Where can I get help?
In the UK, various services for visually impaired people are provided by local government and by voluntary organisations. The RNIB are the national organisation providing support for the blind through their Action for Blind People service. Charities such as MAB are able to provide help at a local level. Most people will find they need both at some point. Obviously, as you are reading this page on our website, you have already started that search for information for yourself. Please call us on 020 8423 5141 if you require guidance or advice at a local level. If you are beyond the Middlesex region, you may find a similar organisation operating at the county level supporting your region.
Social Services support
Your local authority’s Social Services Department have a legal obligation to provide the following services for people with serious sight loss:
- Information about the range of services and benefits available to you
- An assessment of your individual social and care needs
- Provision of a range of services and benefits
- A registration scheme entitling those who qualify to potentially significant benefits and entitlements.
In practice the service can be patchy and you may have to be persistent to get the service you are entitled to. However, when organised well, these services can be extremely useful. Many local agencies employ Early Intervention and rehabilitation workers for visually impaired people, who are trained in a wide range of matters to do with becoming as independent as possible.
Contact details for Social Services in the Middlesex region can be found on our Useful Links page. Alternatively, you can find information through your local authority’s website or ask for contact information at your local library or post office.
Voluntary organisations who can help
Most towns or counties have at least one local society or association for people with impaired vision. The services they provide and the manner in which they work together to provide these varies a great deal across the UK. The following organisations serve areas of London beyond the region covered by MAB (click on the links to redirect to their individual websites):
|East London||South East London and Kent|
At Middlesex Association for the Blind, we support those with visual impairments living in the following boroughs:
If you require our support, please phone us on 020 8423 5141.
If you live outside of our region, you can also find out about organisations in your area by searching online, by asking for contact information at your local library or Social Services office. Alternatively, you can find information from the RNIB helpline on 0303 123 9999.
Can I talk to someone who has been through all this?
Yes you can. Many people find it of great benefit and support to talk to someone else who has had to face up to these changes in their life. If you live in one of the nine London boroughs that we cover, you can call our office on 020 8423 5141. A number of our staff are sight impaired so they will understand your feelings and concerns. We can also arrange for you to meet the regional coordinator for your area. They have supported many people facing the challenge of sight loss and so will understand your feelings and your needs. They can help to ensure that you have the support and information that you need.