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Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment Logo

Visual Impairment is a term used to cover a vast range of sight problems. Whenever an eye is not healthy or is not working normally and cannot be corrected by ordinary means, sight is impaired.

Few people become blind suddenly. Most sight deteriorates gradually over months or even years. For some people a number of activities may become more difficult, but there are many services to help people with a visual impairment.


We are required to keep a register of people with a visual impairment, registration is voluntary.

There are two categories of registration:

In order to qualify for some of the entitlements available, it is necessary to be registered as a severely sight impaired/blind or sight impaired/partially sighted person. However, any assistance we provide you with is not dependant on registration.

Registration as a severely sight impaired/blind person does not necessarily imply a complete loss of vision. Only a small percentage of severely sight impaired/blind people have a complete loss of sight. There are many different eye conditions, and each can result in differing amounts of visual loss.

How to register

The Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI 2005) has to be completed by a Consultant Ophthalmologist (eye specialist). If you are already attending an eye clinic, your eye specialist may decide that you should qualify for registration and will notify your local Community Services Department.

If you are not attending a hospital eye clinic you should contact your GP, who will refer you to the eye clinic if necessary. You can also contact the Visual Impairment Service in Adult Social Care and Health for advice.

At the eye clinic, you will be asked to sign the certification form (CVI 2005) to indicate your understanding of it and to give your consent to a copy being sent to us.

When you are registered

After we receive the form at Community Services from your eye specialist, you will be contacted by a member of the Visual Impairment Service who will advise on the services available to you.

Completion of Form CVI 2005 for registration is purely voluntary.

What the Visual Impairment service can offer

The aim of the Visual Impairment service is to enable people who have a visual impairment to lead independent lives. It can offer:

The Rehabilitation Officer can: 

You can make a referral to the Visual Impairment Service via Referral and AdviceTeam 0151 337 6400.