutting edge, progressive and innovative advancements in blindness at the RNIB Vision Zone, and don’t forget to drop by and meet the RNIB team at their stand, where they will be happy to provide advice and further support for anyone affected by sight loss. Whether losing your sight or blind or partially sighted, their practical and emotional support can help you face the future with confidence.

RNIB also produces information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk through its Sight Loss Data Tool. This tool is essential for anyone who wants to find out a range of information that includes the:

·       Estimated number of people living with sight loss

·       Number of eye hospital appointments in local NHS trusts

·       Projected change in sight threatening eye conditions over the next 15 years

The resource is important because it can help local authorities plan and support the needs of blind and partially sighted people, as the direct cost of sight loss in England Wales and Scotland in 2013/14 was almost £1.9billion.

For more information the Sight Loss Data Tool can be downloaded here.


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