Information for people who are blind or partially sighted

Registration of blind or partially sighted people

Registration is voluntary and may entitle you to a range of concessions:
• VAT exemption to buy necessary equipment
• Discounts for some leisure activities
• Discounted travel on public transport

You do not have to register to be eligible to help from Social Services and registration does not automatically mean you will qualify for services

Registration for sight loss can only take place on the recommendation of a qualified ophthalmologist, a doctor who specialises in eyes and eye care. Referral to the ophthalmologist clinic can only be done through a GP who will refer you if they think it is necessary. Your High Street Optician will ask you to contact your GP if they detect any significant sight loss that requires attention from an Ophthalmologist.
If you are then registered blind or partially sighted the ophthalmologist will inform your GP and, if you wish, Adult Social Services, who keep a register of all the blind or partially sighted people in their area.


Sight & Hearing Teams – Social Services

Your local Adult Social Services will have a Sight & Hearing Team and they can help you with support and information. Contact the following numbers:

Bournemouth: - Care Direct 01202 454979
Poole Helpdesk: - Tel: 01202 633902
Fax: 01202 633634
Minicom: 01202 633630

Services available include:
• Practical advice about how to manage in your own home

• Information about specialist equipment to help you with day to day living

• Registration of sight impaired people where appropriate

• Access to support groups

• Details of local and national voluntary agencies who also offer advice and support

Bournemouth Sight and Hearing Services

The Bournemouth Sight and Hearing Team assist people who have serious difficulties with their sight, hearing or both. The team have specialist skills and knowledge and are able to offer practical advice on managing at home, communication skills, and employment. Training is also offered on mobility issues to help you get about safely and confidently, cooking and budgeting workshops, how to register as sight impaired, information on specialist equipment. The team will carry out an assessment of your sight needs and help you access a range of services and equipment such as large button phones, talking clocks and watches, amplifiers for televisions and doorbells, and more.

Residents of Bournemouth are able to try out equipment to suit their needs at:

Bournemouth Blind Society

5 Victoria Road
Tel: 01202 522184

The Resource Centre is open Monday – Friday 10am – 1pm. Equipment is available for you to try and then purchase. A visit to Bournemouth Blind Society may help prevent or postpone a further deterioration in your condition, resulting in a referral to the Sight and Hearing Team.


Poole Sight and Hearing Services

The Sight and Hearing Team provide services for people with sight loss in Poole, both children and adults. The Sight and Hearing Team specialists provide advice and assistance to help you make adjustments so that you can cope more easily. The team work closely with the Royal Bournemouth Hospital Eye Clinic and the Audiology Clinic in Shelley Rd Boscombe. 
The team can help you by carrying out an assessment of your needs by looking at safety in the home, your mobility, communication needs, listening to your experiences and concerns, offering practical and emotional support. They can then offer you support and advice, equipment, mobility training, advice about benefits, information about support groups, advice about daily living skills, liaising with other professionals on your behalf or advising you who to contact. Support and advice about equipment is also available via:

Dorset Blind Association

17 Bournemouth Road
Lower Parkstone
Tel: 01202 712860

Appointments can be made for Poole residents between 2pm and 4.15pm. Contact office for further details.



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