Useful Internet Links
The following links may be useful when seeking information on the Internet.
NI based Online today: http://www.rnib.org.uk/onlinetodayni
RNIB Connect: http://www.rnib.org.uk/connect
RNIB Community Access Page:
The Accessible Friends Network: www.tafn.org.uk
RNIB Northern Ireland: www.rnib.org.uk/northernireland
Craic On: www.rnib.org.uk/craicon
The VIP Lounge Radio: http://www.theviploungeradio.com
Take Advantage of Tax Allowances
The RNIB Tax Advice Service want to make sure anyone who is eligible to receive the Blind Person’s Allowance is aware and takes advantage of this tax allowance. They are encouraging people registered severely sight impaired to claim this reduction in their tax if they haven’t already done so.
They are also promoting the Marriage Allowance, a tax-break for married couples that was introduced in April 2015.
The RNIB Tax Advice Team can help with claiming these tax allowances and support people with sight loss with tax related issues. They can be contacted on 0345 330 4897 or by e-mail at email@example.com
On The Blink
The ‘On The Blink’ social group for blind and partially sighted people in the greater Belfast area run a number of activities including a book group which meets on the first Tuesday of each month at Belfast Central Library at 10.30am.
For more information about this group please contact Vivienne Keenen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The VIP Lounge
The VIP Lounge is a peer support group that helps blind and visually impaired people throughout the UK, with a wide range of issues from benefits, housing, education or just general advice and support.
It also has a radio station called The VIP Lounge Radio, (http://www.theviploungeradio.com), that you can also listen to via the ‘Tuned In’ app. A link to this site has now been included in the ‘Useful Links’ section of the Lisburn Outlook web site.
For more information contact Darren Maxwell at email@example.com
Are you a people person, good networker and want to make a difference? Why not join RNIB Connect to grow a strong and supportive community of blind and partially sighted people in your area.
RNIB Connect is a community of blind and partially sighted people, their friends, families, carers and supporters. The primary purpose of the new community is to bring people together so that new friendships and connections can be formed, and to use the local knowledge and experience of blind and partially sighted people to help others get the support and services they need to lead the life they want.
RNIB Connect was launched in February 2016 and they are looking for positive and enthusiastic people to join an informal “Welcome Group” to grow the new community in your area. As a volunteer community ‘builder’, you will play a pivotal role in helping to shape your community along with your blind and partially sighted peers.
You will use your experience and knowledge of the area to create opportunities to meet with new people, campaign on the key issues affecting your area, and bring services and support to those who may be isolated from community life. This is an exciting and rewarding role and you will be part of a team that includes RNIB staff members.
Welcome Groups will act as an advocate for RNIB Connect, build the foundations of a strong community of blind and partially sighted people and talk with other blind and partially sighted people, groups and organisations in the area to find out what’s needed locally whilst encouraging people to talk about their interests and helping to find ways to increase the number of people taking part in events and activities.
If you would like to get involved RNIB Connect would love to hear from you. For more information about Connect or to sign up, contact Una MulGrew in RNIB Belfast on 028 9032 9373.
The Accessible Friends Network
TAFN is a national independent UK charity providing real time social networking, computer technical support, training and entertainment via the Internet. It is run by and for blind and VI people. It is a user-led UK voluntary group who use email, the internet, voice conferencing and other resources to improve the quality of life for blind and VI people and their partners, by networking.
Members come from all across the United Kingdom and abroad; and over 90% of the membership including the committee and volunteers are persons who are registered blind. Many also have additional disabilities.
The internet can bring huge benefits, including to people who have difficulty leaving their homes or older people and the beauty of TAFN is that it offers what are termed ‘chat rooms’. These are areas like a physical room open to all members or private areas limited to certain participants only. The rooms enable people to get together to discuss one of the formal event topics or to have a private conversation with friends.
To take part in events you need to be a member with access to the internet and a microphone and speakers, or a headset.
Regular weekly events include the Wednesday & Friday quizzes, on Mondays & Fridays you can play the great word game called “chain reaction”. There is also a musical theme night each week where people are encouraged to come along and play tracks with titles and artist names that fit a theme. Monthly Thursday evening computer skills workshops cater for all levels of computer users and have proved an excellent resource for many of our members.
