How to register your sensory disability in Essex
We manage the sight, hearing and dual sensory impairment registers on behalf of Essex County Council.
Registration as Deaf or hard of hearing
Registration is voluntary, and your details will be kept confidential. If you are concerned about your hearing please contact your GP who may refer you onto an audiology clinic. In audiology you will have a hearing test and they will issue you with an Audiogram. This would be your evidence for registration.
There are three separate registers:
- Hard of hearing.
- Deaf with speech.
- Deaf without speech.
Although there are currently limited benefits to registering your hearing impairment it is anticipated that gaining more realistic statistics on the number of hard of hearing and Deaf people in Essex may influence future service provision, and increase the benefits of being registered.
Benefits and concessions available are:
- Discounts on public transport such as a disabled person’s rail card.
- VAT exemption evidence on some equipment purchases.
- Concessions or free entry at some cinemas, theatres, museums and day out activities such as some castles or theme parks.
Registering your sight impairment
Some levels of sight loss qualify you to be registered as Sight Impaired (blind) or Severely Sight Impaired (partially sighted).
An eye consultant (ophthalmologist) will first need to confirm you are certified as sight impaired, or severely sight impaired and provide you with a Certificate of Visual Impairment known as a CVI.
Your GP can put you in contact with a consultant if you haven’t already seen one and they and Essex County Council will also receive a copy of your CVI. This is then forwarded to us so that we can contact you to let you know about services available to you and discuss registering your sight impairment.
Registering means that you may be able to access to a number of benefits such as:
- Free advice on dealing with sight loss.
- Free sight tests.
- Blue badge.
- Discounts on your TV license.
- Some disability benefits / tax allowance benefit.
- Discounts on public transport such as a Disabled Person’s Railcard.
- Free or discounted corrective lenses (if these are suitable for you).
Registering your dual sensory impairment (combined sight and hearing loss)
The definition of deafblindness as adopted by Essex County Council is: ‘Deafblindness is a combination of sight and hearing loss that affects a person’s ability to communicate, access all kinds of information, and get around.’
While there are currently no direct benefits or concessions linked to the deafblind register, it is very helpful to Essex County Council when designing services to know how many people have a combined sight and hearing loss in Essex. The register is optional, and eligibility needs to be confirmed by an appropriately trained professional or organisation.