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Visual Impairment

What is a Visual Impairment?

Visual Impairment is a term used to cover a vast range of sight problems. It is a significant loss of sight which cannot be corrected by conventional means.

For some people, sight loss can make daily living activities difficult, but there are many services to help people with a visual impairment. Please click the Sightline Directory link at the bottom of this page to access information on these services.

What is Registration?

It is a legal requirement that local authorities maintain a register of people with a visual impairment.

How do I get registered?

If someone has a significant eye condition they can attend an Ophthalmology clinic. A Consultant Ophthalmologist will decide if someone is eligible to be registered as visually impaired based on visual acuity and field of view. Registration is voluntary, so with your agreement they will then complete the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI).

What happens next?

The eye clinic will ask you to sign the CVI form. This is to show that you understand and give your consent for a copy to be sent to us and your GP. You will also receive a copy.

If you are not attending a hospital eye clinic, you should contact your GP who will refer you to the eye clinic if necessary.

Categories of registration

There are two categories of registration:

  • Severely Sight Impaired (Blind)
  • Sight Impaired (Partially Sighted)

Do I need to register for help?

Yes, you need to be registered to qualify for services such as concessionary travel schemes. However, we can provide advice and support to anyone with a significant visual impairment.

What happens when you receive my Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI)?

After we receive the CVI, someone from the Sensory Team will contact you. They will ask you if you need an assessment and tell you about the services and support that you can receive, including:

  • Information to help you to adjust to your new situation
  • Signposting you to advice on rights, welfare benefits and employment
  • Advice on communication equipment such as large button telephones
  • The opportunity to try innovative equipment
  • Advice and training on all aspects of independent living
  • Help with basic or completely independent mobility - long cane training / learning to travel with confidence.
  • Advice on safety within the home and equipment to reduce risk

Sightline Directory

RNIB have created the Sightline Directory for services aimed at helping blind or partially sighted people.

Who else can provide help?

There are also national and local groups that provide support for people with visual impairments, click on the directory link below and enter your postcode:

Visual impairment

The Sensory Team has moved to Enabled Living who are in the process of updating these pages.​​