This page first tells you about the services available to Good Hope patients, and similar services are usually available wherever you live. The Good Hope low vision service is designed to help you start to cope or cope even better with poor sight, check you are making the most of the sight you have, and to inform you of all the agencies that can help you. There are other pages on this site designed to advise you regarding magnification and reading aids, but you really need expert advice sitting with a professional.
If your sight deteriorates you are forced to take on a different life, which is even more challenging, and many of these agencies are there to help you make this change more easily and enjoy your new life
This service is for patients attending Good Hope Hospital Eye Clinic with poor sight, and is aimed at helping people read and cope with deteriorating sight. That is anyone who despiter new spectacles is not able to see well enough to do the things they would like (or need to do!). This should include anyone who
- cannot read properly
- says their glasses are still not correct
- cannot drive their car or read n10
- asks for a low vision test or a magnifier
You do not have to be certified or registered partly sighted or blind, there is no age limit, children and people with learning disabilities can benefit. There are no charges: devices are loaned.
There are three parts to the service
- The assessment -this is with a low vision nurse or orthoptist.
- The optometrist will briefly discuss the points raised in your assessment, carry out the refraction and explain the test results. The optometrist will then show and test any magnifiers.
- The low vision therapist -this is a practical appointment and will take place on another day after the device has been supplied.
- At Heartlands,The service based in Heartlands Hospital Contact June 0121 424 2668. Vic Foulsham, our Rehab Worker: 0121 424 0062. Alternatively contact Focus Birmingham direct on their Helpline 0121 478 5222 open Monday to Friday.
All bowses and nearly all computer programs can enlarge text to make reading easier.
These are some optometrists in the area who have received special training in low vision in a local Low Vision Project.
- Richard Ward: Tel: 373 6897, 202 Sutton New Road, Erdington B23 6QU, Rpw@globalnet.co.uk Fax no. 373 6897
- Andrew Martin: Tel: 354 6411, 66 Boldmere Road, Sutton Coldfield B73 5TJ, Am@andrew-martin.co.uk Fax no. 354 6411
- Council benefits http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/Benefitenquiries
- Work etc http://www.dwp.gov.uk/
- state benefits https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits
- Birmingham focus
- 48-62 Woodville Road, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9AT
- for all sorts of low vision support and advice, IT supportn
- support groups, contacts, local meetings, and so on
- Equipment includes clocks, watches, special reading lights and liquid measures. Staff are very happy to talk to groups and give presentations
- tel: 0121 428 5055 or 0121 478 5222
- Low Vision Assessment Centre 0121 478 5253
- The Action for Blind People will help people get back to work
- Queen Alexandra College
- QAC works with people who are blind, partially sighted, visually impaired, training etc.
- Queen Alexandra College, Court Oak Road , Harborne, Birmingham , B17 9TG
- www.qac.ac.uk Tel: 0121 428 5050
- The Partially Sighted Society
- The Partially Sighted Society
- 9 Plato Place, St Dinois Road, London SW6 4TU
- Tel: 020 7371 0289
- Macular Society, PO Box 1870, Andover, SP10 9AD
- helpline 0300 30 30 111 : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: http://www.maculardisease.org
- Our free professional membership scheme supports those caring for people affected by macular conditions and more details can be found on the Professional section of our website http://www.macularsociety.org/How-we-help/Eye-care-professionals Leaflets are available at www.macularsociety.org/order-leaflets
- British Computer Association of the Blind
- AbilityNet exists to change the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education email@example.com
- Talk and Support offers an exciting range of telephone groups for people with sight problems in the UK. The groups are available from the comfort of people's own home, using the telephone
- Tele Befriending (weekly social groups over the telephone)
- Technology support squad 0303 123 999 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Birmingham Social services
- Disabiliaty SUpport http://www.spokzpeople.org.uk/
People who are experiencing problems with their sight should go to their GP who will refer them to the eye department. If your sight is poor you may be entitled to registration, according to how bad your sight is.
At the hospital an assessment will be carried out by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). With your permission they will complete a BD8 certificate of registration. If you are registered as blind or partially sighted it does not mean that you are likely to lose all of you sight -most people do retain some useful vision.
You will receive a copy of the BD8 certificate and copies will be sent to your GP, the census office and your local social services office. This information is confidential and no one will know about it without your consent. When social services receive a copy of the BD8 form they will contact you in due course. A visit wiII be offered to you to see how they can make it as easy as possible for you to keep your independence. You do not have to accept the help offered and if you refuse you can change your mind later.
- RNIB finanical benefit advice RNIB Helpline 0303 123 9999
- Birmingham Tribunal Unit is a charity that provides representation for benefit related cases. Contact on 0121 464 2783.
- New Outlook Housing 0121 602 6511
- Pocklington Place 0121 4764161.
- Housing: Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 9944
- www.advance2work.co.uk 0800 234 6859
- Age Concern 0800 00 99 66, Birmingham 0121 236 2197
- Birmingham Social Services, older people 0121 303 1234
- Beacon Centre for the Blind (Wolverhampton) 01 902 880 111
- Coventry Society for the Blind 0247 671 7522
- Deaf/Blind UK 01733 358 100
- Diabetes UK 0207 4241000
- Dudley Visual Impairment Team 0300 555 0055
- Eye to Eye 0121 327 0607 Social club in East Birmingham
- Guide Dogs Visually impaired people over sixteen years old who are interested in a guide dog may contact the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, 01926 337 244.
