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Help that you can expect from your local council

Help that you can expect from your local council

Registering your sight loss

Every council must hold a register of people living in their area who are sight impaired and severely sight impaired.

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Finding out your care and support needs

There are different types of support you can receive from your council. They include vision rehabilitation, which helps to ensure that you have the right information, aids, training and skills to adapt to living with sight loss.

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Types of support

Find out what types of support you may receive

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On-going care and support that you may need

You may also be eligible for longer term support. Your council must carry out a care and support assessment to find out what is important to you.

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Equipment that might help you

Your vision rehabilitation assessment should also help to identify the equipment or aids that you need to help you to maintain, or increase, your independence.

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Help for those supporting you

Under the Care Act 2014, carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs to help them to continue to care.

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Registering your sight loss

Every council must hold a register of people living in their area who are sight impaired and severely sight impaired.

Every council must hold a register of people living in their area who are sight impaired and severely sight impaired. Your council will receive a copy of your CVI, and should make contact with you within two weeks, to talk to you about registration and the benefits of being registered.

Your council may also have an agreement with another organisation to contact you on their behalf about registration. So don’t worry if it’s someone else that contacts you on your council’s behalf.

At this point your assessment should start. Under the Care Act 2014, your council has a duty to assess what support you may need.

You are entitled to an assessment whether or not you choose to be registered.

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:45:54 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 14:53:19 GMT

Finding out your care and support needs

There are different types of support you can receive from your council. They include vision rehabilitation, which helps to ensure that you have the right information, aids, training and skills to adapt to living with sight loss.

There are different types of support you can receive from your council. They include vision rehabilitation, which helps to ensure that you have the right information, aids, training and skills to adapt to living with sight loss.

You may also be eligible to receive longer term help with daily living, including support in the home and accessing the community.

Your assessment will most likely start with being on the telephone with someone in a specialist sensory loss team, or in a telephone contact centre. They have the right skills and knowledge to help you, and you will be asked about your needs and what it is you want to achieve. They may also provide you with information and advice, although many councils are placing information and advice online including self-assessment facilities.

The next step may include someone coming to your home.

Where a Local Authority identify disability equipment as promoting independence, this should be provided free of charge up to a value of £1000, regardless of individual financial circumstances. The duty is on the council to arrange an assessment in a timely manner if there is appearance of need.

How vision rehabilitation support can help you

Vision rehabilitation is support that your council must provide to help you to be as independent as possible. Your council should not charge you for this and should make it available for as long as you need it. You also don’t have to be registered to receive vision rehabilitation support.

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:01:35 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 14:58:40 GMT

Types of support

Find out what types of support you may receive

Types of support you may receive include:

  • Understanding your eye condition, learning what it means for you and your family, and explaining the certification and registration process.
  • Coming to terms with your condition and understanding the changes and adjustments you may need to live your life.
  • Looking after yourself and learning new ways of completing tasks.
  • Moving around your home safely and looking after it. This includes assessing your mobility needs, for example, measures to reduce the risks of falls, the use of stairs, and advice on appropriate equipment and mobility aids. If needed, a time can be arranged for you to receive one to one training.
  • Assessing your needs for daily living skills training, for example, any support or training you need to prepare meals, make drinks, use the oven and hob, iron or shop.
  • If needed, referring you to a low vision service, where someone will assess your needs and recommend the use of aids such as magnifiers, and specialist lighting.
  • Reviewing the lighting in your home to see if any improvements can be made.
  • Signposting you for advice and support about your housing needs.
  • Getting out and about, travelling confidently and safely, and using public transport.
  • You may be referred for a benefits check, for example, with regard to claiming Personal Independence Payments or Attendance Allowance, and concessions such as blue badge and travel passes.
  • Looking at your communication needs and how you keep in touch with others, such as reading, writing, telling the time, and using smartphones, tablets and speech software.
  • Ensuring you have access to training, education and learning opportunities.
  • Signposting you to a Disability Employment Advisor or ways to volunteer.
  • Providing information on social activities that match your interests, for example, community groups and local sight loss charities.
  • Providing information on talking books and newspapers.
  • Looking at your emotional needs, for example, counselling, telephone support, peer support, courses or groups.
  • Putting you in contact with other parts of your council, the local low vision service and other organisations in the local community where you can get help.

