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Visual Impairment – guide to services

This information on services for people with visual impairment is to help get the right support at the right time from the right person. 

It has been developed as a "Sight Loss Pathway"

Created by London Visual Impairment Forum (LVIF) - JAN 2014

This information was provided for Hackney's Local Offer in January 2015 by:

London Borough of Hackney

Sensory Team

Phone: 0208 356 5645 

It has been reviewed and checked and the "services that can support" information 

has also been updated and enhanced. (February 2017)

Stage 1 - Keeping your eyes healthy

Local eye health campaigns promote eye-health awareness and encourage you to visit your local Optician.

GP’s in your area

Local Opticians  

Optician that may do home visits for some children with SEND who need it.

Enhanced eye checks for people with Learning Disabilities:


Phone: 013 7275 5066


Information on Opticians that monitor specific eye conditions and low vision.

Local Optical Committee (LOC)

Phone: 0208 776 5000


Stage 2 - Concerns about your vision?

You, a family member or carer raises concerns about your sight, OR

Your Optometrist (optician) notes abnormality during regular eye test, OR

Your GP suspects loss of vision.

Stage 3 - How to get treatment for an eye condition:

Wherever possible your optician treats and/or monitors your eye condition, or a professional refers you to an Ophthalmologist who diagnoses your eye condition or Community Low Vision clinic for advice on low vision aids.

Community Care Advice:

Phone: 0208 356 6262
Information and Access team


Hospital Low Vision Clinic/Ophthalmology Dept

Phone: 020 7253 3411                 


Stage 4 - Children with a visual impairment

If you have a child with a visual impairment please contact the Visual Impairment Service at Hackney Learning Trust for support and advice about education including:

Phone: 0208 820 7326


If your child is at college, school or nursery please also share the information that you have about their visual impairment with staff and meet the SENCo (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) to discuss their needs.

Stage 5 - Registering as sight impaired or severely sight impaired:

You receive treatment. Most sight loss is treatable and preventable. Early treatment can make the difference.

If significant sight loss is permanent your Consultant ophthalmologist should offer to issue you with a Certificate of Vision Impairment (CVI) appropriate to your level of vision.

This will indicate whether you can be registered as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired with your Local Authority.

Stage 6 - Support to help with registration:

A member of the Eye Clinic staff refers you to meet your Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) who guides you through the process of registration.

The ECLO advises you, your carer, or your advocate on support available outside the Hospital and how to access it.

Moorfields ECLO/CVI Team

Phone: 0207 566 2718 

Stage 7 - About the benefits of registration:

Your CVI is sent by the Hospital to your Local Authority.
Your Local Authority contact you to confirm that you want to be included on their register and offer a sensory assessment of need.

Registration: the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)has information on the benefits of registration T: 0303 123 999 (RNIB Helpline)

Payments and Benefits Advice Service:

Hackney Jobcentre Plus

T: 0845 6043719 and RNIB

All households where one person is registered blind or sight impaired can register for 50% reduction on television license 0300 790 6165.

Stage 8 - Assessments of sensory needs:

Your sensory needs are assessed (Specialist Assessment of Visual Impairment).

They may be able to provide support at home with registration, mobility or independence skills.

Sensory Team (adults & children):

Phone: 0208 356 5645           

E- mail:

Stage 9 - Rehabilitation

You begin rehabilitation with local sensory team, if appropriate. A community care assessment can be offered if you have additional needs and Carers can be offered a carer’s assessment.

Carers Support Service:

Phone: 020 8533 0951


Stage 10 - Becoming independent:

You are enabled to live an active, independent, and fulfilling life.

Local user led support and activity group:

East London Vision (ELVis)

Phone: 0203 697 6464


RNIB Sightline Directory 

A comprehensive online database of VI services.

Enter postcode and it lists services in the area: (

Other organisations that can support people with vision impairment

ACTION for Blind People

Provides practical information for people with visual impairment, as well as information and the contact details for local groups and services. It is part of the RNIB Group.

Phone: 020 7635 4800             



Home visiting service, telephone befriending and annual events for people with a visual impairment in the 13 inner London boroughs.

Phone: 020 7403 6184           


Blind Children UK

Helping children and young people with visual impairment.

Phone: 0800 781 1444           


Blind Veterans UK

Provides physical and emotional support for ex-service men and women to enable them to live as independently as possible.

Phone: 020 7723 5021           


Deaf Blind UK

Specialises in supporting those experiencing dual sensory loss, in particular in enabling deaf blind individuals to communicate and express themselves to the wider world.

Tel/Textphone: 01733 358 100          


Guide Dogs

(inc. Blind Children UK):

Organises and trains dogs for the visual impaired, as a charity their primary interest lies in enabling the mobility of the visually impaired.

Phone: 0118 983 5555             


Macular Society

Offers support and information on macular disease and central vision loss, and has branches throughout UK

Phone: 01264 350 551           


Partially Sighted Society  

Provides equipment (such as magnifiers) and information (on matters such as lighting) for individuals to make the most of their remaining sight.

Phone: 0844 477 4966           



(Royal Society for Blind Children)

The Royal Society for Blind Children believe in a better life for blind children. We are on a mission to make sure every single blind child has the self-belief and skills to fulfil the potential we know they’ve got.

This organisation is now based in hackney and provides a range of support to local residents with visula impairements. 

RSBC - Hackney Advice Service

RSBC - Family Support Service

RSBC - Youth Choir

RSBC - Employability Programme

Phone: 020 3198 0225



Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC)
52-58 Arcola Street
E8 2DJ


(Royal National Institute of Blind People)

Offers a telephone counselling service for those having difficulties coming to come to terms with their sight loss, as well as a wealth of practical information for parents, carers and the visually impaired people,

Phone: 0303 123 9999           



A national charity supporting and campaigning for deafblind people.

Phone: 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972


Textphone: 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972


Provides support for people who are visually impaired but also have other disabilities, such as mental health problems, mobility impairment or learning disabilities.

Phone: 01372 755 000           


Thomas Pocklington Trust  

Housing and support for people with sight loss.


Tele, Email & Link-Up Befriending schemes

Phone: 020 8995 0880           


Created by London Visual Impairment Forum (LVIF) - (Jan 2014)

Phone: 07875 541155


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