The normal membership fee is £12 per annum but a month’s free trial is available allowing guests to sample our offerings before deciding whether or not to join. Link to site: www.tafn.org.uk
Contact TAFN via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , by phone on +44 203 290 9254 or by post to: The Accessible Friends Network, BCM TAFN, London, WC1N 3XX.
We still have a number of free fobs for the React navigation system waiting to be claimed by local people. React is a tool that we have installed around Lisburn City Centre to be used by local people as a reassurance that they are where they think they are.
The fob you carry with you will generate a short message when you walk within a radius of a unit – then if you need any more information there are two further buttons on the fob that give you more information when pressed.
If you would like a fob, please contact the Sensory Support Team in Wallace Avenue, tel. 02892607746 where Margaret Mulholland or Dianne Roberts will be pleased to help.
Talking Books Service
Signing up free to RNIB Talkingbooks means access to over 25,000 book titles that you can read to your heart’s content.
Talking books users use their own player for whatever format they receive their talking books through (i.e digital download from Overdrive, CD or USB etc) and can either sign up through their local library, or visit www.rniblibrary.com, click on ‘Join the library’ and download the Registration form. Send completed forms to:
RNIB Library Service, PO Box 173, Peterborough, PE2 6WS.
If you would like help filling out the application form you can call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 and we can fill out the form for you over the phone.
BT offers a directory enquiry service for disabled people who find it difficult to use Directory Enquiries. This may be due to manual dexterity issues, dyslexia, sight impairment, learning difficulties or for any other reason.
Normally directory enquiries 118 numbers vary in cost but are still expensive at well over £1.00 per enquiry but this BT 195 service is free
Method of Registration:
*Ask for the registration department or dial 0800 587 0195
*A form will be sent out to you for completion.
*Usually, this will require confirmation from a doctor, consultant or even a nurse that you have issues which mean problems accessing information through a paper directory.
*When returned, a pin number card will be issued to you
*Once this is received the service is ready for use after 2 or 3 days
- Dial 195
- You will be asked for pin number
- You will be asked for your name
- Once confirmed, use service as normal 118 (192) DQ
- There is no charge for this service
Provided by Beacon, the Living Well Living Longer service is designed to help people over the age of 60 to live safely and independently in their own community. The project can provide free support and short term assistance with:
- Shopping and daily living tasks during a period of ill health or recovery
- Getting out and about in your local community
- Connection to other services and information on how to access services by making appropriate referrals/signposting
- Home safety and security
- Short term befriending for those with limited social support
- Bereavement or traumatic event support and
- Health concerns, alcohol problems or general family worries.
If you are over 60 and live in the Armagh, Dungannon, Lisburn or Newtownards area then the Living Well Living Longer service is available to you.
Beacon accepts self referrals and referrals from partner organisations. You can access this service by calling the freephone referral line on 0800 389 5362, Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 9.00pm or Saturday, 9.00am – 2.00pm. Please quote Living Well Living Longer.
For general enquiries, contact the Project Coordinator on 07553 366572 or email@example.com
RNIB offering grants for technology
Each year, our grants help hundreds of people living with sight loss and on low incomes buy essential items they need. We’ve made some exciting changes to the items we can fund, and we’ll now be able to help towards the cost of useful technology to help our customers live independently with sight loss.
The items we’ll now consider include:
- Computer accessibility software: magnification software, Ivona voice packages, Dolphin Guide and upgrades to these
- Voice recorders/dictaphones
- Portable and TV video magnifiers
- Talking kitchen equipment including talking microwaves
- RNIB’s PenFriend 2 labelling device
- The Alto 2 talking mobile phone (or £130 towards the cost of another talking phone or accessible smartphone)
- Essential adaptations and repairs (for health and safety reasons).
To apply for one of our grants, customers should be registered as either severely sight impaired or sight impaired and be receiving a means-tested benefit. We’re able to consider a grant for a maximum of £500, however the amount we award will depend on the item each customer needs help with.
Our grant form lists the maximum amount we’ll be able to consider for each item. If people have received a grant from us before, they will have to wait three years from the date they were awarded their previous grant before they can apply again.
For more information visit rnib.org.uk/grants