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Visual impairment

Here you can find out about services for children, young people and adults who live in Calderdale. Our aim is to enable them to maintain or improve their level of independence.

Do you have a significant sight loss that affects your emotional and daily life? If yes, you can ask for support and an assessment from our qualified Rehabilitation Officers.

Carers who give significant and regular support can also ask for a Carer's assessment.

To find out more, please contact: Gateway to Care.

  • We have a register of people who have a Certificate of Visual Impairment from a Consultant Ophthalmologist. Ask your GP or eye clinic consultant about this.
  • You do not have to be registered to get our Being independent services.
  • We also employ a Dual Sensory Specialist Worker for residents who have both sight and hearing loss.

Specialist Inclusion Teams

This supports children and young people from birth to adult services who have:

  • An Autistic Spectrum Disorder;
  • or a hearing or visual impairment.

For more about this service, please see: Specialist Inclusion Teams.

Being independent

Our Rehabilitation Team offers advice and training programmes in various life skills. These can be tailored to meet your needs:

  • Communication skills. To help you maintain your reading and writing skills. You might also learn new skills like Braille, Moon or typing.
  • Independent living skills. Safety techniques and methods to help you be independence in all aspects of your daily life.
  • Orientation and mobility. To enable you to move confidently and safely indoors and outside.

Equipment for daily living

The Rehabilitation Team will be pleased to advise you about the wide variety of equipment available, like:

  • liquid level indicators;
  • talking weighing scales;
  • writing guides;
  • white canes
  • and more.

We currently issue a small amount of equipment if found to be appropriate, following assessment.

Low vision equipment

We can inform you about new technology, like:

  • Closed Circuit TV that can enlarge print;
  • and more.

The NHS has a Low Vision Aid Service. This can assess and provide magnifying glasses and other equipment to suit your needs.

Please note: Your Ophthalmic Consultant would refer you for this service.

Resource centre

We have a small resource centre at Glenholme, Green Lane, West Vale. Halifax.

This is for people who are visually and/or hearing impaired.

We can:

  • show you our specialist equipment;
  • arrange for you to try them out;
  • help you to order any of the items.

Drop in days

Drop in days are held:

  • at the Resource Centre;
  • on the first Tuesday of every month;
  • from 10am to 4pm.

For more about this, please phone the Visual Impairment Team on: 01422 363561.


Registered severely sight impaired (blind) people are entitled to a:

  • parking badge for use in cars they travel in;
  • bus passes. You can also get one for a companion, if you need someone to travel with you. For more about this, visit: Concessionary bus and train pass.

For disabled parking bays and dropped kerbs, see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

TV licences

Registered severely sight impaired (blind) people are eligible for a:

  • half price TV licence.

Please note: People over 75 get a free TV licence.

Radios, cassette and CD players

We act as an agent for British Wireless for the Blind Fund. This means we can offer registered sight impaired or severely sight impaired people:

  • specialist radios;
  • and radio-CD players.

Note: These are provided on loan following assessment.

Talking books

Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)

  • The RNIB has an extensive talking book library.
  • Their books are recorded onto DAISY formatted CD. Special machines (supplied to members) are needed to play the CDs.
  • There is a charge for membership of this library.
  • Following an assessment, we may be able to contribute towards your subscription.
  • You can apply directly to the RNIB, if you want to fund yourself.

For more details, contact:

CALIBRE Audio Library

  • For books on standard audiocassettes, mp3 discs and memory sticks.
  • They do not charge, but do ask for donations.
  • Books can be exchanged through their free postal system.

For more details, contact:

Talking newspapers


This is:

  • organised by volunteers and available each week on a memory stick. To play the these, you can loan a 'Boom Box' free of charge from the Halifax Courier;
  • news items and articles of interest - carried by the local newspaper - in spoken form;
  • a free service.

Our Rehabilitation Officers can supply you with details.


This is:

  • recorded by the Talking Newspaper Association of the United Kingdom (TNAUK);
  • national newspapers and magazines;
  • on CD or download from the web.

For more details, please contact:

Free directory enquiries service

People who cannot access a phone because of their visual impairment can apply for this service. To apply, please phone: 195.

Please note: If you need to verify your visual impairment, please call the Visual Impairment Team on: 01422 363561.

Adults, health and social care information

This is usually available on request:

  • On audio cassette;
  • in large print;
  • in Braille;
  • on personal computer disk;
  • and in a number of other languages.

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