I Have Sight Loss

Here at the Beacon Centre we understand how frightening sight loss can be, whether you are newly diagnosed with a condition or it has been something you have been living with long term.

Feelings of shock, anger and denial can be common for some people who have been told they have a visual impairment.

Sadly the link between those living with an eye condition and mental health issues is also documented.

At the Beacon Centre though we focus on ability, not disability.

You can visit our low vision centre where our staff can help you come to terms with your condition and help you find out about equipment that can support you in your own home, from the basic but brilliant bumpon to the magical magnifiers to help you carry on reading.

You can also sign up to our other support services including our independent living centre, activeyes, youth club, gym.

If you are struggling to read then why not take a listen to our talking newspaper and magazine service.

If you are living with sight loss but looking for work the Beacon Centre can help with our employment programmes. 

If you are currently employed and have been recently diagnosed with a visual impairment you can also contact Access to Work the scheme run by Jobcentre Plus that provides advice and support about equipment and adjustments which may be required to enable you to continue working.

They may also be able to offer a grant towards equipment or training you may need.

If your vision has deteriorated to a certain level you will have the option of registering as visually impaired.

You don’t have to register but it can help you access certain benefits including disability living allowance and a reduction in the TV licence fee.

Depending on how severe your sight loss is you will either be registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired.

You can find out more about how to register a sight impairment here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-published-on-registering-a-vision-impairment-as-a-disability

Please don’t forget if you are diagnosed with a condition that affects your vision you have a legal obligation to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency if you are a driver. Failure to do so is a crime and can result in a fine of up to £1,000.

You are only legally allowed to drive if you can read a number plate from a distance of 20 meters or 65 feet and an eye test shows your visual acuity is at least 6/12 (you can wear glasses or contact lenses when reading the plate or letter chart).

Figures show that across the UK road crashes involving a driver with poor vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and cost £33million each year so if you think you might need an eye test please get one.