External Resources

Last updated 31 August 2020 22:00 BST

Useful Contact Information for Blindness Organisations

United Kingdom

Calibre Audio Library
01296 432339
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
0118 983 5555
RNIB Helpline, for the National Library Service and support with all aspects of sight loss
0303 123 9999
Thomas Pocklington Trust
0208 995 0880
Torch Trust
01858 438260
VI Talk: a UK Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO) supporting blind and partially sighted people, their families and friends, and anyone who works in the field of visual impairment. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Audioboom, the Sonata player and I Blink Radio. They also have a bimonthly newsletter and a website.
0161 298 8255

Republic of Ireland

ChildVision, National Education Centre for Blind Children
01 8373635 or visit their Facebook page for daily updates RE COVID-19 and information for families
Fighting Blindness
Visit website for more information
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB)
Visit website for more information
National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI)
01 8307033

Free Courses, Tutorials and Webinars

See also: Catch These Words: Free Online Training for Blind Students and American Printing House for the Blind: #AtHomeWithAPH

All of these resources are blindness-specific unless otherwise specified.



  • Let’s Play! a completely free and comprehensive classical guitar curriculum for people with visual impairments by Jeremy Coleman, Austin Classical Guitar & TSBVI.

Health and Wellbeing

Disclaimer: check with your doctor to find out if you have any contra-indications to exercise or if there are any reasons to modify your workout.


Please note that the accessibility of these courses cannot be guaranteed:

Libraries and Reading

See also: More EBook Sources from Bookshare



Entertainment and Community

Mental Health

Spiritual Resources


The BBC has announced measures to provide a virtual church service. Other core religious programming is also set to continue.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Bible-based publications are available on their website in over 800 languages. These include music and movies as well as audio (mp3), Screen Reader (RTF) and Notetaker (BRL) formats. Also, their free JW Library app is compatible with assistive readers.

For further information, email [email protected] or telephone Maggie Brown on 07804 204867.

The Torch Trust for the Blind Limited

A wide range of accessible Christian literature is available for purchase in braille, large print and audio, including leading Christian magazines and bible reading notes. The Torch lending library is also continuing to operate during the current crisis.

For more information, email [email protected] or telephone client services on 01858 438260.

Information for Blind Artists

Significant grants are available from Artscouncil England. For further information please see the links below:

Whatsapp Groups

Carla Savage and Terry-Ann Saurmann, regular contributors to our conference calls, have asked us to share the following information. The Braillists Foundation disclaims any liability for issues which may arise as a consequence of taking advantage of these resources:

We are involved in several WhatsApp chat groups that specifically discuss low tech and high tech technology, artificial intelligence devices, and games. All such groups are specifically directed toward the interests of and use by persons who are blind or visually impaired. While these chat groups accommodate both voice and text messaging, the majority of messages are posted via voice.

Regarding the chat groups to which Carla and I belong, interested people wishing to join must be invited/added to the group of interest by an Administrator of the group in question, For security reasons. The only requirement is a cell phone number given to the admin who would then add said person to the group, because a cell phone is necessary in order to use the application.

As a standard practice, all WhatsApp messages are encrypted. If the user has a good Wi-Fi or data connection, the voice messages are as clear as the microphone from which they are recorded. If voice messages are recorded from either an Android or iPhone, the quality of the recordings are usually very clear. In contrast, If a Bluetooth headset or earpiece is used, the quality of the recorded messages are determined by the version of Bluetooth used by the head set or earpiece and the quality of its microphone. The WhatsApp application can be downloaded free of charge from either the AppStore or the Google Play Store.

One such chat group that might be of interest to some members of the Braillists group is called “Eyes On Health.” Owned and Moderated by a gentleman named Matthew, it is a “forum to discuss healthy ideas, recipes, exercises and such. Physical health leads to good mental health.” In recent weeks, a major topic of discussion has been the ways in which the Apple watch and IPhone are of help to users who are tracking their health data.

Another such WhatsApp chat group that might be of interest to some members of the Braillists group is called “Braille Displays and Keyboards,” owned and Moderated by a gentleman named Paul, and also moderated by Carla. This WhatsApp chat group discusses Braille displays and keyboards that can be paired with Smart Phones and how they can be used, including their stand alone capabilities. This also includes note takers and using these devices with computers as well as tablets and other products.

Anyone wishing to join any of these WhatsApp chat groups should email Carla ([email protected]) or Terry ([email protected]) directly, including your name and cell phone number.

In addition, we know about the following:

Press Statements and Organisation Responses



Talking Compass from Chris Norman

You can view the web version here.

You can get the source code and install it on your own phone using Flutter here. You’ll need the beta version of Flutter to run.

If people want to use the app, Chris is more than happy to work with them over NVDA remote to install it. Email [email protected] or call 07886 897080.