Who we are
The Visual Impairment Team is a specialist team of rehabilitation officers for people who are partially sighted or blind. The team offers help to people with permanent sight loss (in both eyes) that impacts significantly on daily activities and affects their wellbeing. You do not need to be registered as visually impaired to get help from the Visual Impairment team.
What we do
The team can help you understand the eye condition you have and offer advice, support and information about services available if you are having difficulty coming to terms with sight loss.
Rehabilitation officers will visit you at home. They will tell you about the help, equipment, services and support you could obtain. Using an assessment they help you decide and deliver the best rehabilitation programme to suit your needs. The rehabilitation programme builds confidence and develops skills to help you remain independent.
Rehabilitation officers for visual impairment can teache skills in the following areas:
Independent Living Skills
Handling hot liquids and food, preparing food, safe use of kitchen appliances and equipment, labelling and identifying items
All aspects of safe independent and assisted mobility such as training for carers who act as sighted guides, orientation indoors and outdoors, training in the use of white canes.
Rehabilitation Officers deliver classes for keyboard skills (touch typing), Braille and Moon (tactile reading).
Rehabilitation Officers do not issue magnifiers but do provide advice and training in the use of lighting, non-optical reading/writing aids and magnifiers.
Note: Magnifiers are provided by the NHS at the low vision clinic in the hospital or one of the community opticians participating in the provision of low vision assessment and aids.
Equipment is issued with training to meet the specific needs of individuals after an assessment by the rehabilitation officer. Any requests for replacement equipment issued should trigger an automatic referral to the Visual Impairment Team for reissue.
How to get a referral
To access the Visual Impairment Team, please telephone the Central Advice and Duty Team on: 0151 514 2222 (option 3), Monday – Friday 8.50am-5.00pm or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Am I eligible?
In order to meet the criteria for a visual impairment assessment you do not need to be registered as sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind) but must have one of the following:
- sight loss in both eyes that cannot be correct by prescription lenses.
- sight loss in the peripheral field cause by conditions affecting the visual pathway such as stroke or brain injury for example.
- a diagnosed eye condition in both eyes that has caused permanent sight loss.
If you have lost sight but not had any medical attention you must see an optician, GP, ophthalmology clinic or attend A+E as soon as possible.
Registration/Certification of Visual Impairment
Any enquiry regarding the registration or certification of visual impairment should trigger an automatic referral to the Visual Impairment Team
Part of Single Point of Access and Referral to Community Services Integrated Gateway Team (SPARCS)