Vision UK 2015 Conference


The seventh annual Vision UK conference took place on 18 June 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, London. Titled ‘Working Together to Deliver the UK Vision Strategy’, it was the largest Vision UK conference to date and welcomed more than 550 attendees.

Morning PlenaryLord Holmes of Richmond MBE delivers keynote address at Vision UK 2015 conference

Conference Chair Michael Sobanja, Director of Policy, NHS Alliance welcomed delegates and introduced inspiring presentations from Chris Sumner, Chair Devon InSight, Lesley-Anne Alexander, CBE, Chair, UK Vision Strategy Leadership Group and CEO, RNIB, and a motivating keynote address from Lord Holmes of Richmond, MBE. All three speakers emphasised the importance of continued collaboration across the eye health and sight loss sector to make the UK Vision Strategy a reality.

After the plenary session delegates split into five streams, focused on delivering aspects of the UK Vision Strategy.
Stream 1: Making the case for improving eye health, examined recent initiatives and case studies from across the UK to showcase the most effective ways to embed eye health and sight loss as a priority across local health and social care systems.
Stream 2: Transforming patient care to ensure timely treatment and support, looked at how we can provide a more effective pathway from diagnosis to support. Delegates heard from both professionals and patients from a wide-range of disciplines.
Stream 3: Empowering adults with sight loss to regain their independence, discussed the ways in which professionals across the sector can most effectively support people with sight loss so they can live independent lives.
Stream 4: A world without barriers for children and young people, explored the issues faced by children and young people with vision impairment. Presentations were led by young people with sight loss and professionals from across the sector.
Stream 5: Social inclusion: transforming lives through digital technology, looked at how innovative collaborations and universal design can produce technologies that are accessible, empowering and useful for everyone.

Afternoon Plenary

Fazilet Hadi, Lead Officer UK Vision Strategy and Managing Director, Engagement, RNIB emphasised the need for blind and partially sighted people to be at the “top table” for decision making and to ensure that they have a voice in leadership and advocacy activities.

People’s Panel

The day concluded with the People’s Panel, which was made up of speakers who are blind or partially sighted from each of the five conference streams. Chaired by Vidar Hjardeng, Diversity Consultant for ITV News, the panellists were: Chris Sumner, Devon Insight, Liz Wick, Care Quality Commission, Ellie Southwood, RNIB Group, Matthew Clark, Haggeye and Chris Lewis, Telecoms Industry Analyst.
The panel shared their pledges from the event, which included continued emphasis on the importance of accessible technology and collaborating to influence decision makers.
Poster Competition Winners

Michael Sobanja, conference chair brought proceedings to a close and announced the poster award winners. Poster award winners and view poster abstracts

Thank you to everyone who came to Vision UK 2015 – we hope to see you again next year!

For further coverage from the event take a look at the following links:
Watch Optomology Today’s conference round up
Watch Stream 5 speaker Emily Davison's vlog from the day
Read our Twitter round up on Storify