Latest News

KNFB Reader Price Reduction

From the10th July till the 27th July 2017 KNFB Reader for Windows 10 is available at £16.69, 80% off the regular price of £83.49 from the Microsoft Windows Store. Now is your chance to get KNFB Reader for your Windows 10 desktop or mobile device at this incredible low price.

KNFB Reader for Windows 10 is the world's best solution for enabling blind and low-vision individuals to quickly and easily access the content of printed materials anywhere, anytime. It takes a photo of any text and instantly reads it aloud. It’s as easy as “point, shoot, and read.” KNFB Reader’s patented image processing technology makes it easy to photograph even the most complex documents - such as bills, brochures, books, or magazines -using the best optical character recognition (OCR) technology available. The text is read aloud using any one of Microsoft’s built in voices or can be displayed in Braille with a compatible screen reader and refreshable Braille display. KNFB Reader's proprietary audio and vibration guidance help the user take the perfect image of a document so that processing is fast and accurate. The award-winning KNFB Reader technology that is helping blind, low-vision, dyslexic, and other print-disabled users around the world to live the lives they want is now available for Windows 10!

For the best scanning results, external scanning hardware is highly recommended. This may include:

A 5 mega-pixel (minimum) or 8 mega-pixel (recommended) document camera, preferably with auto-focus and a built-in lamp.

A standard Windows 10 compatible flat-bed document scanner (WDM drivers)

A well-lit space with good or bright lighting.


The Society’s Nearly New Shop

The Nearly New Shop in Waterloo Place continues to raise revenue for the Society. Over the year that it has been open we have built up a regular customer base and it is reassuring to see people coming in each day to see what bargains we have for sale. We continue to be amazed and delighted by the  items donated and the shop receives many compliments from customers on both quality and prices. Items of donated goods are always appreciated and collection of larger items can be arranged free of charge. If anyone does wish to donate items to sell please telephone the office on 0191 5673939 to arrange collection.


Volunteer Telephone Befriending

Our new telephone befriending service has started.  Volunteer befrienders will be ringing everyone who has expressed an interest in receiving a regular friendly chat.  If you would be interested in receiving a regular phone call, please call us on 0191 567 3939 to add your name to the calling list.  If you would like to become a volunteer telephone befriender making the calls, please call Carol McAllister on 0191 567 3939 and she will visit you for an informal chat.


Our Ten Pin Bowling teams are always looking for new members. They meet fortnightly on a Thursday between 10:15am and 12:30pm and practice at MFA Bowling Alley, High St West, Sunderland. If you would like to join, please get in touch.

Sunderland Coffee Mornings 2017

This year we are again welcoming a number of companies to our coffee mornings throughout the year to show some of the latest technology for the blind and visually impaired. This will be an opportunity to try some of the equipment. The coffee mornings will run from 10:00am till 2:00pm at the Society’s office in Foyle Street.

The Sunderland Coffee Mornings will be held on the following dates;

Wednesday 14th June - Enhanced Vision

Wednesday 12th JULY

Wednesday 9th August

Wednesday 13th September

Wednesday 11th October

Wednesday 8th November

Wednesday 13th December

Durham Coffee Mornings

This is now firmly established as a regular monthly activity for anyone with sight loss in County Durham. Please do think about joining us at the coffee morning; the regulars are a really friendly group and we have even had some lovely cakes and home-made scones brought by the husband of one of our regular attenders…. delicious and most appreciated!

We are looking for suggestions for guest speakers at future coffee mornings, in addition to the equipment suppliers that we have enjoyed this year, so if you would like to see a particular person or get information on a specific subject, please do let Carol McAllister know by ringing 0191 567 3939.  I am usually in the office Monday & Tuesday.

The Durham Coffee Mornings will be held on the following dates;

Tuesday 13th June - Enhanced Vision

Tuesday 11th July


Sunderland RP Support Group

A support group for anyone who suffers from RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa) meets monthly on the first Friday of the month at 1:30pm. Meetings are held at the Society’s office at 8, Foyle Street, Sunderland. Anyone with an interest in RP is welcome to attend and further information is available from the office on 0191 5673939.

Future meetings will be held on the following dates:

Friday 2nd June

Friday 7th July

Friday 4th August

Friday 1st September

Friday 6th October

Friday 3rd November

Friday 1st December


Sit and Be Active

Whilst our Sit and Be Active classes proved popular, numbers have dwindled and in order to keep these going, we are looking for some new members. So let us kick off those cobwebs and join the fun. Those who have taken part say they feel that much better having participated in these gentle exercuse classes. Please contact Julie Stormont at Foyle Street to sign up.

Durham Vipers VI Cricket Club

Durham Vipers VI cricket club is looking for new players to join and take part in training sessions delivered by quality coaches. The ball is a size 3 football and the wickets are large.  Players are categorised according to their quality of vision.  Teams are made up of 11 players and must contain at least 3 totally blind players.  Players aged 11 or older are welcome to play VI cricket.  If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact club secretary Emma Gilfoyle on 07502 375708 or email


Adult Services

Sunderland Sensory Support is now integrated into Adult Services at Sunderland City Council.

The Team can be contacted on 0191 5205555


County Durham Sensory Support Team

If you are a County Durham resident and need support from the Sensory Support Team please either telephone Social Care Direct on 03000 267979, Text message on 07786 027 280 or e-mail  They can assess your care and support needs and complete a referral for you.Following a Care and Support Assessment they will provide specialist advice, information and may provide training, such as mobility training, and help you to adapt existing skills or adopt new skills in order to maintain your safety and independence.

A new housing scheme for people with a sensory loss is underway in Langley Moor County Durham. Rae Bro Developers, who are building the scheme, Reside Housing Association and County Durham Sensory Support Team are working together to establish good quality housing for people who experience difficulties either with sight loss or hearing loss.

The scheme will provide 1-2 bedroom apartments, close to shops, amenities and public transport routes. The apartments are expected to be completed by April 2017.  Anyone interested in finding out more please contact Maureen Cummins, Sensory Support Team Manager on 03000 263940.