Benefits of becoming "Registered"
Nearly 35,000 in Scotland are Registered as Blind or Partially Sighted
For nearly 35,000 people in Scotland, their sight loss is such that they meet the criteria to become Registered Blind or Partially Sighted, now called Registered as "Sight Impaired" or "Severely Sight Impaired". At least another 140,000 people are living with a serious sight loss. They may have chosen not to become Registered or their visual loss may not quite meet the criteria for being Registered, but it still has a major impact on their day to day life.
NESS holds the Register on behalf of the local authorities in Aberdeen, Dundee and Moray.
How do I become Registered as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired?
The Ophthalmologist (hospital eye specialist) will use a number of examinations and tests to determine if your sight loss meets the criteria to become Registered as either Sight Impaired (formerly called Partially Sighted), or Severely Sight Impaired (formerly called Registered Blind). Using a Certificate of Visual Impairment form (CV1 (Scotland)), the Opthalmologist can certify you as being either Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired.
The Ophthalmologist should then discuss the option of becoming Registered with you. With your permission, they will send the CV1 form to NESS, so your name and details can be added to the Register.
All councils in Scotland are required to keep a Register of people who are Severely Sight Impaired (including Registered Blind) or Sight Impaired (including Registered Partially Sighted) and who live in their area. In Aberdeen City, Dundee and Moray, the council has asked NESS to hold the Register on their behalf.
It is a matter of personal choice as to whether you become Registered. The NESS Hospital Information Officer, Social Worker or Rehabilitation worker will contact you to check that you do want to become Registered. For some people, coming to terms with the idea of being blind or partially sighted means they find the process of becoming Registered emotionally very difficult. Our Hospital Information Officer, Social Workers, Rehab workers and Field work staff can provide ongoing support to you as you go through the process.
Becoming Registered can help access some benefits more quickly, and entitles you to an assessment of need. It also provides up to date information for people who plan services to ensure that enough funding is made available for the people who need it.
You can still get an assessment of need and support for your sight loss from NESS even if you are not Registered, if you live in Aberdeen, Angus, Dundee or Moray.