What is a Visual impairment
People with visual impairments are sometimes known as blind or partially sighted. The more modern term is sight impaired or severely sight impaired. Sight loss can be caused by a variety of conditions such as –
- macular degeneration
- visual cortex disorder
- genetic defects or an injury
Many people who live with sight impairment experience different levels of sight loss. Some people are only able to determine lights or shapes, while others may experience blurred vision. Another effect of sight impairment is having no sight in the centre of the eye or no side vision.
Some people may have some useful sight but may find it difficult at night. It is uncommon for someone to have no vision at all even if the person is registered blind.
Eye strain and headaches are also a common side effect of living with sight impairment.
If you feel you are having problems with your sight you should go to your GP or optician as soon as possible.
You may be referred to an eye clinic or ophthalmologist (a specialist in eyes). They examine your eyes and determine if there are any possible treatments for your condition.
Living with sight impairment can make life more complex, however, you can get support from various national and local organisations. You could also get equipment to meet your visual needs.
Hull Sensory team
The Hull Sensory team can arrange for you to have a disability assessment.
Your assessment helps the Sensory team understand how they can help you live safely and independently in your own home.
This can include advice and support on –
- equipment and adaptations
- alternative techniques to carrying out daily living tasks
- registering as disabled
- long cane and orientation
- mobility training for people with sight impairments
You can contact the Sensory support team via –
- email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone - 01482 318 700
- text service - 07810 503 530
- type talk service / Mincom - 18001 01482 318 700
Formally known as Herb, Sight Support has been supporting local people with sight loss since 1864.
For over 150 years, Sight Support has been helping people across Hull and East Yorkshire with visual impairments to live full, active and happy lives.
Their services include –
- Aids and equipment
- Beach Holme tandem club
- Clubs and groups
- Day groups
- Glaucoma Group
- Home visiting service offering emotional and practical support
- Macular Society
- Resource centre
- SocialEYES leisure and activity programme
- Supported housing
- Technology and computers
- Transcriptions service
- Telephone befriending service
Alternatively, you can contact them via -
- email - email@example.com
- telephone - 01482 342 297
in person -
Magnifying aids, low vision aids, spectacle mounted aids
The Eye Hospital supplies magnifiers, low vision aids and spectacle mounted aids
You can contact them by telephone on - 01482 816 681
in person -
Low Vision Aids Clinic
Help living at home
Our help living at home section has information on the various adaptations including the Kingston Care Lifeline and Telecare Services.
Public and community transport
Our public and public transport pages have lots of information around transport and mobility, including –
- blue badge scheme – a blue badge that allows you to park close to shops and amenities
- concessionary travel passes – including bus passes and rail cards
- wheelchairs and rollators
- community transport
- easy rider scheme
Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RINIB) is the largest charity for people with sight loss. You can find lots of useful information around sight loss, along with practical support.
Alternatively – you can contact them via –
- email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- telephone helpline - 0303 123 9999
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provides guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services to meet the needs of blind and sight impaired people.
Alternatively you can contact them via –
- email - email@example.com
- telephone - 01189 835 555
The Macular Disease Society
The Macular Disease Society is a charity for people with macular disease, offering support, advice and information.
Alternatively you can contact their Hull group by telephone on 01482 656 714 or 01430 422 905
You may find it easier to have documents in alterative formats.
Alternative formats can include -
- audio versions such as tape or CD
- large print
Documents such as bills, bank statements and letters from GP’s as well as general information can be made available to you in these formats.
You should contact the organisation that has produced the information and request for the document to be provided in your preferred format.
If you are blind (severely sight impaired) and can provide the appropriate evidence, you are eligible to apply for a 50 per cent concession.
Audio description is commentary that describes body language, expressions and movements, making the programme clear through sound. It sets the scene so you can clearly track what is taking place.
This service is available on -
- sports events
Blind person allowance
Blind person allowance is an extra tax free allowance which means you can earn more before you start paying tax.
You must be registered blind (severely sight impaired) to get this award.
Across the UK, there are a number of concessions that you can get if you a registered as sight impaired.
These include –
- tourist and heritage attractions
- museums and art galleries
- public leisure centres