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If you notice problems with your vision, visit an optician or GP for a check-up. They will decide whether it’s necessary to refer you to an eye clinic for an examination. At the eye clinic, an ophthalmologist will assess whether you are eligible for registration by measuring how far you can see (distance vision or visual acuity) and how much you can see from the side of your eye (field of vision).

Based on these results, the ophthalmologist will determine whether you’re eligible to be certified. A Certificate of Vision Impairment gives the results of your eye examination as well as information about your circumstances and your preferred method of correspondence. It will also indicate whether you qualify as severely sight impaired (blind) or sight impaired (partially sighted).

The ophthalmologist will send copies of the certificate to the social services department at your local council, who will then contact you to conduct a Community Care Assessment. This assessment determines what sort of tools and services you will need to remain independent.

Find out more about registering as blind or partially sighted on the Action for Blind People website.

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