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Support helplines

There are a great many organisations and network groups set up to give help and support to people with impaired vision, both locally and nationally:

  • Action for Blind PeopleOpen

    Action for Blind People (part of the RNIB group) acts to support those registered, can check on the eligibility of benefits and offers advice, support and guidance for all low vision users including children.

    14-16 Verney Road
    SE16 3DZ

    Telephone 020 7635 4800, 020 7635 3027, 020 7635 4898; or contact through the RNIB helpline: 0303 123 9999

  • Association of British Dispensing OpticiansOpen

    Call ABDO Membership Services on 01227 733 902,  01227 733 912 or 01227 733 922 for a link to advice from a specialist low vision practitioner.

  • CalibreOpen

    Audio-books facility, with access to a wide range of books in various formats for adults and children in the form of cassettes, MP3 and memory sticks free of charge.

    Calibre Audio Library
    HP22 5XQ

    Telephone 01296 432 339
    Email available through website

  • International Glaucoma AssociationOpen

    The IGA provides support to glaucoma sufferers and works to prevent glaucoma blindness by providing information, literature and advice. It arranges open meetings twice a year and has a biannual members’ newsletter and a network of support groups.

    Telephone Sightline 01233 648170

  • Listening BooksOpen

    Available to registered and non-registered LV users, Listening Books provides a postal and internet based audio-book library service to people who cannot read in the usual way. It is a national audio-book charity offering MP3 CDs, internet streaming and audio tapes to a full range of print impairments. Membership (£20 per year) is comprised of those with visual impairments, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and physical impairments that mean a person cannot easily hold a book or turn a page.

    12 Lant Street
    SE1 1QH

    Telephone 020 7407 9417 (best time to telephone: 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday)
    020 7403 1377

  • Listening EyeOpen

    A helpline for anyone with a sight problem, relatives and carers, set up by a group of blind people with long established experience in living with visual impairment.

    Telephone 0800 783 1979 (6.00–10.00pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

  • Local Associations for the BlindOpen

    These may have different names in certain places, but they play an important role in immediate access to group support/mentoring, assessments, daily living aids (large button phones, liquid level indicators) and other non-optical/optical aids. The local Social Services will know how to contact the local organisation. Likewise the local association may often be able to offer a more immediate assessment of non-optical needs and liaise with Social Services regarding the urgency of any full assessment.

  • LOOKOpen

    An umbrella organisation for groups concerned with visual impairment in children.It offers the opportunity for parents and patient support groups to co-operate in order to enhance the education, welfare and leisure opportunities for visually impaired children.

    C/o Queen Alexandra College
    49 Court Oak Road
    B17 9TG

    Telephone 0121 427 9800

  • Macular SocietyOpen

    Support groups, local meetings, regional meeting and topical correspondence. They provide a wealth of information for LV Users and professionals including free literature and leaflets for all members plus groups for both older and members.

    They also have a dedicated counseling helpline.

    Telephone 0845 241 2041

  • RNIBOpen

    The RNIB offer help and advice plus information services through their website. They also supply a large range of non optical aids and full information on registration benefits. Direct link to registration benefits

    105 Judd Street
    WC1H 9NE

    Telephone 0303 123 9999

  • RNIB National Library ServiceOpen

    RNIB National Library Service is a registered charity and a leading agency in the provision of library and information services for visually impaired people. They house a large collection of tactile books and large print books and provide a free postal library service to blind and partially sighted people worldwide. Their website gives access to their catalogue and links to general and specialist information of interest to visually impaired people, their families and anyone with an interest in visual impairment. Working in partnership with other organisations, they are committed to ensuring that visually impaired people have the same access to library services as sighted people.

    Far Cromwell Road
    SK6 2SG

    Telephone 0845 762 6843 (minicom); 0845 758 5691 (8.30am – 4.30pm, Monday – Friday; answerphone at other times)
    Fax 0161 355 2098

  • RNIB Talk and SupportOpen

    RNIB Talk and Support offer a network of telephone groups for people with sight problems accessed by telephone from your own home. Talk and Support groups provide opportunities for people to continue to socialise, learn, share information and support each other.

    Telephone 0845 330 3723

  • The Talking Newspaper Association of the UKOpen

    The Talking Newspaper Association of the UK (TNAUK) offers ‘talking’ versions of all UK national newspapers plus magazines and catalogues. Offer CDs, audio tapes and Daisy compilations available for audio download.

    National Recording Centre
    East Sussex
    TN21 8DB

    Telephone 01435 866 102

  • VICTAOpen

    Visually impaired children and young people taking action was established in 1967. A support to families of visually impaired children it will consider grant applications for children that need equipment to aid their education and social skills.

    Telephone 01908 672163

  • VisionaryOpen

    The national website that can direct patients to local services.