- International Glaucoma Association 0207 737 3265
- Macular Society 0990 143 573
- Nystagmus Network 0845 634 2630
- Queen Alexandra College 0121 428 5050 www.qac.ac.uk
- RNIB Helpline 0303 123 9999
- Sandwell Social Services 0121 569 2299
- St Dunstans (ex-service people) 0207 723 5021
- SENSE (National Association for Deaf/Blind and Rubella Handicapped) 0207 272 7774 0121 687 1564
- Solihull Association for the Blind 0121 704 1619
- Solihull RNIB Rehabilitation Team 0121 788 4465
- Solihull Social Services 0121 7884300
- Walsall Society for the Blind 0192 262 7683
- Warwickshire Association for the Blind 01926 494 129
- Worcestershire Association for the Blind 01905 723 245
- www.birmingham.gov.uk/childrens-care, email@example.com
- Marion Clemens
- Solihull Specialist inculsion Support
- Keeper's Lodge, Chelmsley Rd, Birmingham B37 7RS
- tel: 0121 770 6267
- mclemens @ solihull.gov.uk
- for children, young adults, education
- RNIB advice for parents and children 028 9032 9373
- Look - practical help, support and advice to families with visually impaired children 0121 421 5038
- Visiting Teachers Service 0121 359 0883
- Families, Birmingham City Council 0121 303 3521
- British Retinitis Pigmentosa Society 0128 086 0363
- RNIB Educationl
- SENSE Education Services for Deaf/Blind Children 0121 6871564
- Support group for parents- LOOK (National Federation of Families with visually Impaired Children) 0121 4285038
- NBCS (National Blind Children's Society) 01278 793 792
Parking, buses, transport
- Centro 0121 214 7979
- Blue Badge contact 0121 303 4209
- Railcard National Rail Disabled Persons Travel Pass
- Ring and Ride: this is a door to door minibus service for those with mobility difficulties. Contact 0121 333 3107. Favourite destinations include friends, relatives, theatre, social clubs, shops and many more.
- RNIB. 0303 123 9999.
- Travel concessions by domestic airlines for flights within the UK are available to only registered blind people traveling with a guide - if the journey is connected to work, training for employment, rehabilitation or for medical treatment.
- In Touch Radio Programme for the Visually Impaired on BBC radio 4 (FM92.4 - 94 or LW 198) Tuesday evenings, 8.40pm
- 50% off the TV licence fee if you are registered as blind and there is a free TV license for anybody aged 75 years old or over,
- Contact TV licence enquires 0870- 5763763
Birmingham Social Services runs a Rehabilitation Unit for people with sight loss based at Duchess Road near Five Ways in Edgbaston. This centre provides training for people who are having practical difficulties due to their sight problem.
Training includes learning skills for daily living and communication skills such as typewriting, handwriting and Braille. People who are experiencing difficulties with moving about safely as a result of sight loss could benefit from mobility training. This can help someone to get around more confidently and increase independence.
The Duchess Road Rehabilitation Centre in Ladywood Tel: 0121 455 0045 (0121 303 1111) runs a 28 day programme on visual rehabilitation. If you think it would be helpful for you to join such a programme you would be best to contact them directly to find out how you can be referred.
Social groups, coffee mornings, Birmingham see.
Talking books and large print books are available at your local library as well as talking local newspapers. For house bound patients a home library service is also available (as below).
- Calibre Talking Books adults and children 01296 432 339.
- Ulverscroft Large Print Books 0116 236 4325
- Birmingham Talking Newspaper Association www.btna.org.uk; telephone number 0300 330 1404.
- Talking Newspaper Association (TNAUK) 01435 866 102 180 national newspapers and magazines
- National Library for the Blind 0303 123 9999 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Torch Trust for the Blind
- Evangelical Christian literature on Braille, large print and Tape. Torch fellowship groups meet across the country. 01858 555 301.
- Tapesense 0207 357 9298.
- Talking Eyes: Asian Languages tape magazine 0121 428 5046
- Home Library Service for House Bound Patients
- Talking books can be delivered to people living locally. Tel: 0121 464 1118
- free loan of cassette tapes, music cassettes and CD's
- large print books on loan & library services at home (as above)
- Library Services at Home
- Library Services at Home is a specialist service Tel: 0121 464 1118
- Text phone / Minicom: 0121 464 0694
- your local library ask at 0121 303 4511
- Check all entrances have easy access and are kept clear of obstructions.
- Information is available near the entrance.
- Lighting is good.
- Use different colours to make things stand out.
- Check important things are highlighted using colour contrast. Steps/changes in levels/lifts stand out by using colour contrast and tactile surfaces. Pedestrian walkways are kept clear of obstructions and are made easier by colour tactiles.
- Have signs at eye level, well lit, with lots of contrast.
- Using large print menus with additional table lighting in restaurants helps.
- Check steps and changes of level are well lit, and have contrasting edges and handrails.
- Avoid bright lights that can cause glare and dazzle, and also glazed areas, especially glass doors which can be dangerous.
- If you have glass doors use contrasting band of sticky tape to to make them more visible.
- Avoid placing any obstructions in passageways etc wherever possible.
- Rough surfaces and sharp edges in pedestrian areas may cause injury, as may half open doors/windows.
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