Visual impairment, sight loss and blindness

There is a lot of help available if you have sight loss, from local organisations and providers, the community and voluntary sector and services offered by national organisations working in your local area.

Registering as sight impaired or blind

If your vision is starting to impact on your everyday life and is not fully corrected by glasses or contact lenses, it may be helpful to register as sight impaired, partially sighted or blind with the RNIB.

If you register as blind, Solihull Adult Social Care team will be told. This will let the team provide the help and advice, including:

  • support to stay safe at home
  • help with walking and preventing falls
  • getting out and about and staying active

You can find out more about registering your sight loss, how to register and the advantages of registering as blind or partially sighted from the RNIB website.

You should also tell your doctor as soon as possible. Your GP will be able to assess your condition and, if necessary, make a referral to the Ophthalmology Department at Solihull Hospital (this takes you to the NHS website).

RNIB

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is a national charity which works in Solihull to provide a large number of services, including:

  • help for blind children, young people and families
  • advice about the best housing for blind people
  • information to find jobs for people with sight loss
  • support to live independently

Day opportunities in Solihull for blind and partially sighted people are also arranged through the RNIB. 

The local RNIB team also provides services unique to the Solihull area, including:

  • eye clinic support in Coventry and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
  • rehabilitation support in Solihull

You can find out more about all of the services available, and contact the RNIB directly, by:

  • visiting the RNIB website
  • calling the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999

Living with sight problems in Solihull

If you are finding things a little more difficult around the home than previously you may find that equipment to help you around the home helps make things easier.

If things are becoming harder for you when you are out and about too, exploring what transport options and schemes are available could be a great help too.

There are also a number of national organisations which supply essential help and advice for people experiencing sight loss and their carers:

  • Guide Dogs can help you get out and about and have completely changed the lives for many blind and partially sighted people over the years

Help from the NHS

The NHS also has extensive advice on sight loss from its NHS Choices website.

It covers the different types of sight loss that people can experience such as:

  • age related macular degeneration (known as AMD)
  • cataracts
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • glaucoma

It also offers information about the help and support available to people with sight impairment, and

  • how vision is tested
  • causes of sight loss
  • treatment
  • prevention

Community Advice Hubs

Visiting your local Community Advice Hub could put you in contact with the best support and activities to help you live with the loss of vision. The hubs also offer support to you if you are carer.

You can visit the hubs in:

The Solihull Directory is also available to help and may have details of local charities and providers and national charities working locally.

When things become difficult

Solihull Council can provide care and support for people experiencing sensory loss. This includes those who are living with sight loss.

If you are finding it very difficult to live safely at home and are concerned, you can contact the Solihull adult social care team to request an assessment.

A qualified worker will work with you, and your carer or representative if you would like, to discuss your needs and identify how to help.

The assessment will take place in your own home or wherever is most convenient for you. Alternatively, you can complete an assessment online or visit your local hub for support to complete your assessment.

The assessment process will discuss what support you need to let you live your life in the best way possible, from understanding your care and support needs to helping maintain and improve your personal wellbeing.