Sensory Impairment (Adults)

Optician looking at eye

Sensory Impairment

Sensory impairment covers:

  • Visual impairment
  • Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Dual sensory loss (Deaf/Blind)
What is Sensory Impairment?

Different types of sensory impairments

Visual Impairment

Visual impairment is reduced sight and the degree of reduction can vary significantly.  It can be due to:

  • a medical condition
  • birth abnormality
  • age
  • a head injury/trauma


Deafness is reduced hearing and the degree of reduction can vary significantly.  It can be caused by

  • a medical condition
  • a birth abnormality
  • age
  • a head injury/trauma  

Dual Sensory Loss (Deaf/Blind)

Deafblindness is a combination of sight and deafness that affects how you communicate, access information and get around. Many people who are deafblind have some residual sight and/or hearing.

Dual-sensory impairment or multi-sensory impairment are other terms that may be used if you have both sight and hearing impairments.   There is lots of useful information on deafblindness on the Sense website.

Peterborough City Council's Sensory Support service

Supporting adults who have a sensory impairment

The council's Sensory Support Team is dedicated to supporting adults who have a sensory impairment whether it be their hearing, their vision, or both.  A medical diagnosis is not needed to access support, information and advice.

Specialist assessments are carried out which focus on supporting you to stay safe and independent.  The assessments might include:

  • giving you information and advice
  • providing advice on private purchase of aids
  • signposting to charitable organisations and community groups

Following the specialist assessment, we can provide rehabilitation and commission support for you so that your independence and quality of life can be improved in your home and community.  

We can also supply suitable equipment/aids which aim to increase safety, confidence and independence both within the home and outdoors.

For more information on the Sensory Support Services please contact the Adult Early Help Team on 01733 747474.

Register of people who are visually impaired

Certified as Severely Sight impaired or Sight Impaired

The council is required by central government to hold a register of people who have been certified as Severely Sight Impaired (previously called blind) and Sight Impaired (previously called partially sighted). The register is confidential, so your details won’t be shared without your explicit permission.  Registration with the council is entirely voluntary.

If you are experiencing a reduction in your vision, you will need to contact your Optician or GP.  If they are concerned they will refer you to the Ophthalmology Department.  A Consultant Ophthalmologist is the only person who can determine whether your reduced vision is significant enough for you to be offered certification as Sight Impaired or Severely Sight Impaired.

If you are registered as Severely Sight Impaired or Sight Impaired the Ophthalmologist will send a copy of your Certificate of Visual Impairment to your GP and to Adult Social Care.  A worker from Adult Social Care will then contact you to find out what support you might need to stay safe and independent.

There are some very significant advantages to getting registered. Firstly, it can make life more affordable by enabling you to claim a wide range of concessions. These include a half-price TV Licence, help with NHS costs, help with your Council Tax bill and tax allowances, leisure discounts and free public transport. Which concessions you are entitled to depends on whether you are registered as severely sight impaired or sight impaired.

Register of People who are Deaf or hard of hearing

Apply to be registered

If you have been diagnosed with a hearing loss by your local audiology services, you can contact Peterborough City Council Adult Early Help on 01733 747474 and apply to be registered.  You will need to supply a copy of your Audiogram.  This is a document that confirms the degree and range of your hearing loss and will be given to you by the Audiologist.

There are a few benefits of registration which may entitle you to a range of concessions:

  • VAT exemption to buy necessary equipment
  • Discounts for leisure activities
  • Discounted travel on public transport

You can download a copy of the Registration Form on this page.  Please note that this document will download on to your computer or phone. 

Equipment that can help you if you have a sensory impairment

Equipment for sensory impairments

Living made easy - Hosting information on over 10,000 products with direct links to around 1,000 suppliers, the Living Made Easy website provides a vital online resource for aids to daily living. Many of these products can be purchased online, by simply following the link to the retailer’s website to complete a purchase.

Equipment for deafness

Action on Hearing Loss online shop

Equipment for visual impairment

There are a wide range of organisations selling equipment including: 

Cobolt Systems Ltd 

RNIB Shop 

If you need further specialist help you can contact Adult Early Help on 01733 747474.   

Peterborough Talking Newspaper

Peterborough Talking Newspaper

Peterborough Talking Newspaper was founded in 1980 to provide free access to the local news for blind and partially sighted people in the area

They are a local registered charity run entirely by unpaid volunteers. They do not operate from a centre but to keep our costs low, recordings are done in volunteers' homes and the copying and delivery service in a hired room in Peterborough.

In addition to their weekly news they offer a monthly magazine service of topical and entertaining articles. They also have a visiting service to support people who need setting up with the service.

How it works

Once a week you will receive a free digitally recorded memory stick through the post. It’s usually around 80 minutes long and includes articles read from the Peterborough Telegraph. In addition, there’s a monthly magazine which includes some items specifically for those who are visually impaired, as well as feature articles, comedy slots, entertainment messages and thought for today.

Once you've finished listening you simply return your memory stick in the yellow plastic wallet provided, post free, and wait for next week’s news to arrive. It’s as simple as that!

Complete their online joining form


RNIB Living with Sight Loss course

Related Pages

  1. Technology Enabled Care (TEC) for Adults
  2. Sensory Impairment (Local Offer)
  3. Health (Adults)
  4. Equipment, Adaptations and Occupational Therapy (Adults)
  5. Getting Out and About (Adults)

External Links

  1. RNIB Online Shop
  2. Cobolt Systems Ltd
  3. Peterborough Association for the Blind
  4. RNID Connevans
  5. Living made easy - hearing
  6. Deafblind UK
  7. Sense
  8. Blind Veterans UK
  10. Peterborough Talking Newspaper


  1. Application for registration for people who are deaf or partially hearing.

Related Services

  1. Peterborough sight
  2. Royal National Institute of Blind People
  3. Sense
  4. Deafblind UK
  5. RNID (The Royal National Institute for Deaf People)
  6. Cambridgeshire Deaf Association
  7. Peterborough and District Talking Newspaper Association


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