Staff from iSightCornwall can now teach people with sight loss how to use their remaining vision effectively after receiving specialist training from the Macular Society.

The organisation, the first centre of resource for all in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly who are affected by sight loss, was one of four taking part in a two-day training session run by the society, in partnership with low-vision specialist Optima. The course was designed to equip delegates with all the necessary skills to successfully deliver Skills for Seeing training.

Skills for Seeing trainers teach people with macular conditions different techniques to make the most of the vision they still have. Learning these new ways of seeing can make a real difference to someone’s ability to read, get about and watch television.

As our population ages, increasing numbers of people are being affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common type of macular disease. AMD is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK, currently affecting more than 600,000 people.

Across the two days, all participants received comprehensive training in how to teach a variety of skills, including two widely-recognised Skills for Seeing techniques. The first, eccentric viewing, involves identifying and using the healthiest parts of a person’s vision. Many people adopt this technique as they adjust to their sight loss.

The second technique is steady eye strategy, which involves learning a new way to read text.

Terri Rosnau-Ward, chief executive of iSightCornwall, said: “As the leading charity for sight loss in Cornwall, having specially trained staff means that more people across the county will be able to learn these techniques. It’s just one of the ways that we can help people with sight loss to stay independent for longer.”

Angie Nicholas, Macular Society volunteer programme manager, said: “Our own staff and volunteers deliver Skills for Seeing training all over the UK, but by instructing representatives from other local organisations in how to teach these techniques, it means many more people who urgently need support will have access to this training.

“Macular degeneration affects the central vision, so these techniques enable people to use their peripheral vision more effectively and ensure they can use the sight they have left to its maximum. While it is not suitable for everyone with sight loss, in most cases, it can make a big difference.

“Every day in the UK, more than 200 people are diagnosed with macular disease, so it’s never been more important that Skills for Seeing training is as widely available as possible.”

For more information about Skills for Seeing and other training opportunities, call the Macular Society volunteer team on 01264 326 622, visit or email

To find out more about the support available from iSightCornwall call 01872 261110 or visit