Helping Hand

If you have been having difficulty with your vision and have suffered sight loss then don't forget to register it with your local council. Registering will assist in practical support from your  department of social services. It can also be a networking tool in aiding  getting concessions and benefits, eg.  public travel, parking and TV licence concessions.

 As well as  helping you get support with completing everyday tasks, becoming registered as blind or partially sighted will also entitle you to travel and other concessions such as the Disabled Person's Railcard and local travel schemes.  Important too to note that if you are registered as blind, you are entitled to a tax allowance, free NHS sight tests, parking concessions and free postage on some items.

Assessments should be made by your optometrist, where necessary they can refer you to an opthalmologist but it is a consultant opthalmologist who will asses whether you qualify for registration as either partially sighted (sight impaired) or blind ( severely sight impaired).

If you are having problems with your sight, you should visit a high street optician (optometrist) or your doctor for a check-up. If necessary, they can refer you to an eye clinic for an appointment with an ophthalmologist (eye specialist).

The Ophthalmologist will complete a certificate of vision impairment to be sent to your social services head of department. That department should then contact you to find out what advice and help you may need. It may be training in developing skills to help remain independent as well as concessions and / or equipment. Getting and help and advice can make all the difference to your independence once sight loss has been registered.