How can I get help 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, you can:

Contact social services directly

Contact your social services department directly and ask for an assessment of your care needs, you can do this at any time. Find your nearest local social services on the Sightline Directory by entering your postcode and the search words '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 in helping people with sight loss.

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 advice on 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

Hospital eye clinic staff can fill in a form called a Referral of Vision Impairment (RVI) form, which 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.

For information on the help you can get from social services, see What sort of help can I receive from social services?

Local support

In addition to statutory services detailed above you may have a local sight loss charity that provides support, training and guidance that could help you.  To find detail of your local charity use Sightline Directory and type in 'local society' and your postcode.

We also run both face to face and telephone Living with Sight Loss Courses that you may find beneficial more information can be found on our Living with SIght Loss webpages. These courses cover topics including These courses cover a range of topics including getting out and about, tips and gadgets for everyday living, hobbies, assistive technology and welfare rights. 

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