Registering as blind or partially sighted

If your vision has deteriorated to a certain level, you may choose to register as visually impaired. Depending on the severity of your vision loss you'll either be registered as sight impaired (previously"partially sighted") or severely sight impaired (previously "blind").

Your eye specialist (ophthalmologist) will measure your visual acuity (ability to see detail at a distance) and your field of vision (how much you can see from the side of your eye when looking straight ahead).

These measurements will help yourophthalmologist determine whether youre eligible to be certified as sight impairedor severely sight impaired. If you are,they will complete an official certificate with the results of your eye examination.

In England and Wales this certificate is called the Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI), in Scotland its called BP1, and in Northern Ireland its called A655.

Your ophthalmologist will send a copyof the certificate to you, a copy to your GP and a copy toyour local social services department. Upon receiving the certificate,your local social services team will contact you to ask whether you want to be added toits register of visually impaired people.

After you're registered, social services will contact you again toarrange for an assessment to be carried out. The aim is to assess your needs and find out what help you require to remain independent, such as help with cleaning and cooking, or help with mobility and transport.

Registering as visually impaired isn't compulsory, but it canentitle you to a range of benefits including:

The RNIB website has more information about registering your sight loss. You can also read more aboutregistering vision impairmenton GOV.UK.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018