What help can I get without registering as sight impaired or severely sight impaired?

You don’t need to go through the registration process to get help from your local social services.

Visiting your high street optician

Opticians can give you a Low Vision Leaflet (LVL) that contains contact details for sources of information, advice and help. It also has a tear-off form that can be sent to your local social services to ask them for an assessment and what services are available to you. Your optician can also arrange for you to be seen at your local hospital eye clinic by a consultant ophthalmologist.

Hospital eye clinics

Alternatively hospital eye clinic staff can fill in a form called a Referral of Vision Impairment (RVI). This form will:

  • tell social services about your situation
  • request an assessment of your need for support
  • state how urgently they think you require help, so you do not have to wait until the end of your treatment at the clinic to be referred.

Contacting social services directly

You can also contact your social services department directly and asking for an assessment of your care needs, you can do this at any time. You can also search our Sightline Directory for thedetails of your local social services

When you call them, make it clear that you are blind or partially sighted and that you would like an assessment of your needs. Ideally you should be able to speak to a specialist team within social services (often called a “Sensory Impairment Team”) that has direct experience and training for helping people with sight loss.

How social services can help you

A social worker or a similar professional will first carry out an assessment of your needs, either in person or over the phone.

The aim is to provide social services with a full view of what you can manage to do by yourself and the support you get from other people. They can then decide what help you may need from them and what services they should provide for you. Thus might include rehabilitation, which involves supporting you in learning or relearning a range of activities such as navigating, cooking, communication and computer skills.

For more information please see the Getting help without registration page on our website and our Help from Social Services leaflet:

Or contact our Helpline on: 

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