The Vision Support Service (VSS) administers the registration of sight impairment which is provided by the hospital consultant.
What visual impairment registration means for you and your child
Your child’s ophthalmic consultant will have completed a Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) and recorded information about your child’s eye condition. This will also include your child’s vision acuity and whether they're being registered as sight impaired (previously known as partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (previously known as blind).
There are some concessions you may be able to claim depending on whether your child is registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired. Being registered is not an automatic entitlement to any particular welfare benefit but it can make it easier to make a claim. The sight impairment registration acts as evidence to the level of sight loss.
Once registered you will be given a registration card that proves your status and this can help to prove entitlement to concessions.
Support under the Disability Discrimination Act 2010
This Act aims to provide support for people with a disability to have the same access to services as people without a disability. This includes access to buildings, education and information in accessible formats.
Concessions and services you may be entitled to
Some concessions may apply to severe sight registration only. You can make your money go further by claiming the discounts and exemptions that you're entitled to and the RNIB website gives further information about these concessions. including:
TV licence discount: you may be able to claim 50% discount on your TV licence
free postage: Royal Mail operate a scheme called Articles for the Blind which allows blind and partially sighted people to send certain items of post free of charge. The RNIB outlines the scheme
- Disabled Persons Railcard: get one third off train travel with a Disabled Persons Railcard
concessionary bus travel: apply for a disabled person's bus pass
- disabled parking badge: you may be entitled to apply for a disabled parking badge apply for or renew your Blue Badge
- Council Tax: In some circumstances you may be entitled to claim some money off your Council Tax
Children Who are Disabled (CWAD)
You may be entitled to services from Dorset Council’s Children who are Disabled Team (CWAD). Services include respite breaks, aids and adaptations at home. You can also ask your allocated worker from the Vision Support Service for more details.
Concessions and services for young people with VI reaching adulthood
Help with NHS costs for young people with VI
You may be entitled to help with the cost of complex lenses or vouchers towards glasses. The NHS help line number is 0845 850 1166
Welfare benefits for young people with VI
You may also be entitled to some benefits. The RNIB outlines claiming benefits if you are vision impaired and aged 16 or over.
Blind person's income tax allowance
You can earn more money before you start paying income tax. Read what GOV.UK say about the Blind Person's Allowance.
Leisure discounts for young people with VI
You may be entitled to money off various leisure activities and a reduced rate membership at your local leisure centre. You, and the person accompanying you, may also be entitled to cheaper cinema tickets. Most cinemas will offer an audio described service too - keep your registration card on you and show/ask when booking tickets.
The Xchange is a news and information network for families with children and young people who are disabled. The Xchange allows a sharing of information to help create better services. Membership entitles you to access a free newsletter.
You may also be eligible for a Dorset Max Card that your child can use on their own or with a friend or carer to get free or reduced rate entry to various local attractions. These include:
- leisure centres
- activity venues
- shops and cafes