Blind Veterans, an ex-serviceman's charity who help those injured in service, to rebuild their lives with such services as rehabilitation, benefit issues, getting back in to work if they're able to do so, mobility training, living skills and numerous other things.
The Macular Society were raising awareness of the degenerative disease, which comes in two forms, dry or wet and also how it manifests itselfin anyone at any age. This problem effects the central vision of the sufferer. Glasses were available to show how we'd see if we had it.
The Macular Society were showing helpful devices, but we will cover this a little later on.
Humanware, an organisation set up to advise people with sight loss on gadgets. You could try various items to get an idea of what is available and if it's right for you. A good idea really, as when you get a given item, you'll know it's the right one for you and it does what you want it to do.
Various manufacturers of hi-tech, hi-spec, optical equipment, were there showing a vast array of toys, 'Hawkeye' calls them. The likes of Optelec and Enhanced Vision to name a few. We had a field day, playing with the very latest pieces of kit which we'll walk you you through.
Normal type magnifiers of all shapes and sizeswere on display to try. I believe nearly everything there could be tried, almost like a test drive. The old ones will never go out of fashion.
The digital revolution with high resolution screens, at 1080pi and cameras with 20mp - Gareth forgive me if we got this wrong - have had a knock on effect to the development of low vision aids, which left 'Hawkeye' and myself stunned.
There were several desktop magnifiers, a flat tv screen linked to a very powerful camera, with at least two of them, you could point the camera at a blackboard or notice at the other end of a large room, alter the magnification up and bring it close to you, allowing you to read it as though you were right on top of it. The DaVinci was one of them.
They had little brothers and sisters which were hand-held, but could also be used on a stand. These came in a number of sizes.