You should also be given the contact details of the vision rehabilitation service, in case you need to reach them in the future to answer any questions, or if your needs have changed. If you feel that you aren’t ready to engage with the vision rehabilitation service yet, then you can always get in touch at a later time.

“Initially, my confidence took a massive dent, but something that really helped me was participating in a ‘Living with Sight Loss’ course run by my local sight loss charity. I found it incredibly beneficial. I met other people who were in a similar situation to me and together, we shared hints, tips and stories. It made me realise that I was not on my own and it really helped me to re‑build my confidence. My group still meets up regularly and we continue to support each other.” – Steve

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:09:23 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:03:32 GMT

On-going care and support that you may need

You may also be eligible for longer term support. Your council must carry out a care and support assessment to find out what is important to you.

You may also be eligible for longer term support. Your council must carry out a care and support assessment to find out what is important to you. The government has set minimum criteria that people must meet in order to qualify for ongoing care and support.

Someone may come to your home to carry out the assessment, you may be asked to complete a form through a council website or someone might speak to you on the telephone. You can request that someone visits you at home.

Your council will be looking for three things when carrying out an assessment. Firstly, that you have a disability; secondly that you need support to meet two or more out of a list of outcomes; and thirdly, that there is a significant impact on your wellbeing.

The assessed outcomes cover a range of areas, including your ability to move around your home safely, such as using kitchen facilities. Other outcomes include maintaining a habitable and safe home, preparing food, developing and maintaining family or other relationships, and accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering.

If you have already received vision rehabilitation support, but think that your needs are not being met and require some more help, then you can also ask your council for a care and support needs assessment.

If you are eligible for support your council will talk to you about how your eligible needs could be met, this may include talking to you about what informal support networks you have that could meet some of your needs. Dependent on the outcome of this discussion your council may provide you with care and support, or the funding to arrange it yourself (this is called a Direct Payment). Depending on your income you may have to pay a contribution towards this. Your contribution will be determined following a financial assessment undertaken by your council.

If your council hasn’t contacted you, and you feel you might be ‘at risk’ without this help, we strongly recommend you contact your council as soon as possible. Your council must carry out an assessment if you ask for one. The council may still be able to support you without you meeting the eligibility criteria if they feel they can reduce, delay or eliminate some of your needs, by providing a time limited service or low vision aids.

If you need more information, contact your local sight loss charity.

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:24:02 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:04:02 GMT

Equipment that might help you

Your vision rehabilitation assessment should also help to identify the equipment or aids that you need to help you to maintain, or increase, your independence.

Your vision rehabilitation assessment should also help to identify the equipment or aids that you need to help you to maintain, or increase, your independence. They include:

  • Aids, such as a liquid level indicator (to help you make a hot drink safely), talking clock or talking scales.
  • Changes to lighting.
  • Mobility aids, such as a white stick or a symbol cane.

I became sight impaired following a stroke and I really lacked confidence about going out on my own. As an ex‑service person I went to one of the Blind Veterans UK centres which really helped me. The Rehabilitation Worker from my council has also been very helpful. They changed the white stick I was using and taught me how to use it walking on the pavements and getting on and off buses, and are helping me to use it at railway stations. This has all helped me to build up my confidence again, make me less dependent upon others and enable me to get out and about by myself. – Garry

Your council should provide the equipment (aids and minor adaptations) that has been identified in your assessment, and you should be supported with how to use the equipment provided. Some charities also provide equipment and, in many areas, work closely with councils. You will also receive advice on where you can buy other items of equipment to make your life easier. You won’t be charged VAT on equipment that you purchase.

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:19:42 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:03:45 GMT

Help for those supporting you

Under the Care Act 2014, carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs to help them to continue to care.

Under the Care Act 2014, carers are entitled to an assessment of their own needs to help them to continue to care. To ask for an assessment, contact your council. Carers UK support people who care for family or friends, and provides information and advice to carers, such as advice about benefits, work and practical help. For more information, call 0808 808 7777 or visit www.carersuk.org

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:27:16 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:04:14 GMT

Content provided by RNIB.

We’re the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Published on Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:01:53 GMT
Modified on Mon, 22 Feb 2021 15:39:21 GMT

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