Our heritage

Founded in 1856, the charity supported Cornish miners many of whom lost their sight due to mining accidents and the hazardous working conditions of the time. It was the first organised attempt to improve the lives of people with visual impairments living in Cornwall, over a decade before the RNIB was founded.

Originally called The Society for the Itinerant Teaching of the Blind in the County of Cornwall, the charity has been known by a few different, and more catchy, names over the years. The most recent transformation coming in April 2015 when the charity changed its name from Cornwall Blind Association to iSightCornwall in order to reflect the views of visually impaired clients, many of whom did not identify themselves as being ‘blind’.

Today, iSightCornwall supports approximately 4,000 people living with sight loss to lead active and independent lives.

Celebrating over 160 years of iSightCornwall

1856 – The Society for the Itinerant Teaching of the Blind in the County of Cornwall is founded to support miners who lost their sight in mining accidents.

1910 – Volunteers began collecting money for the Society.

1920 – The Blind Persons Act was passed.  All societies related to people with sight loss had to be registered and co-operate together.

1923 – The Society changes its name to Home Teaching Society of the Blind in Cornwall & County Association with the South Devon and Cornwall Institution for the Blind.

1925 – The name was thankfully shortened to the Cornwall County Association for the Blind and Partially Sighted.

1948 – Malabar House in Truro was opened as a home for the blind.

1994 – The Association moved into Penryn House renaming it the Sight Centre.

1996 – The first edition of Outlook magazine was published.

1997 – The Association changed its name to Cornwall Blind Association.

2006 – ‘A Cornish Vision’ was published celebrating 150 years of the Cornwall Blind Association.

2015 – The charity rebranded as iSightCornwall to reflect the needs of everyone with sight loss whatever their age, circumstance or condition.

2016 – The iSightCornwall Resource Centre was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester to celebrate 160 years of the charity.

2017 – Cornwall’s first Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) was introduced.

2018 – The Sight Appeal was launched in a bid to raise £50,000.

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