Sensory impairment service

This service specialises in support for visually impaired, deaf and deafblind people.

Visual impairment services

Our specialist rehabilitation workers assess and deliver services to improve quality of life, increase independence and wellbeing for anyone living with sight loss in Croydon. After being referred, you will be assessed to see whether you are eligible for our services.


The service is available to any visually impaired individual living in the borough of Croydon, with a medically diagnosed eye condition:

  • there must be permanent and significant sight loss in both eyes
  • you do not have to be registered sight impaired (partially sighted) or severely sight impaired (blind)
  • if your sight is corrected through spectacles or contact lenses you will not be eligible for this service


Once you have been seen at the eye hospital, a consultant ophthalmologist decides if you meet then the criteria for registration and completes a certificate of visual impairment (CVI).  A copy is sent to you, and also to us in the Sensory Impairment Team. Once we receive the CVI, you will be contacted and asked if you wish to be registered, offer you an assessment and tell you about our services.

Services available

  • information about local services and activities
  • practical support and training to learn skills to remain independent both at home and outdoors
  • specialist training and advice on mobility, both indoors and outdoors, to increase confidence and safety, including: 
    • tuition using a white cane
    • crossing roads
    • teaching new routes
    • shopping
    • using public transport
  • help with communication difficulties, such as reading, writing, using the telephone and assistive technology
  • help in accessing equipment to help manage daily life
  • lighting and environmental adaptations to maximise vision and increase safety
  • referrals to other services that may be able to help increase independence and wellbeing
  • referrals to voluntary agencies
  • an assessment for a magnifier can be provided by your local eye unit – if you are not already known to the eye unit a referral can be made via your doctor


There are 2 categories of registration, sight impaired (partially sighted) and severely sight impaired (blind). Registration is voluntary and if you choose not to be registered our team will still help you.

Benefits of registration

For those registered sight impaired (partially sighted), you are entitled to:

  • an assessment by the local sensory impairment team, who may provide equipment and training
  • free BT directory enquiry calls
  • permanent loan of radio/CD players from British Wireless for the Blind
  • eligibility to claim and enhance prospects of claiming specific welfare benefits
  • some leisure facilities or organisations may offer a discount

You will also get a 24 hour Freedom Pass for free travel on buses, trams and underground in Greater London (rail travel Monday to Friday only after 9.30am). This includes a third off the price of rail tickets outside of London, for you and your carer or guide.

For those registered severely sight impaired (blind), you are entitled to all of the above plus: